Although the Volkswagen Beetle came fourth in the 1999 Car of the Century competition after the Ford Model T, Mini, and Citroën DS, the original Bug is one of the most influential cars in history. With 21,529,464 built between 1938 and 2003 – 15,444,858 of these were produced in Germany – it was one of the most popular vehicles of the previous century. It should come as no surprise that Beetle mania is still alive and taking on different forms around the world.
In Great Britain, for example, there are plenty of people who like to put superchargers in Beetle air-cooled engines. Some are even dedicated YouTube channel – Haus Compressor / VW Aircooled Supercharger – which focuses on the technical aspects of fitting a Beetle engine with a supercharger. One of the most recent videos shows a supercharged Beetle doing a dyno run to reveal its massive power gain.
Let’s start with a little background first. The engine on this modified Beetle has been upgraded from the stock 1,600cc to 1,641cc, which is common among Beetle enthusiasts. There’s also improved carburetor tuning and other minor tweaks that result in an increase in output of about 50 horsepower (37 kilowatts).
But that was before the supercharger kit. In this case, the package is Haus Ultimate Compressor Kits, which includes an AMR500 supercharger connected to a genuine Weber DCOE 40 carburetor with MST serpentine pulley system. This package required an electric fuel pump and crankcase oil breather, which this particular car had. The kit costs $2,250 (1,750 British pounds) and the company building it promises almost double the factory power.
But is it achievable? This video takes us to the dynamometer on which the car runs to show its engine power. The final figures are 100.1 horsepower (73.62 kilowatts) and 126.9 pound-feet (172 Newton-meters) of torque at the crank.