Why is a mid engine Super Speedster easier to build than a VW pan based Speedster ?

 

FOCUSING ON THE MECHANICAL ASPECTS

 

  • VW based Speedsters are a convenient marriage of a VW Beetle and the 356A Speedster shape.........However:

 

  • To accomplish this marriage many alterations and concessions must be done to the VW pan and its suspension.  They are:

    • Shortening the VW pan about 12" is required to achieve the correct wheel base of a Speedster.  This alteration makes the front/rear weight bias even more undesirable.  Professional chassis technicians with certified welding and alignment skills are required to do this very critical alteration properly.

     

    • The VW Beetle pan must be lowered considerably front and rear to achieve the proper ride height, which when done negates the original design parameters of the VW suspension and steering.  Some like to lower it even below the correct Speedster height which complicates the issue further.  Considerable work and frame alignment knowledge is required to create a workable but still not optimum system.  Optimum critical performance criteria like caster, camber, toe, and bump steer are difficult if not impossible to achieve with these extreme alterations.  The results are poor stability, handling, and braking.

     

    • VW Beetle steering, braking, and suspension components were designed in Germany for a 36-55 horsepower car.  Exceeding these power limitations should ethically force an engineering design inspection of all the critical components to evaluate their capability and modify them as necessary for proper safety considerations.

     

  • In comparison the mid engine Super Speedster is a ground up design that uses no VW Beetle components or design parameters and takes proper consideration for all other demands placed upon the steering, suspension, and braking components.

    • The Super Speedster welded structural chassis is designed for the proper wheel base requirement.

     

    • The proper ride height is already factored into the Super Speedster chassis design.  Importantly, changing the ride height further does not affect the ability to easily achieve alignment specifications or the component design parameters.

     

    • The steering, braking, and suspension components used on the Super Speedster come from a donor car weighing 1500# more than the Speedster and having power capabilities of over 300 HP.

     

    • The beauty is that these high performance components bolt directly onto the Super Speedster chassis with no alterations and with no concerns about caster, camber, bump steer, slip angles or fastener strength.  They are all part of the Super Speedster design.

     

  • The cosmetic completion of the two choices should require about the same effort since they use essentially the same components.

 

  • SUMMARY:   From the discussion above it can be seen that you can immediately begin the drive train and cosmetic elements of the mid engine Super Speedster assembly without making any alterations.  On the other hand the VW Beetle pan, suspension, braking, and steering components require valuable assembly time and resources to make all of the serious alterations created by the alteration process which at best are questionably proper.

 

  • IMPORTANT NOTE:

 the completed VW Beetle pan version will not have:

  • Power assisted 4 wheel disc brakes with a 300+ hp design limit

  • structural welded chassis

  • a longer and wider foot well

  • mid-engine balance and the inherent performance capabilities

  • wider inside floor pan which allows the use of the more comfortable  slide/lean/recline roadster style seats

  • accurate interior appearance

  • rack and pinion steering

  • Macpherson strut front suspension

  • Double upper wishbone rear suspension

  • frame protected fuel tank

  • hydraulic clutch system

  • A  2-1/2" to 4" lower seating position to keep the eye level below the top of the Speedster windshield frame

  • a locking rear storage trunk

  • accurate body shape and positioning

  • 3 point retractable seat belts

  • ..........and more