Small 2 cylinder air cooled 4 stroke car. Interconnected (front to back) independent suspension. Produced from 1948 till 1990. About 7 million (counting variants) produced.
Prototype for all modern small cars. Front engine, front wheel drive, rack and pinion steering. Most other cars of the time were rear wheel drive like the modern BMWs or rear engined, rear wheel drive, like the Beetle.
Originally designed to be made out of aluminium. Has a seperate load bearing chassis, and a flat floor, like a modern A class Mercedes.
Engine very simple yet made to very high tolerances. Flat twin configuration, similar to BMW boxer motorcycle engines. Can do more than 200000 miles with minimal maintenance. Capacity 325-600cc, increasing as traffic got faster through the years. Final models had a top speed of 71 mph. Initial models about 40mph.
Design brief called for a car that could carry 4 people and a sack of potatoes at 40mph, along unpaved roads, and do 90mpg. It should be able to fixed by a village blacksmith, and cost very little to run. The suspension should enable the car to cross a ploughed field with a basket of eggs on the passenger seat without breaking any.
This car mobilised post WWII France.