Volkswagen Type 4 · 411 & 412 — The final rear-engined VW cars

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  • 1787115224
  • 9781787115224
by Marc Cranswick Volkswagen, known and loved for its microbuses and Beetles, debuted the... mehr
Volkswagen Type 4 · 411 & 412 — The final rear-engined VW cars

by Marc Cranswick

Volkswagen, known and loved for its microbuses and Beetles, debuted the Type 4 in 1968. VW's first mid-size car, it was developed specifically to cater to the more upmarket consumer sectors. Heinz Nordhoff wanted the Typoe 4 to be a tool to gain a firm foothold in the luxury car sector, and expand VW's brand to include more premium, highly developed products: its addition to VW's lineup meant customers could choose a Volkswagen from its range that was suitable for any purpose; a sports car, an economical family car, or even off-roading Baja-style buggy.

The Type 4 was Volkswagen's final new design in a 30-year air-cooled odyssey. It held to VW tradition, while introducing new engineering directions and refinements. If ever there was a car in search of a context and a market, it was the Type 4. Volkswagen's first foray in the upmarket sector brought engineering innovation to Wolsfburg, and aimed to convince buyers worldwide that Volkswagen still had the right stuff.

With Porsche design origins, signs were hopeful for the Type 4. But the car was released in a period of rapid change for the auto market, and while the Type 4's tech portfolio ran to unitary construction and fuel injection, it faced stiff competition from Detroit's European subsidiaries.

All the while, VW was searching for its place in future auto markets, and faced challenging developments such as the fuel crisis, and Japanese competition in North America.

The 411 and 412 brought a new dimension in comfort to VW, and its hardware design was utilized by air-cooled enthusiasts both on- and off-road. The Type 4 even gained praise for its sportscar-like handling from Car and Track, when compared to midsize domestic cars of the day: and it has never lost the power to surprise.

  • Model history of VW Type 4 411 & 412
  • Design origins of the VW Type 4
  • Specification and performance tables
  • Original cartoon caricatures by the author
  • Archive picture items
  • Analysis of VW's air to water cooled transition
  • VW Group business in the 20th century
  • VW sportscars & offroaders overview
  • Government service Type 4 pictures
  • An evaluation of the VW Type 4 and its rivals

Buch, Hardcover, 20,5 x 25 cm, 184 Seiten, 223 größtenteils farbige Abbildungen, englischer Text