As you might know, Volkswagen developed a Type 4 model: the VW 411 and the VW 412. Both cars were manufactured from 1968 to 1974. The type 4 was introduced at the Paris Motor Show in October 1968. At that point, the 411 was VW’s largest passenger vehicle with the company’s largest motor (class: mid-size, large family car). Both 411 and 412 models were air-cooled, had rear placement, rear-wheel drive and a boxer engine. In total, Volkswagen produced only 367,728 Type 4 models during that period (which is not that much compared to the Volkswagen Beetle). Quite a few people found these models less beautiful compared to the VW Type 3.
The successor of this model was the Volkswagen Passat.
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VW Type 411
The VW Type 411 model was manufactured from 1968 to 1972.The engine was a 1679 cc Flat-4. The 411 engine sat hidden beneath the rear boot floor and had a D-Jectronic fuel injection (added from the sweet summer of 1969) – power instantly jumped to 80bhp.
Underneath the 411 was equally ground-breaking with its built-in crumple zones and Porsche inspired fully independent suspension featuring MacPherson struts and a double jointed arrangement at the rear – just like the 911. The spanking new setup paved the way, of course, for its use on the 1302/1303 Super Beetle
This model was decent and solid. It was a reliable car and quite practical. However, its biggest problem was the price tag. Other manufacturers offered similarly equipped models for significantly less money and likely an overall better value. Not many 411 models were sold. Perhaps Volkswagen was hoping that those who had purchased a Bug as a first car or as basic transportation would eventually buy the car as an upgrade.
VW Type 412
The VW Type 412 model was manufactured from 1962 to 1974. The engine was a 1795 cc Flat-4. This model replaced the 411 in 1972. The engine displacement was increased now to 1.8 liters and the front end was changed to a new headlight and nose design by Brooks Stevens. However, sales remained poor.
VW Type 4 engine
The Type 4 engine was very advanced and different back in 1968 compared to the air-cooled Type 1 boxer engine. The flatter Type 4 engine was designed to fit under the floor to provide more boot space.
Visually, this engine was very different compared to the Beetle motor in terms of its cooling shroud, the new 86bhp 1679cc unit was also significantly over square (the pistons and cylinders are much wider than they are long), so it also had a much shorter stroke. This resulted in a more robust engine with lots of low down torque that was able to cruise at high speeds while producing less heat. This engine was designed for powering a bigger, heavier and more refined luxury car.
In 1972 the engine’s twin carb setup was given a shot in the arm courtesy of Bosch D-Jetronic electronically controlled fuel injection which boosted power to 85bhp. With it came a name change to 411LE. That engine was also used in the VW Porsche 914 and also the first 412 when it arrived in August 1972. In the latter application, 0-65mph could be reached in 15 seconds with an accompanying maximum speed of 96mph.
The engine was without any doubt the most successful part of the Type 4 model. It lived on in Porsche 914 until 1976 and the one-year-only 912E (US Market) and finally in the VW Bus and Transporter models until 1982 when it was then highly modified to water cooling and became the “Wasserboxer”.