The SP2 is a sports car developed by Volkswagen do Brasil for the Brazilian market, and produced from 1972 to 1976. It is based on the Brazilian market Volkswagen Variant.

Origins of the project

In the 1970s, the Brazilian market was closed for imports. The only sports car officially made there was the aging (and by then retired) Volkswagen Karmann Ghia, and its successor, the Karmann Ghia TC. Only independent car makers were able to fill the gap, notably Puma, Santa Matilde and Miura.

"Project X"

The Volkswagen subsidiary in Brazil always had some degree of independence from Wolfsburg, so in 1969 they decided to start a new project of their own. A team led by Mr. Schiemann and supported by Rudolf Leiding (the CEO of the subsidiary and later of the entire company), along with his wife Helga Leiding and the designer of the SP2, Marcio Piancastelli, started work on a project they called "Project X". They presented a prototype in 1971, but it would take another year before the car reached production.


The SP2 was built on the frame of a Variant, with the same Volkswagen air-cooled engine, but upgraded to 1,700 cc. It developed , propelling the car from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in around 16 seconds according to period tests and to a top speed of 160 km/h (100 mph). Fuel economy is . When the car was presented, it quickly drew media attention, with its many improvements over the local "air cooled" VW line, an impressive interior, its many extra features and its superb finishing. The name officially stands for "São Paulo", but locals gave it the nickname "Sem Potência", which is Portuguese for "without power".


A car named SP1 was also built, similar in almost every aspects but the engine, logo and a few trim items. However, due to its very poor performance ( from a 1,600 cc engine), it was soon discontinued, after only 88 units were built. Despite being praised by critics for its looks, the SP2 failed to beat its main competitor, the Puma, in the performance category. Although they used similar engines, the fiberglass-bodied Puma was much lighter. This resulted in low sales, and the SP2 was discontinued in February 1976. In total, 10,205 units were made; 670 were exported, of which 155 went to Nigeria. Only one model was delivered to Europe, Portugal. The car is now sought as a valuable collector's item. A white SP2 is displayed in AutoMuseum Volkswagen. While prices during the production time frame were roughly the same as the Beetle, the price of a well-preserved example today is considerably higher than other VW models of its age.


The SP3 concept was an attempt to resolve SP's main problem, lack of engine power, was called "SP3 project". It would be basically an SP2, but with a 1.8L EA-827 (AP in Brazil) engine, water-cooled, 8,5:1, SAE at 6,000 rpm and twin carburetors, all "borrowed" from the Brazilian version of the Passat TS. Although nothing came of the factory project, a prototype was made by Dacon who also offered a (prohibitively expensive) conversion kit.


File:VW SP2 Aguas de Lindóia.jpg|SP2 File: Sp2 interior.jpg|Seats and dashboard File: Sp2 traseira.jpg|Rear view File: Sp2 lateral.jpg|Side view, with ventilation openings visible File: Sp2 portas.jpg|Door interior File: Volkswagen_sp2.jpg|Exterior rear view File: Motor_VW_SP2.JPG|Volkswagen SP2 Boxer Engine - 1700cc. - 75HP File: VW SP2 Right Side.JPG|The VW SP2 taken from the right side


External links

Marcio Piancastelli (designer)

Mundo VOLKSWAGEN SP2 - Facebook Group for fans of the VW SP2

Club of enthusiasts of the model, with pictures (inclusive of the SP3 prototype, in ads of the time)

Technical data

German and English web page about this rare car

German, English and Portuguese web page with a lot of stuff
{{DEFAULTSORT:Volkswagen Sp2 SP2 Category:Cars of Brazil Category:Rear-engined vehicles Category:Cars powered by boxer engines Category:Rear-wheel-drive vehicles Category:Sports cars Category:Coupés Category:Cars introduced in 1972