In 1961, Volkswagen introduced the Type 34 Karmann Ghia, based on its new Type 3 platform. It was the launch vehicle for Volkswagen's new 1500 cc engine. It was the fastest, most luxurious, and most expensive Volkswagen at the time. Due to model confusion with the release of the Type I 1500 in 1967, the public dubbed the Type 34 the "Razor's Edge Ghia" in England, "Der Große Karmann" (the big Karmann) in Germany and "European Ghia" in the United States.
One interesting option introduced in 1963 was an electrically operated sliding steel sunroof - a feature copied from its Porsche cousin, which introduced it in 1961. The styling was more squared-off, versus the curved appearance of the original Karmann Ghia, offering more interior and cargo room. This venture into a more upmarket realm with a low volume production car was not a success, and production ceased in 1969 after 42,505 units plus 17 prototype convertibles were built. Today, the Type 34 is considered a semi-rare collectible. The Wilhelm Karmann factory assembly line which assembled the Type 34 also produced the Porsche 914 - the Type 34's replacement.