1947 VW Beetle-Based V2 Sagitta is More Aerodynamic than New Golf, Mercedes CLA!

Can you imagine a 24-hp car that could reach a top speed of 140 km/h (87mph)? If you think such a performance is hard to achieve now, imagine what it was like in the 1940s. Because the car we’re talking about was developed toward the end of World War II by a German engineer by the name of Kurt Volkhart.

In the early 1940s he started work on streamlined versions of VW’s Typ-60 Beetle, as he wanted to explore Baron von König-Fachsenfeld’s aerodynamics studies. This is how the “V2 Sagitta” project was born.

Volkhart mated a Beetle chassis and powertrain to a streamlined lightweight aluminum body that was so slippery it allowed the car to reach a top speed of 140 km/h (87mph). That’s an impressive achievement considering the car was powered by the same 24-hp 1.1-liter boxer engine from the original Beetle.

Because of the war, only one example of the V2 Sagitta was built in 1947. For a while, Volkswagen thought the car had disappeared, but recently found it in Austria and brought it over to Wolfsburg in January 2013 to test it in its wind tunnel. VW wanted to see how the V2 Sagitta stands up to today’s cars. The results were amazing. It turns out that the V2 Sagitta has a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.217 corresponding to a frontal area of 2.10 square meters.

This means the car is two times more aerodynamic than the VW Beetle it was based on, which had a Cd of 0,46 and a frontal area of 1.80 square meters. While that is not surprising, it’s only when comparing the V2 Sagitta’s results with those of modern cars that we get a true sense of Volkhart’s work.

The 1947 car is more aerodynamic than Volkswagen’s Golf Mk7, which has a drag coefficient of 0.27 and a frontal area of 2.19 square meters. Not only that, but it also beats the most aerodynamic production car of the moment, the Mercedes-Benz CLA, which has a Cd of 0.22!

Volkhart’s car also stands up really well against its modern-day equivalent – the Volkswagen XL1. At 0.189 and a frontal area of 1.50, the XL1 beats the V2 Sagitta, but not by an overwhelming margin.

By Dan Mihalascu

PHOTO GALLERY

1947-Volkhart-V2-Sagitta-11947-Volkhart-V2-Sagitta-21947-Volkhart-V2-Sagitta-41947-Volkhart-V2-Sagitta-51947-Volkhart-V2-Sagitta-3

  • Nate

    Imagine if this car was taken by the Western Allies as war reparations, especially since Major Ivan Hirst offered the Beetle to other UK carmakers along with the services of Ferdinand Porsche that the UK carmakers rejected.

    Whichever carmaker that would have decided to produce this car outside of Volkswagen would have made a killing in terms of profit, add a lighter more powerful Boxer engine such the air-cooled Panhard Flat-2 and you are talking about a car that can crack the 100 mph barrier.

Trucker Masterfully Steers Clear Of Three-Car Collision In Australia

The impact was so fierce, the engine of the silver sedan detached and flew over the barrier.

Canadian Gets A Big Assman Decal On His Pickup – And It’s NOT What You Think

It’s actually the man’s surname, but it’s listed as one of the names banned by the Saskatchewan Government Insurance.

Top 5 Things You Need To Know About The 2019 Porsche Macan

The facelifted Macan brings enhanced styling, a new infotainment system and a revised 2.0-liter turbo four.

2019 Kia Cerato/Forte Hatch Is A Good Buy – But Can It Excite You?

The all-new Kia Cerato offers good value for money and a very decent ride, so it should be enough for most.

This Man Bought A Rolls-Royce Phantom For $80K, So How Did It Turn Out?

Instead of a brand-new Lincoln Navigator, you can get a modern Rolls – if you’re brave enough.

2019 Geneva Motor Show A-To-Z Of All New Cars And Concepts

A round up of all the production and concept cars debuting at the Geneva Motor Show.

Thank God We’ll Never See An Urus-Based Pickup Truck. Right Lambo?

Lamborghini has made an SUV, but won’t build a pickup – or at least we hope so.

Mother And Kids Almost Hit By Car Braking In The Snow

This incident in Canada could have been much worse if the car hadn’t come to a stop in time.

BMW M850i Vs. Mercedes-AMG S63 Coupe Drag Race: Davai!*

The M850i and S63 Coupe go head-to-head in Russia – and their race has a clear winner.

Climb Aboard The Fully-Working, Life-Size Lego Bugatti Chiron

Powered by 2,304 tiny motors from the Lego Power Function series, the model can hit a top speed of 12 mph.