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Friday, December 30, 2016

Hot Wheels Volkswagen Kafer Racer

We've seen all of them: VW Beetle's, of course.  Many different models, many different colors, many different manufacturer's.  They're all out there to choose from.  So, when your a company like Hot Wheels and want to cater to the Air-cooled VW fans again with something unique and you've done all of the VW's you can possibly think of?  Well you start digging deeper and then you find something really out there: a racing Beetle!

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The name "Kafer" in German refers to "Beetle", so this is essentially a Beetle race car.  While the VW Beetle is not the ideal race car (unless you count Herbie), a few have seen some racing success.  This one goes after the higher-end FIA Group race cars.  The front-end has larger front fenders with recessed gills after the front wheels and integrated headlights.  They flank the stock Beetle hood with separate gas cap opening at the top, and the fenders are joined at the bottom by a lower spoiler and additional vents between the hood and fenders.  The fenders front and rear also increase the length of the Beetle by double and give the Beetle a more race car look.  The stock roofline remains and is identical Beetle, right down to the split window at the rear.  The rear gets more familiar with fenders that flow down to the ground at the rear where a rear spoiler connects the two; can you say Porsche 934/78 whale tail?

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The engine is located not in the trunk-less rear as in typical Beetle's, but inside the interior where the rear seats used to reside.  Inside you can see the detailed flat-6 (it could be a flat-4, but given the connection to Porsche it could be using a Porsche flat-6) with the intake coming from the roof (the vent is flush with the roof for some reason) and then the transmission comes out where the old Beetle engine used to be flanked by dual exhaust with taillights below the tips.  All this gives the Beetle the aerodynamics and power to take on the Group racers.  It feels vastly different than your typical Beetle too: you feel more central rotation and you have to accustom yourself to the added extra length of the body.  Inside there's seating for two people with the stock dashboard layout and shifter which would likely have added racing gear to them.

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Well, it looks like Hot Wheels has finally found another nitch that no one else has never done before, and that nitch comes in the form of a VW Beetle ready for the professional race track.

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