What happens in 1938 during the laying of the foundation stone for the Fallersleben plant could be called introduction of a product. Against the will of Hitler, by the way, who still wants to keep the new car secret. It is an impressive construction, Ferdinand Porsche and his team have done a good job since four years. Advertisement refers to 2.5 million test kilometers which seems to be quite a lot for that time.
Basically, this vehicle already has the technical base for the later 'Beetle' : a humble and vibration-free running engine which, in spite of rear installation, does not protrude the rear axle too much; a four-speed transmission, wich shall allow for a constant maximum highway speed of nearly 100 km/h thanks to oil cooling in the airflow - provided there are no mountains! He should provide sufficient space for four adults plus 50 kg`s of luggage, a number characterising the low demands on travelling by that time. The 25 litres of tank capacity include 5 litres of fuel reserve which possibly indicates one filling station per 50 km`s.
The car is considered streamlined until he is modified by a more precipitous and larger windscreen and wider tyres. The front boot will become more usable only later in spite of clearly bigger tank size. The brakes are still operated by cable - which is common at that time even for race cars - thus effecting all four instead of two wheels only. It must be pointed out that the engine can be dismounted and fitted again in all in all 20 min. The compact engine - gearbox combination contributes to the low tare weight.
The suspension has particularly impressed the author of the sales pamphlet. It consists of floating axles putting emphasis on the independent movement of each single wheel. Of course one distances himself from the rigid axle which is sometimes still inserted even in front. The torsion bar spring is available for the Auto Union race car. Particularly weight distribution between front and back is a special author`s interest. In case of the carriage it is achieved by passengers and luggage, while with the racing car it is the huge amount of fuel due to at that time standard use of alcohol and engines consuming accordingly.
A certain remarkable farsightedness of Porsche becomes apparent by the noteworthy dash board. Already since the first Beetle it is designed so that a change of production to right-hand steering is possible almost without problem. Perfect symmetry is required only for the exchange of the instrument gauges. Even the starter button is in the center but one must accept a glove compartment behind the steering wheel. Porsche focusses on export in a political situation targetted on bulkheading off many countries and war. 03/10