The Suzuki Samurai and Volkswagen Beetle share one very common theme: They are both exceptionally slow. As it turns out, they are also both exceptionally beige. However, we wanted to find out which one was the slowest. So, Nathan and Mike headed to the race track, IMI Motorsports Complex, to find out in a good old fashioned drag race. Plus, they ran some tests to see which was better to live with on a daily basis. Oh, and a 30-0 MPH braking test, to see which has better brakes.
120 Horsepower Combined (When New)
The powerplants could not be more underwhelming. Under the Suzuki’s hood is a 1.3-liter inline-four that made (at one point) 62 horsepower and 76 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to either the rear, or all four wheels through a 5-speed manual transmission.
The Beetle has a slightly larger, but no more powerful 1.6-liter flat-four that made (again at one point) around 60 horsepower. Power is sent to the rear-wheels only through a 4-speed manual.
In summary, we have a combined 2.9-liters that make a total of what is now much less than 120 horsepower. This should make for an exhilarating drag race, surely.
Which is better to live with?
To find out, we did a backseat space test. The Suzuki was surprisingly livable in the backseat, with plenty of room for Nathan and Mike. The Beetle was still doable, though much less comfy overall.
We also tested for storage space. In this regard, the Beetle should have been the clear winner. Unfortunately, the cable for the hood release was stretched out, keeping us from getting into the front-trunk. As a result, the Suzuki won, despite having a horribly impractical trunk access system and an even more horribly impractical amount of space behind the rear seat.
30-0 MPH Braking
Here the Suzuki has one clear advantage: The advent of disc-brakes (in the front). The Beetle has 4-wheel drum brakes. Though, their reputation for stopping power is actually rather positive. Despite the Beetle’s best efforts, the Suzuki managed to stop much faster, thanks to discs as well as the aerodynamic properties of a brick.
Both vehicles weigh around 2,000 lbs (Beetle is closer to 1,700 lbs). Both have about 60 horsepower, so the race was actually really close. But, to find out who won, you’ll have to watch the whole video!
Stay tuned to TFLcar.com for the latest news, views & real-world reviews and more really fun, but really slow drag races!