Volkswagen SP2 (1971): Brazilian sports coupe
In spring 1971 a vehicle was unveiled which the automobile world never would have expected from Volkswagen. Its name: the Volkswagen SP 2.
A low and dynamically designed sports coupé that hugs the ground, with large wheels, a long front and distinctive double headlights.
The distinctive double headlights also came from the 1600 – while they graced the front of an ordinary saloon in the form of the aforementioned model, this time they were a defining design characteristic.
The technical side of the new sports coupé was based on the Volkswagen 1600, the Brazilian version of the Type 3 with distinct bodywork. It was from this model that the chassis was adopted, along with the front steering axle, the swing axle at the rear and the engine.
Volkswagen SP2 (1971) - Interior
Volkswagen SP1/SP2, 1972 - Advertising
Volkswagen SP2, 1973 - Advertising
Unique design that knows no predecessor or successor: the Brazilian SP2
Изящное спорткупе Volkswagen SP-2, имя которого образовалось от первых букв названия завода в Сан-Паулу, было разработано бразильской ветвью компании Volkswagen, и предназначалось исключительно для южноамериканского рынка.
Двухместное купе, основанное на платформе Type 3 (в Бразилии - Variant), было оснащено 4-цилиндровым оппозитным мотором, расположенным в задней части кузова, мощностью 65 л.с., что обеспечивало Volkswagen SP-2 максимальную скорость на уровне 161 км/ч. Несмотря на свою уникальность, автомобиль уже в 1976 году был снят с конвейера - за четыре года производства на свет появилось чуть более 10 000 автомобилей, несколько сотен из которых оказались в Европе.
Volkswagen SP 2, named after the Brazilian city Sao Paulo and pronounced ‘Esspeedois'. It was a distinctive sports coupé, designed with clearly calculated verve, on the basis of the classic Volkswagen: chassis with bolted-together bodywork and a flat, rear-mounted boxer engine, with the drive system also at the rear.
Having a free hand to design new, exotic models was one of the conditions of making the switch to Brazil that manager Leiding – who also liked to tinker about – agreed upon with Volkswagen general director Heinrich Nordhoff. No sooner had the passionate designer and painter Rudolf Leiding arrived in the Brazilian centre of heavy industry, Sao Bernardo de Campo, than he got down to work.
He single-handedly sketched the first designs for the SP 2 sports coupé: the long wheelbase, platform and striking 14-inch wheels with 185/80 R14 tyres come from the Brazilian 1600 Volkswagen Variant, as did its slightly adapted technology. The 1.7-litre flat boxer engine was capable of 64 h.p., but everything else around it was new. Lines, surfaces and a shape were created that combined the familiar technology with a design of the future: the silhouette of the long front end rose smoothly and flowingly in order to draw up the lower window line to the roof with a hockey stick-like sweep. The roof then flowed back in a muscular line towards a well-formed sporty rear. There was no longer any trace of Baroque. To ensure that the whole thing didn't come across as being too severe, side gills interrupted the look in the area of the C-pillar; the radii of the wheel sections, which were the same height at the front and rear, provided both peace and traction. The refined bumpers and an all-round side protection bar, similar to those found on the Porsche 911, were fitted at the same height; rear lights that stretched around to the side were fitted directly above the bumper and the look continued around the entire car in eye-catching style – in the form of a red trim. Alloy wheels? Lowered chassis? Spoiler? This car didn't need any of those things. It looked pure – immediately!