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The NSU Prinz (Prince) is an automobile which was produced in West Germany by the NSU Motorenwerke AG from 1958 to 1973.

NSU Prinz I, II & III

The first post-war NSU car, the Prinz I, was launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 1957 accompanied by the advertising slogan "Fahre Prinz und Du bist König" ''("Drive a Prince and you're a king")''. After a pilot run of 150 preproduction cars, volume production began in March 1958. The Prinz I was available as a 2-door saloon Michael Sedgwick & Mark Gillies, ''A-Z of Cars 1945-1970'', page 145 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 engine was located at the back 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. The Prinz II (a 'luxury' version) was released in 1959 with better trim and an all-synchromesh gearbox.''1960 NSU Prinz III'', www.microcarmuseum.com
Retrieved 9 February 2016
A 30E export version was equipped with a 30 hp engine. The Prinz III was launched in October 1960 featuring a new stabilizer bar and the 30 hp motor. NSU received government approval to build the Prinz in Brazil in the late 1950s, but nothing came of the project. File:NSU Prinz II (12506691224).jpg|NSU Prinz II File:NSU Prinz 30.JPG|NSU Prinz 30E File:NSU Prinz III 1961 (18283962053).jpg|NSU Prinz III of 1961

NSU Sport Prinz

The Sport Prinz was a 2-seater sports coupe variant. It was designed by Franco Scaglione at Bertone studios in Turin. 20,831 were manufactured between 1958 and 1968. The first 250 bodies were built by Bertone in Turin. The rest were built in Heilbronn at Karrosseriewerke Drauz which was later bought by NSU. The Sport Prinz was initially powered by the Prinz 50 straight-twin engine but a maximum speed of was nevertheless claimed. From late 1962 a engine was fitted. The NSU Spider was a Wankel rotary powered two-seater roadster based on the Sport Prinz platform.

NSU Prinz 4

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 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 and accelerated to in 35.7 seconds. The home grown Mini 850 reached 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'.


Prinz 1000, TT


The NSU Prinz evolved into the somewhat larger bodied NSU Prinz 1000 (Typ 67a), introduced at the 1963 Frankfurt Motor Show. A sporting NSU 1000 TT (with a 1.1 litre engine) also appeared, which was later developed into the NSU (1200) TT and NSU TTS models. All had the same body with inline-four air-cooled 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. The Prinz 1000 lost the "Prinz" part of the name in January 1967, becoming simply the NSU 1000 or 1000 C depending on the equipment. It has DIN, while the 1200 TT has DIN and the most potent TTS version has DIN from only one litre. The 1000 received large oval headlights, while the sportier TT versions have twin round headlights mounted within the same frame. The first 1000 TT has DIN and uses the engine first introduced in the larger NSU Typ 110. The NSU Prinz 1000 TT was built in 14,292 examples between 1965 and 1967, when it was replaced by the bigger engined TT. This, with a 1.2-liter engine, was built until July 1972 for a total of 49,327 examples. The TT can be recognized by its broad black stripe between its headlights. The TTS was built especially for competition, being successful in both hillclimbs and circuit racing. It has a front-mounted oil cooler and was built in 2,402 examples from February 1967 until July 1971. It was briefly referred to as the "Prinz 1000 TTS" when first introduced. There was also a competition model of the TTS available for sale, with . Production of the Typ 67a (NSU 1000) came to a halt in December 1972. In 1965, an even larger model was added, initially called Typ 110, and from 1967 on NSU 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.

End of production

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 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.

Related models

Under license, the Prinz was manufactured in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, by PRETIS (''Preduzeće Tito Sarajevo''). Around 15.000 vehicles were made.SFRJ četvorotočkaši: Šta su pravili i vozili Jugosloveni?
at ba.n1info.com, 23-12-2015
The Prinz was also manufactured in Argentina by Autoar, making mainly models Prinz II and Prinz III / 30. A total of 2.432 units were built between 1959 and 1963. It is told only 40-45 Sportprinz and a few Prinz IV (less than 10) were imported. 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 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. The Prinz 4-cylinder air-cooled engine was also famously adopted by Friedl Münch in 1966 for the hand-built Münch Mammoth motorcycle, at the time the fastest and most expensive motorcycle in production.

References



External links

*http://www.nsu-ig.de/ *https://web.archive.org/web/20170315082748/http://www.nsuprinz.com/
Restored NSU Sport Prinz in Israel
{{DEFAULTSORT:Nsu Prinz Prinz Category:Rear-engined vehicles Category:Cars introduced in 1958 Category:Cars powered by 2-cylinder engines