Saturday, August 16, 2008

1970 Volkswagen K70

Volkswagen K70

Volkswagen K70

The Volkswagen K70 (pronounced as "ka siebzig" in German) is a sedan automobile produced by both NSU and Volkswagen from 1969 to 1974. The K70 was the first VW to have a front-mounted watercooled engine.

The K70 was originally developed by NSU as a smaller brother to the more famous Ro 80, the main difference being that the K70 used a conventional piston engine instead of the Ro80's more complicated Wankel rotary engine. The name "K70" referred to the fact that the engine had a power output of 70 hp (52 kW), the "K" denoting the German word "Kolben", meaning Piston.

In 1969, just as the car was about to be launched, NSU was taken over by Volkswagen, who integrated the Neckarsulm company with Auto-Union/Audi, which it had acquired in 1964. VW was in desperate need for a new family sedan to replace the unsuccessful Type 4, which itself was intended to replace the Beetle. Thinking that the K70, featuring front wheel drive and modern styling, was the perfect way to transform its image, the Wolfsburg firm quickly scrapped publicity material showing the K70 badged as an NSU, and instead put it into production as a Volkswagen.

Despite the different badging, buyers tarred the K70 with the same brush as its unreliable Ro 80 sister car, leading to poor sales. The K70 also became notorious for serious corrosion problems, and very few have survived as a result. It was replaced in 1973 by the Audi-based Volkswagen Passat.


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