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Type 4

Typ 4 Flat-4, 1679/1795 cm3, 90,0/93,0*66,0 mm, 6,6 : 1, ohv, 2 carburetor/D-Jetronic, blower cooling, 124/132 Nm 2800/2700/min, 129/135 Nm 5000/min, 50/59 kW (68/80 HP) 4500/4900/min, 55/63 kW (75/85 HP) 5000/min, rear engine, longitudinal, 4-M, 3-A, McPherson, semi-trailing arms, coil springsn, disks/drums, 4,5/2,4/1,6/1,5 m, two-/four doors 50 Liter, 1020/1120 kg, 145/155 km/h, 1968 - 1974, from 7.770 DM.

The VW 411 was chalked up to be 11 years to late with its 4 doors. But maybe you have to go deeper to recognize the problem of VW at the birth of the types 3 and 4. It's just a company that has been captivated by a design from 1936. Up until 1967, all VWs had a frame with a body, i.e. no self-supporting bodies.


And the 1967 Type 2 T2 doesn't really count either. Because such a vehicle with a basically flat floor and therefore without a central tunnel must still have a frame under it. So the 1968 VW 411 is the first VW with a design that has long since found its way into almost all other companies.

So the VW 411 is actually a break, but you can not see it because of its still existing concept with air-cooled rear engine. But that is not its problem either. It is the front that the designers were presumably forced to face by violence.


There had to be enough luggage space in the front. That drove the entire belt line up, especially the front end of the car. The googly eyes were soon replaced by double headlights. But the hectic renaming to 412 didn't help either.

In general, air-cooled rear engines have the problem that they do not need a front grille. But people don't like to buy a car without a grille, even later on the Passat B3 to be seen. Somehow it seem to belong to cars with combustion engine. Even electric cars carry hints of it around with them. And then there was also a high front that smells of cupboards that had to be moved in the air.


You don't know if the comparatively high consumption comes from the front or from the engine. Even in the much better streamlined VW Porsche, it is not a child of sadness. Otherwise, the 411/412 drives great, comfortable and quiet for the time being. With the new McPherson front axle and semi-trailing arms and coil springs at the rear, it is not far from a sporty BMW.


The 411/412 has even maintained the usual wheelbase of 2.4 m, although of course the front overhang, which is large because of the spare wheel, is even more similar to Pinocchio. Perhaps one should have designed the front axles, which remained as a kind of subframe, a little differently and moved the spare wheel back, because this axle construction was new anyway.


How do you miss that today, the crank windows and even the possibility of installing triangular windows. An auxilliary heater that can also be ordered is already known. What is new, however, is an electric blower for the warm air conducted through the heat exchanger on the engine. The proven VW quality makes you feel in good hands.


Unfortunately the engine comes at a time when carburettors still dominate the field. As a boxer engine, it can benefit a little later from fuel injection systems, which make the costly synchronisation of two carburettors, punishable by increased consumption, superfluous. In addition, the possible lack of warm air in such a car is of course particularly obvious.


An automatic torque converter had also long since been introduced at VW. Even the manual transmission had been redesigned, although the number of gears never went beyond four, as was common practice at the time. Disk brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear were also completely OK, the Beetle-wide radial tyres were perhaps a little too narrow. Strangely enough, the more maintenance-intensive pressure system for the windshield wipers was still in place.

The Variant unfortunately came one year after the sedan. It would have been better the other way around. Potential buyers wouldn't have had to start with an unbelievable 390 litres of luggage space at the front and 170 litres at the back, which was difficult to reach. Suddenly the car had 59 kW (80 HP) instead of 50 kW (68 HP) with similar consumption and double headlights with halogen light . But it was too late.

1974 the last VW 412 came off the assembly line. Before that, the engine had been retrofitted with carburetor technology.

As a true contrast to the VW 411 may serve the Renault 16, which appeared 3 years earlier. It had front-wheel drive and not such a strangely forward shifted interior, where the wheel arches got in the way. It was also quieter despite the aluminium engine. However, it didn't reach the durability of a 411 and tended to rust very early.

English subtitles possible



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