NSU Prinz
Overview
 
The NSU Prinz is an automobile
Automobile
An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor...

 produced in West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

 by the NSU Motorenwerke AG
NSU Motorenwerke AG
NSU Motorenwerke AG, normally just NSU, was a German manufacturer of automobiles, motorcycles and pedal cycles, founded in 1873. It was acquired by Volkswagen Group in 1969...

. The car was built from 1957 to 1973, and received a model change in 1961 (the old model was continued until 1962).
The first post war NSU car appeared in 1957 accompanied by the advertising slogan "Fahre Prinz und Du bist Koenig" ("Drive a Prince and you're a king"). The first generation Prinz was available with a saloon body featuring an upright roof line and seating for four people.
Encyclopedia
The NSU Prinz is an automobile
Automobile
An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor...

 produced in West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

 by the NSU Motorenwerke AG
NSU Motorenwerke AG
NSU Motorenwerke AG, normally just NSU, was a German manufacturer of automobiles, motorcycles and pedal cycles, founded in 1873. It was acquired by Volkswagen Group in 1969...

. The car was built from 1957 to 1973, and received a model change in 1961 (the old model was continued until 1962).

NSU Prinz 30

The first post war NSU car appeared in 1957 accompanied by the advertising slogan "Fahre Prinz und Du bist Koenig" ("Drive a Prince and you're a king"). The first generation Prinz was available with a saloon body featuring an upright roof line and seating for four people. The doors opened wide enough to permit reasonable access even to the rear seats, although leg room was severely restricted if attempting to accommodate four full sized adults. In addition to a luggage compartment accessed via a hatch at the front of the car and shared with the spare wheel and fuel filler, there was a narrow but deep full width space behind the rear seat sufficient to accommodate a holiday suitcase.

The noisy two-cylinder 600 cc 20 PS engine was located at the back
RR layout
In automotive design, a RR, or Rear-engine, Rear-wheel drive layout places both the engine and drive wheels at the rear of the vehicle. In contrast to the RMR layout, the center of mass of the engine is between the rear axle and the rear bumper....

 where it drove the rear wheels, initially via a "crash" gearbox. Later versions gained a four-speed all-synchromesh gearbox. Contemporaries were impressed by the brevity of the maintenance schedule, with the engine, gear box and final drive operating as a single chamber and all lubricated by means of oil, added through a filler in the rocker box cover. There were just two grease nipples requiring attention, positioned on the steering kingpins. The engine was also commended in contemporary reports for its fuel economy and longevity. Although noisy, the engine offered impressive flexibility, recalling NSU's strengths as a motorcycle manufacturer.

In 1959, a little coupé was added, the Sport Prinz.

NSU Sport Prinz

The Sport Prinz was designed by Franco Scaglione
Franco Scaglione
Franco Scaglione was an automobile coachwork designer.-Biography:Franco Scaglione was born in Florence to Vittorio Scaglione, a chief army doctor, and to Giovanna Fabbri, captain of the Italian Red Cross service. His was a well-to-do family of noble ancestry...

 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
Neckarsulm
Neckarsulm is a city in northern Baden-Württemberg, Germany, near Stuttgart, and part of the district Heilbronn. As of 2004, Neckarsulm had 27,296 inhabitants....

 at a company called Drautz which was later bought by NSU
NSU Motorenwerke AG
NSU Motorenwerke AG, normally just NSU, was a German manufacturer of automobiles, motorcycles and pedal cycles, founded in 1873. It was acquired by Volkswagen Group in 1969...

.

First models had the Prinz 30 straight-2 engine (583 cc), but a maximum speed of 120 km/h (74.6 mph) was nevertheless claimed.

Later, the Sport Prinz acquired the 598 cc engine of the Prinz 4.

NSU Prinz 4



One of the revelations of the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 1961, the NSU Prinz 4 replaced the original Prinz. Its new body closely resembled that of the then fashionable Chevrolet Corvair
Chevrolet Corvair
-First generation :The 1960 Corvair 500 and 700 series four-door sedans were conceived as economy cars offering few amenities in order to keep the price competitive, with the 500 selling for under $2,000...

, 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
Autocar
Autocar is a weekly British automobile magazine published by Haymarket Motoring Publications Ltd. It refers to itself as "The World's oldest car magazine".-History:...

 magazine road tested an NSU Super Prinz. They had previously tested a Prinz 4 in 1962, and in commenting on how little the car had changed in the intervening six years quipped that some of their road testers appeared to have gained more weight than the commendably light-weight Prinz in that period. The tested car achieved a top speed of 113 km/h (70.2 mph) and accelerated to 97 km/h (60.3 mph) in 35.7 seconds. The home grown Mini 850
Mini
The Mini is a small car that was made by the British Motor Corporation and its successors from 1959 until 2000. The original is considered a British icon of the 1960s, and its space-saving front-wheel-drive layout influenced a generation of car-makers...

 made it to 97 km/h 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 NSU Prinz was retailing in the UK for a manufacturer's recommended retail price of £597, which was more than the (possibly below cost amount of) £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, that it offered 'no more than the rest' but that neither did it 'lack anything important'.

