The history of VW K70 . 

 

Originally NSU had the intention to bring the K70 on the market with a 1700cc 90Hp engine to fill in the gap between the NSU RO80 and
the NSU Prinz . The introduction was planned for the spring of 1969 , it was Claus Luthe who has first designed the K70 in 1964 . There were also plans to introduce a RO70 , same car body as the K70 but with a two rotor Wankel engine in the front .


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NSU K70
Picture ; Auto , motor & sport Germany March 1969

But because of financial difficulties NSU didn’t have the possibility to  introduce the K70 by itself on the 69 Motor Show in Geneva . Just before the
grand opening of the annual fair , Volkswagen toke the proto-type away from the NSU stand .
Luckily there were  already toke
some official photographs of the NSU K70  and spread among the people of the press .

The next year Volkswagen brought the K70 unaltered on the market . The real reason was that to a lot of people didn’t find it possible
that Volkswagen kept the strongly out-of-date 411 in production while they had the ready-to-produce NSU K70 in their portfolio , which was much
more modern .

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VW 411
 
Wolfsburg wasn’t deaf for this criticism . It was even a very unusual car for Volkswagen , normally the people were use to see a
rear build-in , air-cooled boxer engine , in a rear wheel operated car . The K70 was the complete opposite of that ,
front wheel driven and a four in line water-cooled engine in the front . Volkswagen even build a complete new factory in Salzgitter for
the production of it .
There were even plans to build a VW K70 Combi , I personally think it’s not a big lost that they didn’t build it , the car
was a disaster to look at .
All of this , together with independent wheel framework , a superb position on the road , big interior-space and big trunk , Volkswagen thought they
had build the best Volkswagen ever . Unfortunately , it didn’t reflect in big selling figures , with a total of 211.127 K70’s in four and a half year ,
Volkswagen decided to end the production . The internal competition was to heavy (Audi , Passat , Golf ,…).
From the 211.127 cars , there were about 85.000 equipped with a 1600cc/75Hp engine , 105.000 with a 1600cc/90Hp engine and at last 20.000
with a 1800cc/100Hp engine .The 75Hp model was produced during the complete career , starting from 01/08/1970 till 31/03/1975 .
The 90Hp version was produced till 31/05/1973 , then it was replaced by the 1800cc/100Hp model .
In August 1971 there were some car-body modifications , like as bumpers which  were composed in one piece and more enveloping the car corners .
Also some sound-reducing modifications were made , like filling-up the hollow spaces with foam .
One year later , August 1972 , the biggest changes were made , the front fenders and engine hood were redesigned .
The gearbox was a new version which has influence on the consumption , the car consummated indeed a little less .

For the equipment levels I can be short , only two choices were possible . The normal version or the L(uxury)-version ,
the Luxury-version had a trip counter , make-up passenger mirror , carpets , relax-seats with sleeping-position , rear coach
with central armrest and rubber strips on the bumpers .
The option list was also short , triplex windscreen , tinted glass , second rearview mirror , rear window heating , front fog lights ,
head restraints , steel sun-roof , car radio and a 55 Amp strong alternator(instead of 43A) .

With his strong and powerful engine , his independent wheel suspension , big interior and trunk space , the Volkswagen K70 was the primus of his class
in those years . Unfortunately , the K70 was an expensive car to buy , also there were some problems with leakages , engine sounds and difficult
shifting gearbox . In today’s modern and turbulent  traffic you can still drive the K70 without any problems .
Most of the K70’s didn’t survive . Of the approximately 10.000 sold copies in Belgium , are maybe 20 pieces left , that’s why I started a register of
the still existing Volkswagen K70’s .

jeffrey@volkswagen-k70.be 

 

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