1968 NSU Prinz 1000 TT
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History of the car
One of the revelations of the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 1961,the Prinz 4 replaced the original Prinz. Its new body closely resembled the then fashionable Chevrolet Corvair, but was of course much smaller. Like the original Prinz, it was powered by a two-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.
In 1968, Britain's Autocar road tested a Super Prinz. They had tested a Prinz 4 in 1962, and in commenting on how little the car had changed in the intervening six years quipped some of their road testers appeared to have gained more weight than the commendably light-weight Prinz in that period.The test car achieved a top speed of 113 km/h (70 mph) and accelerated to 97 km/h (60 mph) in 35.7 seconds.The home grown Mini 850 reached 97 km/h (60 mph) in 29.5 seconds in an equivalent recent test and also managed to beat the NSU's top speed, albeit only by about 3%.At this time, the UK car market was heavily protected by tariffs, and the Prinz's UK manufacturer's recommended retail price was £597, which was more than the (possibly below cost) £561 asked for the 850 cc Mini, but certainly not completely out of touch with it.The testers concluded their report that the car was competitively priced in its class and performed adequately.They opined, cautiously, it offered 'no more than the rest' but neither did it 'lack anything important'.
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 straight-4 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.
In 1965, an even larger model was added, initially called Typ 110, and from 1967 onNSU 1200. It offered more space, so it was a better family car, but was not as sporty as the smaller models. Therefore, the NSU 1200TT used the 1200 cc engine of the 1200 in the smaller body of the NSU 1000.When NSU was acquired by Volkswagen in 1969, it was merged with Auto Union AG. Auto Union had previously been taken over by VW in 1964 and produced mid-sized cars, resurrecting the Audi marque. The name of the new company changed to Audi NSU Auto Union AG. The small, rear-engined NSUs were phased out in 1973, as they were far too competitive against Volkswagen's own Type 1 and production capacity was needed for larger and more profitable Audis. The successor of the NSU Prinz was the front-wheel drive Audi 50, later rebadged Volkswagen Polo.