|1998 VW Beetle|
The Beetle Design is available with a 105hp 1.2 TSI petrol engine with either a six-speed manual or 7-speed DSG. Or buyers can choose a 2.0 TDI with 110hp with a five-speed manual or seven-speed DSG gearbox.
The Beetle R-Line is available with more powerful engines. The petrol offering is a 1.4 TSI outputting 150hp via a 6-speed manual or 7-speed DSG. The 2.0 TDI diesel in the R-Line version puts out 150hp. Prices for the R-Line spec start from €30,395.
This iconic model dates back to 1945 when the Type 1, which as the Beetle went on to be sold more than 21 million times, rolled off the production line.
By the end of the Second World War in 1945, just 630 of the People’s Car had been built. The state-of-the-art factory in what was to become the present-day Wolfsburg, built specially to make the vehicle, was integrated into Germany’s wartime armaments industry producing mainly military goods. US troops occupied the site in April 1945.
The car was a crucial factor in the development of democracy and mobility in post-war Germany.
Here in Ireland, the Beetle was assembled from 1950 to 1973 and was priced at £465 when it first went on sale. A deal was struck in 1949 when Motor Distributors Limited, founded by Stephen O’Flaherty secured the franchise, with the agreement eventually signed off in June 1950.
|2018 VW Beetle|
The first consignment of cars was delivered in Dublin in October 1950. This agreement with the Irish company for assembling outside Germany was the first of its kind the German firm had made in its foreign sales. Stephen O’Flaherty had bought a former tram depot on the Shelbourne Road in Dublin to carry out assembling the cars. In 1952, the assembly business outgrew that premises and in 1955 was transferred to a new factory on Dublin’s Naas Road. Assembly continued in Ireland until 1974when fully built-up units started to arrive. The Beetle averaged 3,000-4,000 units per year for most of the 30 years it was on sale here.
The Beetle returned more than 60 years after Volkswagen put the original on sale and reached Irish showrooms circa 1999-2000 priced at around £17,000.