To the chagrin of a lot of small-car lovers out there, Volkswagen has decided to kill off the Beetle. It’s a sad decision, as the nameplate is one of the oldest in the automotive industry and the car brought out a laid back side to VW, which is known for being pretty serious.
The Beetle may be dead, but that hasn’t stopped Memminger Feine-Cabrios, a German-based company, from creating its own high-performance variant.
Georg Memming, founder of Memminger, started restoring classic Beetles back in 1992. Apparently, he was pretty good at it and now, the company he founded has branched out from just doing restorations. From the looks of things, the man knows what he’s doing.
The Roadster 2.7 is aptly called that because of its air-cooled 2.7-liter four-cylinder boxer engine, which takes some inspiration from the Type 4 that powered the VW 411 and 412 models. The output is pretty impressive, as the motor is rated to 210 HP (156 kW) and 182 lb-ft (247 Nm) of torque.
Unlike the latest Beetle, the Roadster 2.7’s motor sits in the middle of the car and is paired to a five-speed manual gearbox. The company isn’t giving away any of the vehicle’s specs, but believes that the car should be able to hit a top speed of at least 124 mph (200 km/h), so it’s not a slouch.
In addition to get an upgraded engine, the vehicle also gets disc brakes from a classic Porsche 911, reinforced suspension, lightweight 18-inch alloy wheels and chunky tires. The result is a vehicle that weighs in at just 1,763 lbs (800 kg) and should be pretty fun to throw around.
Speaking of driving, the company wanted that part to be the focus of the vehicle, so there’s not a lot in terms of amenities or electronics. There’s no multimedia system in the cabin, just a simple tachometer, speedometer, a temperature gauge, an oil pressure gauge, and an analogue clock. Memminger doesn’t want anything to take away from actually driving.
As with other vehicles from Memminger, the Roadster 2.7 is based off of an older Beetle, but the company doesn’t state which one they’ve utilized. Our best guess is that it started off in life as a Beetle sometime between ’70 to ’79. To ensure the engine fit snugly behind the two passengers, the company lengthened the wheelbase, but shortened the overall length of the vehicle compared to a classic Beetle and also increased the width considerably.
Visually, it’s a lot more aggressive thanks to all sorts of swoops, widened components and gorgeous curves. Those black targa-like components behind the seats are to hide the roll bars, but also help feed air into the engine. The company has also tacked a spoiler onto the back of the Roadster 2.7 that looks really good.
At the moment, Memminger is just using the Roadster 2.7 as a concept. If the company gets enough interest, they may be persuaded to make exactly 20 units. From the looks of it, they shouldn’t have much trouble finding customers. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but the company charges five figures for its restorations, so this could sneak into the six-figure mark.
Still, for something that looks like it could’ve come from Stinger if the 911 builder decided to start making Beetles, we’re sure the 20 individuals that do pay up for the Roadster 2.7 will be very happy. To get more information, check out the video below.