Thursday, April 22, 2010

Volkswagen Concept: SpeedMeuller

Like a green tree frog, Volkswagen Concept: SpeedMeuller, has long and powerful hind legs and shorter but still strong front legs. Courtesy of 17 inch Escara rims, SpeedMeuller’s fenders fill out nicely mimicing the strength of the frog legs.

At the ends of their fingers and toes, tree frogs have pads that help in climbing because they are rough and are covered with a sticky secretion. SpeedMeuller has Dunlop Direzza DZ101 ultra high-performance tires that offer extra bite for added grip like those sticky fingers.

The Mexican leaf-frog can rapidly change colors from brown to intense green with gold spots, has cream-colored underparts, and has golden eyes reticulated with black. Painted the same eye-searing green hue, Volkswagen Concept: SpeedMeuller does it’s best imitation. Streamlined with a matching fender skirt, it looks like SpeedMeuller is adept at slicing through the water like the best amphibians.

For Volkswagen, speed was never a consideration above normal traffic and cruising. The Beetle was built to transport its occupants from A to B reliably and efficiently and for many years Volkswagen felt it unnecessary to increase the power of the flat four.

Naturally some people can’t help themselves.

Volkswagen Concept: Speedmeuller is powered by the holy grail of Volkswagen vintage speed. The heart of this concept is probably the best engineered engine conversion available for the Volkswagen in the 50s. Okrasa (the name is devired from Oettinger KRAftfahrtechnische SpezialAnstalt), specialised in turning the reliable, if somewhat underpowered, 25bhp Volkswagen engine into something that would allow the owner to hold his head up high on the Autobahn.

The Okrasa kits, initially offered in 1951, gained in popularity thoughout the ’50s, where VW-based exotics, like Rometsch and Dannenhauser & Stauss chose these engines for installation on their brand new cars, giving their sportly-looking vehicles some sports car-like performance.

The ultimate Okrasa kit, and the one used in SpeedMeuller is the Okrasa TSV-1300/30. Consisting of a beautiful chrome-moly stroker crank of 69.5mm (1295cc), special cylinder heads (34.5mm inlets and the Okrasa script cast in between the rocker studs, the compression ratio was set at 7.8:1), a Fram oil filter, Okrasa’s oil cooler, new inlet manifolds (like the later dual-port Volkswagen engines), a pair of Solex 32mm carbs (as used on early Porsche 356s), with filtering courtesy of a couple of chromed Knecht air-filters, and a simple chromed linkage will bellcrank operation.

So, after shelling out hard-earned wages, what could the SpeedMeuller owner expect? Well, quite a lot really. While the stock 30-horse VW just about struggled to 70mph on a good day, Okrasa claimed a top speed of 83mph with a 0-62mph time of 18.5secs for a Beetle. Punching out a whopping 48bhp at 4200rpm, the Okrasa-cranked TSV-1300/30 motor could rev quite safely to 5200rpm, while maximum torque was produced at around 2200rpm.

Driving the SpeedMeuller on today’s roads is no problem as it can easily keep up with the traffic flow. It is quite possible to cruise at a steady 70mph and still record over 34mpg, proving that you can have your cake and eat it too.

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