Perhaps this comes under the heading of ‘grim fascination’ rather than ‘guilty pleasure’, but I have always been intrigued by this final manifestation of the Beetle concept, an outward expression of the corporate anguish Volkswagen was experiencing as it struggled to come up with a concept to replace its multi-million selling people’s car.
First seen in 1968, but dead as soon as 1974, the Type 4, which started as the 411 before the 412 took over in ’72, came as two-door saloon and estate, and was also VW's first four door saloon model.
It pioneered MacPherson struts at Wolfsberg, too. Yes, I can hear the ‘ooohs’ and ‘aaahs’ from here…
If one were being generous it could be argued that shape looked airy and modern, but the suave effect was rather spoiled by the familiar dry rattle of an air-cooled flat-four emanating from the rear end.
It was an attempt to break into the medium-sized family-car market with a machine that offered all the ‘benefits’ of Beetle motoring.