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German VW restorer builds custom mid-engine Beetle roadster

by Ben Hsu

The Memminger Roadster 2.7 is a Bug in looks only.

A German Volkswagen restoration shop has come out with its own coachbuilt roadster modeled after the classic Beetle but with a mid-engined powertrain.

The Memminger Roadster 2.7 is an open-top two-seater developed in-house by the restorer of original Beetles. Though it looks like one of the classic Bugs, it shares virtually no body panels with the original. Instead, it sits lower, wears sportier fenders, and even has a well-designed spoiler that looks new but stays true to the aesthetic of the old Bug.

Underneath the bespoke bodywork is a tube-frame chassis, with MacPherson strut front suspension and a trailing arm setup in the rear. The engine, a 2.7-liter flat-four, is mounted midship and is based on the same motor found in the Porsche 914, Volkswagen Type 4, and Bus. However, the unit has been modified by Memminger to produce 210 horsepower and 182 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission and is, of course, air-cooled.

The interior remains very simple, with a classic 3-spoke steering wheel and tartan racing buckets. Only five gauges can be seen from official photos — a speedometer and tachometer before the driver (with embedded fuel level meter), and three auxiliary meters denoting oil pressure, oil level, and an analog clock. There appears to be no stereo or HVAC controls.

No prices have been announced. At this time, it's unclear whether the car will be a one-off or something that the shop plans to build at low volume. Regardless, it's a stylish interpretation of an icon that only contributes to the diversity of the automotive aftermarket.