HOW TO COMPARE SPECIALTY AUTO-SPORTS, INC. SPEEDSTERS

 WITH TYPICAL VW BASED SPEEDSTERS

very similar to comparing a modern car with a dune buggy

SALES@specialtyauto.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During years of enjoyable discussions with potential clients regarding the merits of  Specialty Auto-Sports, Inc.  Subaru powered Speedsters  I found that most  really did not have a sufficient understanding of the typical VW Speedster in order to make a meaningful  comparison.

 

 

Comparisons are futile because there is so much to remember  in the presentation.  Because of this information void I have developed a comparison check list to assist prospects in preparing themselves for a valuable exchange of information with the various manufacturers.

 

 

 

 

 

COMPARISON LIST

'click' on any topic

 

 

 


 

Origin

Virtually all 356A replicas are mostly made out of the USA.......except the  SAS products

Specialty Auto-Sports, Inc.

  • Fiberglass Body and molds-East TN USA

  • Welded Chassis -   East TN  USA

  • Body Assembly -   East TN  USA

  • Final Assembly  -   East TN  USA

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Typical VW based

  • Fiberglass Body and Molds - Mexico, Brazil, Canada, Europe

  • Body Assembly -  Mexico, Brazil, Canada, Europe

  • Final Assembly  -  USA

 


Engine:

21st century engines are very efficient and powerful.....1938 design Beetle engines are still a 1938 design

Specialty Auto-Sports, Inc.

  • Subaru  Boxer 4 cylinder 2500cc  (2006-2010 versions)
  • water cooled
  • 170hp      166 #/ft torque
  • Single overhead cam SOHC - no valve adjustment required
  • multiport fuel injection
  • OBDII engine management
  • noise level - quiet
  • Fuel economy -   32-40 mpg (for 170hp version)
  • 6 month/6000 mile engine transaxle warranty

 

 

 

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Typical VW based

  • VW Beetle 4 cylinder 1600cc (1938 design)
  • air-cooled
  • 55hp       77 #/ft  Torque
  • in-block cam with lifters and adjustable rockers
  • 34PICT single throat Carburetor
  • Distributor, points, condenser, rotor
  • noise level - high to very high
  • Fuel economy -  22-29 mpg (for 60 hp version)
  • Try to get "any" warranty on a Beetle engine which is not stock built.

 

 

 

 


Engine Maintenance:

a case of seldom maintenance vs. constant maintenance

Specialty Auto-Sports, Inc.

  • Replace cam belts (75,000 to 100,000 miles)
  • oil change  3750 miles
  • platinum or iridium tip plugs (100,000 miles)
  • some engines have coil packs

 

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Typical VW based

  • valve adjustment (1500-2000 miles)
  • oil change 2000 miles
  • points, wires, plugs, condenser, distributor cap, rotor (periodically)
  • carburetor cleaning and adjustment (periodically)

 

 

 


Transaxle:

regardless of the "claimed" aftermarket performance engine hp...the driveline components are only capable of the original as delivered by VW HP.

Specialty Auto-Sports, Inc.

designed for OEM 300 + hp capability

  • Subaru 4 Speed Automatic with Overdrive

  • OBDII controlled for optimum efficiency

  • Subaru "sport shift" shift on demand feature

also optional

  • Subaru 5 Speed manual with Overdrive

  • hydraulic clutch

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Typical VW based

designed for OEM 35-60hp capability

  • VW Beetle 4 Speed manual - No overdrive

  • 1938 design and "rebuilt" with used parts from salvaged VW transaxles

  • Cable activated clutch

 

 

 

 

 

 


Suspension and steering

regardless of the "claimed" aftermarket engine hp...the suspension components are only capable of the original as delivered by VW  HP.

Specialty Auto-Sports, Inc.

designed for Subaru  300 + hp capability

Front

  • Subaru Macpherson Strut

  • coil over shocks -  selection of coil rates

  • Rack and pinion steering

Rear

  • High performance Subaru double upper wishbone

  • double row cage wheel bearings

  • 3 adjustable lateral links - for alignment

  • coil over shocks - spring rate selectable

 

 

 

 

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Typical VW based

designed for VW 35-60hp capability

Front

  • VW Beetle front suspension - some with king pin (1938 design) some with ball joint.(1967 design)  Cast trailing suspension arms

  • Stacked leaf torsion strip springing - non adjustable

  • Standard hydraulic shocks - non adjustable

  • Recirculating ball steering with various linkage bars (1938 design)

Rear

  • VW Beetle swing arm (1938 design)

  • Welded sheet metal trailing arms

  • spherical single row wheel bearings

  • minimal alignment adjustment

  • hydraulic shocks

  • torsion bar springing - non adjustable

 

 


Brakes

 

Specialty Auto-Sports, Inc.

designed for Subaru 300+ hp capability

Front - power assisted disc with ABS

  • 12" ventilated  rotors

  • 4 piston Subaru calipers

  • DOT 4 silicone brake fluid

Rear - power assisted disc with ABS

  • Subaru  10-3/4" non-ventilated rotors

  • Subaru Legacy Calipers

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Typical VW based

designed for VW 35- 60 hp capability

Front - drum

  • 1-1/2" shoes with drums

  • Manual   (non-power assisted)

  • DOT 3 brake fluid

Rear - drum

  • 1-1/2" shoes with drums

  • manual  (non-power assisted)

 

 


Chassis

There are some in the industry who claim their Speedster body "sub-frame" is a "structural chassis"

 - is this engineering na´vetÚ ? does this na´vetÚ extend to other areas in the car assembly ?

