VW Type 1 & 2

Rev - Oct 21, 2017

By Jan Zumwalt (EAA #66327)



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.


Type 1 & 2, also known as T1, TI, T2, TII - The VW Type 1 & 2 engine was installed on the Beetle, Karmann Ghia, and Transporter. Like the Volkswagen Beetle, the first Volkswagen Transporters (bus) used the Volkswagen air-cooled 1.1 litre, DIN-rated 18 kW (24 PS, 24 bhp), air-cooled four-cylinder "boxer" engine mounted in the rear. The 22-kilowatt (29 PS; 29 bhp) version became standard in 1955.

Another version of the Type 1 engine which developed 25 kilowatts (34 PS; 34 bhp) debuted exclusively on the Volkswagen Type 2 (T1) in 1959. The second-generation Transporter, the Volkswagen Type 2 (T2) employed a 1.6 litres and 35 kilowatts (48 PS; 47 bhp). A "T2b" Type 2 was introduced by way of gradual change over three years. The 1971 Type 2 (1600cc ) featured dual intake ports on each cylinder head, and was DIN-rated at 37 kilowatts (50 PS; 50 bhp).