Prinz derivatives

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, first called Typ 110
NSU Typ 110
The NSU Typ 110 was a small car first presented at the 1965 Frankfurt Motor Show, widening NSU’s range in the process. It was based on the NSU Prinz 1000 but with a longer wheelbase and a front overhang which increased available space both in the passenger cabin and in the luggage compartment...

, and from 1967 on as the NSU 1200
NSU Typ 110
The NSU Typ 110 was a small car first presented at the 1965 Frankfurt Motor Show, widening NSU’s range in the process. It was based on the NSU Prinz 1000 but with a longer wheelbase and a front overhang which increased available space both in the passenger cabin and in the luggage compartment...

. It offered more space, 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.

End of production

When NSU was acquired by Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Volkswagen is a German automobile manufacturer and is the original and biggest-selling marque of the Volkswagen Group, which now also owns the Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, SEAT, and Škoda marques and the truck manufacturer Scania.Volkswagen means "people's car" in German, where it is...

 in 1969, it was merged with Auto Union
Auto Union
Auto Union was an amalgamation of four German automobile manufacturers, founded in 1932 and established in 1936 in Chemnitz, Saxony, during the Great Depression. The company has evolved into present day Audi, as a subsidiary of Volkswagen Group....

 AG. Auto Union had previously been taken over by VW in 1964 and produced mid-sized cars, resurrecting the Audi
Audi
Audi AG is a German automobile manufacturer, from supermini to crossover SUVs in various body styles and price ranges that are marketed under the Audi brand , positioned as the premium brand within the Volkswagen Group....

 marque. The name of the new company changed to Audi NSU Auto Union AG. The small, rear-engined NSU models were phased out in 1973, as they were far too competitive against Volkswagen's own Beetle and production capacity was needed for larger and more profitable Audi models. The successor of the NSU Prinz was the front-wheel driven Audi 50
Audi 50
The Audi 50 is a supermini produced by German automaker Audi from 1974 to 1978 and sold only in Europe. Introduced two or three years after the Italian Fiat 127 and the French Renault 5, the model was seen at the time as Germany's first home grown entrant in Europe's emerging "supermini"...

, later rebadged as the Volkswagen Polo
Volkswagen Polo
The Volkswagen Polo is a supermini car manufactured by Volkswagen. It is sold in Europe and other markets worldwide in hatchback, saloon, coupé and estate variants....

.

Related models

According to some sources, in 1966, the Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 manufacturer ZAZ
ZAZ
ZAZ or Zaporizhia Automobile Building Plant is the main automobile-manufacturer of Ukraine, based in the south-eastern city of Zaporizhia. It is also known for its former mother company name, AvtoZAZ...

 created a virtual copy of the NSU Prinz — the ZAZ-966, but the chassis was totally different from the NSU; the engine was an air-cooled 900 cc V4
V4 engine
A V4 engine is a V form engine with four cylinders and three main bearings.-Automobile use:Lancia produced several narrow-angle V4 engines from the 1920s through 1960s for cars like the Lambda, Augusta, Artena, Aprilia, Ardea, Appia, and Fulvia....

 producing 30 PS (later, a 1200 cc 40 PS). However, the prototypes of the ZAZ-966 were ready in 1961 and both cars in fact were heavily influenced by the Chevrolet Corvair
Chevrolet Corvair
-First generation :The 1960 Corvair 500 and 700 series four-door sedans were conceived as economy cars offering few amenities in order to keep the price competitive, with the 500 selling for under $2,000...

, which was intensively tested on the plant just prior to the 966's development in early 1960s.

Under license, the Prinz was manufactured in Sarajevo
Sarajevo
Sarajevo |Bosnia]], surrounded by the Dinaric Alps and situated along the Miljacka River in the heart of Southeastern Europe and the Balkans....

, Bosnia
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

, by PRETIS (Preduzece Tito Sarajevo) factories.

The NSU Prinz was also manufactured in Argentina by Autoar, making mainly models Prinz II and Prinz III / 30. It is told that only 40-45 Sportprinz were imported and a few Prinz IV (less than 10).

The Ramses was the first car produced in Egypt, and was the result of a co-operation between the new Egyptian car firm Egyptian Light Transport Manufacturing Company, and the German NSU. The factory was located right next to the Great Pyramids. Plans were to produce around 10.000 cars a year, most of the work being manual labor.

External links

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