Vehicle Weights

I was interested in working out the unladen weight of the car when finished. The original VW Instruction Manual gives a list of the dimensions and weights of the Fastback and the Variant as built. I extrapolated from these values to calculate the extra weight of the doors and then added a bit more to allow for the sunroof.

The following table sets out in kilograms the standard weights and (in italics) the anticipated final weights when completed.

Instruction Manual Fastback Variant
2 door 4 door 3 door 5 door Sunroof
unladen 1080 1100 1120 1140 1160
permissible load 450 430 545 525 505
permissible total weight 1530 1530 1665 1665 1665
permissible front axle load 680 680 680 680 680
permissible rear axle load 870 870 1010 1010 1010

I have increased the weights for the 5-door in the same proportion as for the Fastback, then have added another 20kg for the sunroof. I put the mechanism on the bathroom scales to check that! The handbook gives no clues on the unladen axle weights so, unless I put the finished car on a weighbridge, I cannot say what the weight distribution will be when completed.

Note that, because I am not altering the suspension, the maximum permissible front and rear axle loads and total weight will remain the same. The carrying capacity will thus be reduced slightly from the standard Variant, but I can still carry about half a tonne so I don’t see a problem!

Interestingly, the VW Instruction Manual states that the maximum permissible trailer weight with brakes is 900kg and without brakes is 500kg for all models. UK regulations permit a trailer up to 750kg to be unbraked and I have towed my old Fastback on a (braked) car trailer behind the original Variant before now!