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商业 - 汽车

大众甲壳虫的前世今生

ALEX TAYLOR III 2011年11月09日

大众甲壳虫是汽车史上最经典的车型之一,最近它又迎来了一次改头换面的升级,下面我们就带领大家一起来回顾一下大众甲壳虫 75年的进化史。

我和甲壳虫有个约会

    我是婴儿潮早期出生的那一代人。像许多同龄人一样,我的第一台车是一台大众甲壳虫(Volkswagen Beetle)。我的大学是在佛蒙特州念的,当时校园里到处都是这种车,所以我也很自然地选择了它。大众富有创新性的广告宣传塑造了甲壳虫既时尚、又实用的形象,这也正符合我的个人形象,而且价格也正适合我。我当年刚满21岁,刚被允许可以在学校里拥有一辆车,我就立刻花了600美元,买了一辆1961年版的黑色甲壳虫。(现在想想,这真是一笔划算的投资,最近有人登广告出售黑色的1961版甲壳虫,叫价高达14,500美元。)

    那个时代的甲壳虫有硬顶式和敞篷式两种车身造型,不过动力系统却没得选,只有一款风冷后驱发动机,搭配三速手动变速箱。最早的甲壳虫没有我们常见的转向灯,而是转向时通过车身侧面一个摆动的灯光条来提示。在1961年版甲壳虫上,这种设计终于被后来常见的传统转向灯所取代,但是车里还是没有油表。我也像其他司机一样,车里随时备着应急油箱。每次车子没油抛锚的时候,我都暗暗祈祷事先没忘记把应急油箱装满。

    这台黑色甲壳虫几乎完美地服务了我好几年,后来我把它处理给了我弟弟,自己又买了一辆沃尔沃544S,不过这次升级远远称不上完美。我从不怀疑甲壳虫这款车型可以延续这么多年。1938年到2003年间生产的第一代甲壳虫是世界上历史最悠久、也是生产得最多的一款汽车。它的后继车型,也就是1999年版的新甲壳虫,在历史上并没有那么重要的地位,但它的设计同样特立独行。最近,我有机会试驾了最新款的2012年版甲壳虫,它让我回想了过去75年来,这款拥有汽车史诗地位的“汽车活化石”的前世今生。

Meet the Beetles

    Like many members of my early baby boom generation, my first car was a Volkswagen Beetle. My Vermont college campus was blanketed with them, which made it an easy call. The hip, utilitarian image created by VW's innovative advertising fit my own self-image, and the price was right. Right after I turned 21 and was allowed a car on campus, I paid $600 for a black 1961 Beetle . (What an investment that could have been! A black '61 was recently advertised for sale at $14,500).

    Beetles of that era came in two body styles -- hard-top and cabriolet -- and with one powertrain option: air-cooled, rear-engine, three-speed manual transmission. The flipper turn signals had finally given way to more conventional lights, but there was still no gas gauge. Like other drivers I relied on the emergency tank, silently praying that I had remembered to fill it every time I made a changeover.

    That black Beetle served me nearly flawlessly until I passed it on to my brother and graduated much less successfully to a 544S Volvo. Little did I suspect that the Beetle would remain alive as long as I have. The original rear-engined Beetle, produced from 1938 to 2003, is the longest-running and most manufactured automobile in history. Its immediate successor, the 1999 New Beetle, is less historically significant but equally iconoclastic. Recently, I got a chance to drive the latest edition of this automotive epic, the 2012 Beetle, and it made me think about all its incarnations over the last three quarters of a century.

    1938—1953年

呱呱坠地:1938—1953年

    大众甲壳虫的历史可以追溯到纳粹德国。1933年,希特勒命令保时捷之父费迪南德•保时捷研发一款大众化的轿车——这也是“大众”这个品牌得名的由来。尽管让费迪南德•保时捷扬名立万的是跑车,但是他当时却生产了一款造型别致的汽车,挡风玻璃是竖立的,车身采取独特的圆形造型,搭载了一款风冷式后驱发动机。几款原型车在二战前研发了出来,但它直到1946年才开始量产。这款车追求的重点不是性能,它的发动机只有34匹马力,需要27.5秒才能达到每小时60英里的速度,最高时速也只有每小时71英里。

The first Beetle: 1938-1953

    In 1933, Adolf Hitler ordered Ferdinand Porsche to develop a people's car -- literally "volkswagen" in German. Porsche, who would go on to design the sports car that bears his name, produced a two-door car with an upright windshield and a distinctive round shape, powered by an air-cooled engine mounted in the rear. A few prototypes were developed before World War II, but mass-production did not begin until 1946. Performance was not a priority. The 34-horsepower engine required 27.5 seconds to reach 60 mph, and the car had a top speed of 71 mph.

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