Specialty Auto-Sports, Inc.

  • Custom engineered structural tube design surrounding the occupants

  • Front and rear diagonally braced structural crush members

  • Steel frame reinforced doors

  • Steel floor

  • Forward steel firewall and foot wells

 

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Typical VW based

  • VW Beetle pan (1960-1966) shortened

  • Steel 2x4 lower perimeter frame positioned below doors

  • No structure in doors

  • Steel or fiberglass floor

  • No Firewall between tank and occupants

  • fiberglass foot wells

 

 

 

 


Fuel System

 

Specialty Auto-Sports, Inc.

  • 15+/- Gallon fuel tank

  • electric fuel pump immersed inside tank with top outlet

  • Fuel supply lines run on outside of frame rails

  • located forward of occupant zone - separated by steel firewall and steel floor

  • Surrounded by welded steel impact structure

  • automatic safety fuel shut off in case of fuel line rupture

  • tank secured to welded frame - with metal straps

 

 

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Typical VW based

  • 8 Gallon VW Beetle sheet metal gas tank

  • uncontrolled gravity feed tank with outlet on tank bottom -any leaks pour down on the floor of the car or into the battery box.

  • Fuel supply line runs inside car.

  • Tank is located in occupant zone over occupants lap - attached to and separated only by fiberglass trunk floor

  • Surrounded by fiberglass - no impact protection

  • no safety fuel shutoff

  • tank secured to 1/8" thick fiberglass trunk floor with bolts and washers

 

 

 

 

 


Engine Cooling System

 

Specialty Auto-Sports, Inc.

  • High efficiency double pass custom aluminum radiator - rear mount

  • Two 10" fans controlled by OBDII computer

  • One fan runs at low rpm constant on

  • One fan runs at high rpm  - "on" only at elevated temperatures and/or AC on - computer controlled

 

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Typical VW based

  • Belt driven fan blowing air through a sheet metal housing and over the engine cooling fins

  • Air flow direction controlled by sheet metal shrouds on top of engine

  • Very noisy system especially at high rpm

  • Losing a belt usually results in a cooked engine

 

 


Emissions

 

Specialty Auto-Sports, Inc.

  • Meets 2006-2013 USA/EPA emissions

  • Maintains catalytic convertors, Oxygen sensors, EGR, tank fumes control, Carbon canister systems, Idle air control

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Typical VW based

  • 1965-1977 VW Beetle emissions levels

  • Import of VW Beetles was halted in the 1977 model year because they could not meet the USA emission and noise control requirements.

 

 


Heater-Defroster System

 

Specialty Auto-Sports, Inc.

  • An independent AC-heater-defroster plenum is hidden from view built into the plenum structure of the car - just like a modern car

  • controls are electric servo actuated which gives a blended variable temperature control.  You can choose to send either only Cool Air or Heated air or a blend through the system.

  • controls also allow bilevel air flow control through the vents - "dash vents only", "blend vents and floor", "floor only", "defrost".  The heat and flow capacity of the defrost system will also "de-ice" windshields.

  • Heat is obtained from thermostatically controlled constant source 195F hot engine water

  • Heat and defrost is delivered by a 3 speed fan delivering a powerful flow to all selections

 

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Typical VW based

  • There is no heater-defroster plenum

  • Lever control is mounted on the floor tunnel where a connected cable opens a flap on the engine exhaust manifold shroud to allow heat collected from the exhaust manifold to blow back through the steel sub frame and exit at your feet.

  • SAFETY NOTE: you must monitor for leaks at the exhaust manifold that can allow carbon monoxide to enter the heat system and the occupant area.

  • some of this air is tapped and directed to defroster slots on the dash.

  • very little heat or air flow is extracted from this system and virtually no defrost is delivered.

 

 

 

 

 

 


General Data

 

Specialty Auto-Sports, Inc.

  • Weight Bias -  the true measure of performance handling as attested by the manufacturers of all world class high performance road cars.

  • Our 5 Speed Speedsters have about a 46/54 weight bias which delivers precise directional control, more weight on the front

  • better balanced braking

  • This is achieved by placing the engine mid-ship thereby lowering the polar moment of inertia

 

 

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Typical VW based

  • The typical VW Speedster has about a 38/62 weight bias.  Less balance which translates into a lighter front end with less front braking and directional control, and slower responsiveness to driving commands

  • Rear end swing out (swapping ends) on a curve is an "endearing" Porsche characteristic to which any Porsche owner can attest

https://youtu.be/nbY-u1BeBUQ

 

 

 

SALES@specialtyauto.com