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Auto blogThu, 10 Jan 2013 17:04:00 EST
Sometimes you meet folks who, when they tell you "Hey, I have an idea," your reflex response is to stop what you're doing and tell yourself, "Get ready...." We imagine Mike Niemans is one of those folks, and the idea in question is putting a tank engine on a Type 1 Volkswagen Beetle. Not just any old tank engine - as if there were such a thing when we're talking about putting them in cars - but a 668-cubic-inch, 220-horsepower radial engine built by Continental in 1941 and procured from an M2 tank.
In the image above Nieman is using the tank clutch hub to get the motor set up, but in one of the images below you can see what really belongs back there is: a two-inch, reverse-pitch prop taken from a wind generator. He says there's enough mojo with the propeller action to get the car rolling down the runway like a jet when he gives it gas - and speaking of gas, the engine's been refitted to run on propane.
After a few safety tweaks Nieman's going to take the matte-black Beetle to Bonneville, "put the prop on, let her go and see what happens!" We can't wait to see the video of that. There are two shakedown videos below to get you ready.
Potential labor woes aside, it looks like Volkswagen's Chattanooga, TN factory must have done something that impressed the bosses in Germany, because it sounds like the three-year-old factory is set to score a second model.
The factory currently builds the Passat, and has been in the running alongside VW's Puebla, Mexico factory to build a new crossover vehicle, likely based on the CrossBlue Concept. According to Bloomberg, a pair of unnamed sources have confirmed that Chattanooga is the favorite ahead of an official announcement.
When last we heard about the CrossBlue Concept, word was that a production decision had been delayed over concerns about the three-row CUV's business case. That August 2013 story claimed that a decision regarding the CrossBlue would be pushed back until early in 2014, which means we're ripe for some sort of news, whether good or bad.
The Scirocco is undoubtedly one of the better-looking models in the Volkswagen lineup, but introduced back in 2008, it's now been on the market - some markets, anyway - for the better part of six years. VW is said to have an all-new replacement in the works, but before that arrives, the German automaker has announced a facelifted version with revised styling and a new engine lineup.
Set to be revealed at the Geneva Motor Show next month, the new Scirocco benefits from updated styling front and rear, high-tech exterior lighting, a revised cabin space with some throwback retro touches, some new technologies and, of course, an array of fresh wheel options ranging from 17 to 19 inches.
The updated Scirocco will be offered with a wide array of engines right from the get-go, including four gasoline options and two diesels, spanning from 125 horsepower all the way up to the 280-hp Scirocco R. The 2014 model hits European showrooms in August, but unfortunately isn't any more likely to make the transatlantic voyage Stateside than the version it replaces. Still interested? There's plenty to see in the high-res image gallery above and details in the press release below.