Despite decent sales figures, the VW Beetle received a lot of flack from pretty much everybody over its 65-year lifespan. It was often the butt of many of automotive jokes and it would certainly not be at the top of your list for sunny Sunday drive. You would never associate it with speed or driving thrill, nor is it frankly something you’d want to be seen in full stop. But this beetle, tuned by German company Memminger, is different. Very different.
For a start, it looks brilliant! Admittedly, ‘tuned’ may not be the most accurate description of what Memminger have done to this classic car; only the headlights and bonnet are vaguely reminiscent of the original. The two cars have a similar body shape in the same way Dawn French and Margot Robbie do.
It’s lower, more aggressive stance complemented by the accentuated wheel arches give the Memminger Roadster a Retro race-ready feel seen in the likes of the Singer 911. Its vastly different underneath too. The famous rear engine configuration is gone. Now the engine has moved into the middle to make an all-round better driving experience. The engine in question is a delightfully exciting addition; a 210bhp 2.7-litre air-cooled flat four boxer engine. Thanks to an incredibly low kerb weight, that amount of power should make for decent straight-line progress while 225mm tyres up front and 255mm tyres outback, ensure cornering should be equally as effortless.
Unfortunately, no word on availability or pricing for this magnificent beast. Its purpose is to show off what the company can do, which in some respects is a real shame. Memminger has nailed their PR project, but it would be great to have seen one of these out on the road.