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The Volkswagen Beetle (officially the Volkswagen Type 1, informally in Germany the Volkswagen Käfer, in Poland the Volkswagen Garbus and in the U.S. the Volkswagen Bug) is a two-door, four passenger, rear-engine economy car manufactured and marketed by German automaker Volkswagen (VW) from 1938 until 2003.
Ferdinand Porsche developed the Type 12, or “Auto für Jedermann” (car for everybody) for Zündapp in 1931. Porsche already preferred the flat-four engine, and selected a swing axle rear suspension (invented by Edmund Rumpler), while Zündapp insisted on a water-cooled five-cylinder radial engine. In 1932, three prototypes were running.
All of those cars were lost during World War II, the last in a bombing raid in Stuttgart in 1945.