Specifications for the 1973 Volkswagen Super Beetle

by Joel Douglas
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In 1971 Volkswagen began offering the Super Beetle alongside its standard line of Beetle automobiles. The Super Beetle featured the same basic design as the standard model, but added a new front suspension system and a redesigned front-end. These changes resulted in a sharper turning radius and increased front cargo space compared with the standard Beetle. The 1973 model, with its curved windshield and full-sized dashboard, further modified the Super Beetle design.

Engine and Transmission

The 1973 Volkswagen Super Beetle uses the same 1,600 cc four-cylinder engine found in earlier standard and Super Beetles sold in North America since 1971. The engine sits in the rear of the vehicle, leaving the front compartment free for cargo space. The engine provides a maximum of 5,500 rpm. Its transmission features a four-speed, manual gear box and a dry plate clutch. The 1973 Volkswagen Super Beetle can reach a top speed of 90 mph. It gets approximately 25 miles per gallon in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.


The 1973 Volkswagen Super Beetle uses a MacPherson strut front suspension system, which is the major difference between the Super and standard Beetle lines. The new suspension system eliminates the dual parallel torsion beams used in standard Beetles, resulting in more trunk space in the Super Beetle line. It also allows the spare tire to lie horizontally in the trunk, instead of the upright position found in standard Beetle models. The Super Beetle also uses a full-sized dashboard compared with the flat dashboard included with standard Beetles. The sedan supplies four seats and two doors.

Safety Features

Volkswagen installed three-point safety belts and a collapsing steering wheel in the 1973 Super Beetle. The manufacturer also added a curved windshield to the Super Beetle line to comply with new U.S. safety regulations governing the distances between the windshield and passengers. The redesigned windshield sits further away from the passengers and provided room for a padded, full-sized dashboard.

Special Edition

Volkswagen also marketed a special edition version of the 1973 Super Beetle, known as the Sports Beetle. The Sports Beetle featured red and black stripes, bucket seats, silver Lemmertz GT wheels and radial tires. Volkswagen also painted the tail pipes, door handles, trim, bumpers and wiper blades with a black matte finish. Volkswagen offered the Sports Beetle upgrade for an addition $250 over the standard Super Beetle price.

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