In the mid-80s, the development wheels in Neckarsulm were running at full speed. NSU was working full steam ahead on two mid-range newbies. The Ro70 with Wankel engine was destined to show the world the innovation potential of NSU in an ultramodern way. A second mid-range car, also stylistically progressive, with a more conventional engine, was also in the week. That became the Kolben 70, in short the KXNUMX.
In the final year of the Sixties, the stylish sedan would be shown to the public in Geneva as the NSU K70. Everything changed when NSU was taken over by VW. The manufacturer from Neckarsulm was merged with VW subsidiary Audi. Mother Volkswagen also received the complete model range of NSU.
NSU K70 becomes Volkswagen K70
Several prototypes had already seen the light of day, and the K70 was almost ready for its market debut. The closeness of NSU by the Volkswagen concern meant that the new middle class would only see the light of day in 1970 as a VW K70. The acquisition of Neckarsulm was the go-ahead to gently convince the large VW buyers of a new technical era. The first steps on the path of water cooling, front-wheel drive and inline engines forced Wolfsburg and all affiliated dealerships into a strong mindset. The helm did not change radically, because the air-cooled boxer models also remained a spearhead of VW. The Volkswagen K70 represented Volkswagen's middle class, along with the 411 (and later the 412) series.
The press received the VW K70 well. The journal was impressed by the K70. It convinced with its excellent driving characteristics, front-wheel drive, independent wheel suspension with McPhersons at the front and sloping wishbones at the rear. The well-functioning separate braking system and the space offer also received approval. The Volkswagen K70 debuted with the 1605 cc overhead cam engine. The power source was available in both the 75 PK and the 90 PK variant. Disc brakes at the front and drums at the rear provided the speed deceleration.
The VW K70 also suffered from figurative headwinds, because the buyer paid a hefty price due to the high production costs (rear axle, three-piece gearbox, complex engine-box combination). Another reason for the high production costs was that NSU had developed the car. As a result, there were no interchangeable parts with other VW models. In other words: VW had to produce it separately.
VW Werk Salzgitter
Volkswagen planned a production of 500 units per day of the newcomer. It was built in the new VW Werk Salzgitter. The Volkswagen K70 was regularly adapted, in such a way that it could now share parts with the group brothers VW 411 and Audi 100. Modifications also took place in other areas. The VW K70 L versions got double headlights, at the same time Volkswagen reconsidered the K70 in terms of comfort. An example was the use of a two-stage instead of a three-stage fan. Also cosmetic details and things like lighting in the glove compartment disappeared. VW planned engine adjustments to reduce the high fuel consumption of the Volkswagen K70. It also carried out interventions in the field of – initially moderate – aerodynamics (different hood, modified fenders). In addition, Volkswagen applied much better sound insulation and improved gearbox synchronization.
An important change from 1973 was the arrival of the automatic choke. And from May of that year, Volkswagen also supplied the K70 with an 1800 cc engine, which showed an impressive power of 100 HP, and was linked to the trim levels S and LS. The elastic 1.8 variant replaced the 90 HP variant of the 1605 cc power source. In fact, the arrival of this power source was the last major change for the model, although 1974 was also dominated by modifications. But the end of the car developed by NSU was in sight. The gracefully lined car had meanwhile been joined by group members VW Passat and Audi 80. In addition, the VW K70 was not sold to the desired extent during its production years, partly because of the high asking prices.
Pioneering for VW
In January 1975, for example, the last Volkswagen K70 was built in Salzgitter. In the five years of its production, the elegantly lined and rather progressive VW 211.127 was built. He can be conceptually regarded as the pioneer of an entirely new generation of Volkswagens, without the K70 technology being given a place in Passat and co† Nevertheless, the success of the later front-wheel drive VWs with a water-cooled engine can be attributed to the innovation drive of the NSU developers. They unknowingly pioneered VW's work in the XNUMXs with this beautifully lined car.
- NSU Ro 80. Controversial, died too early, endlessly beautiful
- Audi, NSU and the importer conflict in the polder
- NSU-Fiat, a fight divorce
- VW Passat. An affordable classic
- Volkswagen 412, the nose bear