A question we often get: what’s the difference between the VW Beetle vs Super Beetle? Well, with the naked eye you would certainly not see the difference. The VW Super Beetle came to the market in 1971. It is officially known as the VW 1302 from 1971 to 1972 and VW 1303 from 1973 onward but most commonly called Super Beetle.
Main differences between the VW Beetle vs Super Beetle
There are a few differences between the Beetle and the Super Beetle. Let us explain.
A Super Beetle is longer than a standard Beetle
Yes, the Super Beetle is longer than a standard Beetle. However, the difference is negligible. The difference in length is not that great, the body of the Super Beetle is only two inches longer than the standard VW Beetle.
Increased driving quality with the Super Beetle
There were some mechanical differences between the VW Beetle vs Super Beetle. The biggest mechanical difference might be the front suspension. Standard Beetles were designed to use torsion bars, while the Supermodels were upgraded to a Macpherson strut and coil spring setup. This big change increased the driving quality and improved the VW Bug’s poor turning radius. The accuracy of the steering and the smoother ride can easily be detected by taking both cars for a road test.
The Super Beetle has more storage capacity
The storage capacity was always a huge issue with the VW Beetle. Another improvement Volkswagen made with the introduction of the Super Beetle was increased storage capacity. The Super Beetle is longer than the standard Beetle, which allowed Volkswagen to store the spare tire flat in the trunk, located at the front of the car.
On a standard VW Beetle, the spare tire took up a lot of space. With the Super Bug, there is more room for luggage and groceries.
The spare tire is one of the easiest ways to determine if it is a Super Beetle or not.
The Super Beetle has a curved windshield and flatter roofline since 1973
In 1973, Volkswagen made further adjustments to the Super Beetle to distinguish it from the standard model, including the introduction of a curved windshield and flatter roofline. These adjustments were quite subtle and barely visible to the naked eye.
Frequently asked questions
When was the Super Beetle made?
The improved Super Beetles were made from 1971 until 1979. Just like the original VW Bug, there were three versions: the Sedan (made until 1975), the Sedan with sunroof and the Convertible (made from 1971 until 1979).
Can you easily swap parts between both models?
No, swapping parts between a Beetle and Super Beetle is not that easy. For example, you cannot trade out front fenders because they are different.
Are all Convertibles Super Beetles?
No, they aren’t. Only Convertibles that were made between 1971 and 1979 are Super Beetle Convertibles. During this period you were unable to order a Standard Beetle or Bug Convertible.
Does a Super Beetle have Elephant Foot taillights?
All Beetles that were made between 1973 and 1979 had those big round Elephant Foot taillights.
Did they have the same engine?
Yes, the original Beetle and Super Beetle had the same engine so the performance of both vehicles was the same. The engines didn’t use their own numbering system or any other unique Volkswagen parts.
The main difference between the VW Beetle and Super Beetle is the front suspension which provides a better driving experience. Furthermore, the Super Beetle is longer which results in more storage space because the spare tire is located at the front of the car. A final subtle difference is the introduction of a curved windshield and flatter roofline for the Super Beetle.