Even though the Volkswagen Beetle came fourth in the 1999 Car of the Century competition after the Ford Model T, the Mini, and the Citroën DS, the original Bug is one of the most influential automobiles in history. With 21,529,464 units built between 1938 and 2003 – 15,444,858 of which were produced in Germany – it was one of the most popular vehicles in the previous century. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that the Beetle mania is still pretty much alive and takes different forms all around the world.
In the United Kingdom, for example, there’s a solid base of people who like to install superchargers on the Beetle’s air-cooled engines. There’s even a dedicated YouTube channel – Kompressor Haus / VW Aircooled Superchargers – which focuses on the different technical aspects of fitting a Beetle engine with a supercharger. One of the most recent videos shows a supercharged Beetle making a dyno run to reveal huge power gains.
Let’s start with a little background first, though. The engine in this modified Beetle has been upgraded from the stock 1,600cc displacement to 1,641cc, which is a common thing among Beetle enthusiasts. There’s also an upgraded carburetor setup and other smaller tweaks that result in an increased output of around 50 horsepower (37 kilowatts).
But that’s before the supercharger kit. In this case, the package is the Kompressor Haus Ultimate kit, which includes an AMR500 supercharger connected to a genuine Weber DCOE 40 carburetor with an MST serpentine pulley system. This package requires an electric fuel pump and a crankcase oil breather, which this particular car has. The price of the kit is $2,250 (1,750 British pounds) and the company that builds it promises almost double the factory power.
But is that achievable? This video takes us to the dynamometer where the car pulls a run to reveal its engine power. The final numbers are 100.1 horsepower (73.62 kilowatts) and 126.9 pound-feet (172 Newton-meters) of torque at the crank.