Home / Social media / Cars / The V8 Stealth Beetle is SA's coolest Bug - the full story


The Volkswagen Beetle is one of the most iconic cars of all time. Parents, great grandparents and even great-great grandparents often have stories that involve these cars. The simple but cool car became a huge part of many families and it set in motion a generational love for the Volkswagen brand. There was only really one issue, the power on tap from that air-cooled, 4-cylinder flat-four was rather lacking, the best of them created a whopping 50 hp, give or take. Admittedly the cars did feel quicker thanks to a very short first gear along with clever ratios for the rest of the gears in the transmission. In today’s terms, starter motors have more torque in them. Enter Cape Town-Based 3L Engineering & Design. Here there was a massive love for the legendary Volkswagen, and so in an attempt to modernise and improve on the car, they started a project to rebuild a Beetle from the ground up, all the while improving on every part possible. In their quest for greatness, nothing remained untouched, even designing and creating their own chassis that a modernised Beetle body could be dropped onto. With the OG cars having so few horses available, the main part of the project was to give the Bug a much better get up and go vibe. Instead of doing the often seen 4-cylinder 8-valve Golf motor swap, or the less common but still practical swap to a Subaru boxer engine, or the even rarer Porsche engine swap, the chaps at 3L Engineering & Design instead opted for a 4.2-litre V8 Audi lump with a pair of turbochargers attached. 

Yea, that’s right, a V8 - which explains the name of the limited run of these bespoke cars, as well as the YouTube channel that garners so many views that the videos created detailing the project make it easily one of the largest motoring channels view-wise in SA right now. The company has documented every step of the process in creating the V8 Stealth Beetle, and if we’ve learned anything from out YouTube addiction, it's that automotive fanatics just love to see a project from inception to reality. The video posted is quite new on the channel, and at the time of writing this, the views were around the 700 000 mark, and we fully expect that to climb to the benchmark 1 000 000 views mark. Everything is covered, from body work, design, assembly and tuning. The twin-turbocharged Audi B8 V8 is mated to a 6-speed manual transaxle transmission and the end setup sees the Beetle being very easy to drive, just like any other meticulous restomod build done by an experienced team of designers, mechanics and engineers. Of course, attention does need to be paid to just how fast and far your right foot mashed the loud pedal to the floorboards. In the final tune that customers will have, the Audi V8 produces a very healthy power output just under 300 kW with 480 Nm of torque. That’s more than ten times the standard power of a Beetle. Everything else has also been beefed up too, the suspension, brakes, steering and everything else to do with the drive has been created to handle this massive excess of power. For those not too keen on an Audi V8 lump, the company has now opened up options to future customers and so the V8 Stealth Beetle can also be had with the Chevrolet LS1, LS2 or LS3 providing the power. 

Take a look at the YouTube video that's set to close in on a cool 1 000 000 views because it shows the full story of the Cape-Town based 3L Engineering & Design's build process of their limited edition V8 Stealth Beetle, quite possibly the coolest Beetle ever built using the best in materials and design. Help them get their latest video up to 1 000 000 views because being proudly South African is awesome: Creating a V8 Bug. The full story | V8stealthbeetle

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