Following the unparalleled success of the Beetle, Volkswagen was left in a powerful position. But despite the iconic car’s absolute dominance of global markets, they knew it was a situation they couldn’t expect to continue forever. The sensible option was to widen the range, giving potential customers the option of a new, more exclusive product to trade up to. Hence, the Type 3 was born.
The Type 3 was an evolution of the Beetle, designed to remove some of its shortcomings – chiefly being perceived as old fashioned, cramped and with not much space for luggage. It was also a more modern looking vehicle, with plenty more space inside plus both a front and rear boot.
Available first as a two-door ‘notchback’ saloon with a 1493cc engine – called the Variant – which was introduced in 1962, with a fastback two-door that followed in 1965. By then, there was also a 1584cc engine as well. Despite being an improvement on the Beetle technically speaking, and shifting a not insignificant two million editions, the classic original still managed to outlive the Type 3 by many years.
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