History of NSU:                                                                                                             Source: Wikipedia.com

 

The first generation Prinz was available in a saloon body with an upright roof line and seating for four people. The noisy twin cylinder engine was located at the back where it drove the rear wheels via a "crash" gearbox (later versions gained synchromesh). In 1958 a little coupé was added, the Sport Prinz.
 

The Sport Prinz was designed by Franco Scaglione at Bertone studios in Turin. Approximately 20,831 were manufactured between 1959 and 1967. The first 250 bodies were built by Bertone in Turin. The rest were built in Neckarsulm at a company called Drautz which was later bought by NSU.

First models had the Prinz 30 engine (583 cc), later ones had the 598 cc of the Prinz 4.
The NSU Prinz 4 replaced the original Prinz in 1961. It got a new body, very similar to the Chevrolet Corvair, but of course much smaller. Like the original Prinz, it was powered by a 2-cylinder, air-cooled engine in the rear. The Prinz 4 was much improved and continued to be a well-engineered car, like its predecessors. The engine carried on the tradition of eccentric rod driven camshaft inherited from NSU motorcycle engines and interestingly had a dynastart combined starter/generator built into the crankcase. Later four cylinder engines adopted the more conventional (pre-engaged) separate starter motor and alternator.

The NSU Prinz evolved into the somewhat larger bodied NSU 1000, NSU 1000TT, NSU 1200TT and NSU TTS models, introduced in 1963. All had the same body with 4-cylinder aircooled OHC engines and were frequently driven as sports cars, but also as economical family cars as well. The engines were very lively, and highly reliable. Paired with the low total weight, excellent handling and cornering, both the NSU 1000 and the much higher powered NSU 1200 TT/TTS outperformed many sportscars. Even today more than thirty years later, it remains difficult finding an economical car for seating four to five adults with such high levels of performance, handling, reliability and robustness.

In 1965, an even larger model was added, first called Typ 110, from 1967 on NSU 1200. It offered more place, so it was a better family car, but it was not as sporty as the smaller models. Therefore, the NSU 1200TT used the 1200 cc engine of the 1200, but in the smaller body of the NSU 1000.
When NSU was acquired by Volkswagen, the name was changed to Audi-NSU AG, and the small, rear-engined NSU models were quickly phased out, as they were far too competitive against Volkswagen's own Beetle. It was after acquisition of NSU that the VW organisation became known for making affordable modern front-engine cars.

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1965 NSU Sport Prinz