VW Type 3

Rev - Oct 26, 2017

By Jan Zumwalt (EAA #66327)

See Also

VW Porsche 356 (9.5 mb) VW_part_catalog_356_1950_1959.pdf
VW Porsche 356 (9.5 mb) VW_part_catalog_356_1960_1965.pdf
VW Porsche 914 (15 mb) VW_part_catalog_911-1_1965-1969.pdf
VW Porsche 914 (9 mb) VW_part_catalog_914_1976.pdf
VW type 1 & 2 (5 mb) VW_part_catalog_T1-T2.pdf
VW type 2 Station Wagon and Bus (47 mb)  - VW_part_catalog_T2_1979.pdf


The Volkswagen air-cooled engine is an air-cooled boxer engine with four horizontally opposed cast-iron cylinders, cast aluminum alloy cylinder heads and pistons, magnesium crankcase, and forged steel crankshaft and connecting rods. Variations of the engine were produced by Volkswagen plants worldwide from 1936 until 2006 for use in Volkswagen's own vehicles and industrial applications; i.e air compressors. Customers have adapted the engine for use in light aircraft and kit car applications.


The VW Type 3 engine was installed on the Saloon/Sedan, Notchback, Fastback, and Squareback model cars.

The Volkswagen Type 3 was initially equipped with a 1.5-litre engine, displacing 1,493 cubic centimeters (91.1 cu in), based on the air-cooled flat-4 found in the Type 1. While the long block remained the same as the Type 1, the engine cooling was redesigned reducing the height of the engine profile, allowing greater cargo volume, and earning the nicknames of "Pancake" or "Suitcase" engine. This engine's displacement would later increase to 1.6 litres.

Originally a single- or dual-carburetor 1.5-litre engine 1500N, 33 kilowatts (45 PS; 44 bhp) or 1500S, 40 kilowatts (54 PS; 54 bhp), the Type 3 engine received a larger displacement (1.6 liters) and modified in 1968 to include Bosch D-Jetronic electronic fuel injection as an option, making it the first mass-production consumer cars with such a feature (some sports/luxury cars with limited production runs previously had fuel injection).