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Due to transfer constraints, VW's Brazilian arm built itself a sports vehicle. Despite searching pretty damn hot, its overall performance had been anything but scorching, however it's become a cult hero. Discover everything you need to realize about the sexiest slow vehicle available...

If you performedn’t understand much better, you’d be forgiven for thinking the beautiful slice of 1970s low rider design you notice above is from some reasonable volume Italian maker, but in fact it's a Volkswagen that has been sold exclusively in Brazil.

To produce sense of the Volkswagen SP2, you need to understand how it came into existence. When you look at the 1970s, Brazil ended up being shut to brought in vehicles. To have for this, VW had a Brazilian subsidiary that may build automobiles in the united kingdom to offer, such as the Karmann Ghia - in addition painfully pretty, incidentally - right until it was retired. When a somewhat hotter replacement proceeded purchase in European countries, the Brazilians noticed it wasn’t attempting to sell really, plus in their knowledge, made a decision to develop their particular version. The Karmann Ghia TC was created. It’s considered a deep failing now, nonetheless it shows that Volkswagen do Brasil was permitted a particular amount of autonomy from the German bosses.

In 1969, the Brazilian supply of VW decided it wished to run anything very different to what could possibly be purchased in other places, sufficient reason for authorization from Wolfsburg, ‘Project X’ was created. The concept was to signal the organization’s freedom from European countries, but creating a car from surface up is damn pricey, therefore the brand new sports car must be based on some thing the organization already sold in Brazil.

The SP2 was for that reason constructed on the frame regarding the Volkswagen Type III, though it shared a tad too much with that small vehicle to be considered undoubtedly sporty. For example, it had the same air-cooled motor - though it was bored stiff out to 1.7-litres - making a feeble 75bhp. The flat-four engine obtained the nickname ‘pancake’ because it was therefore low, as the car obtained the less affectionate nickname of ‘Sem Potência’, this means ‘without energy’ in Portuguese. Title had been fully warranted; at the time its 0-60mph ended up being taped in the order of 16 seconds - evidence that even when an automobile is lightweight, it however requires some energy.

Volkswagen claims your vehicle had been basically delivered to fruition by simply six guys and something woman. The individual feminine member of the team had been Helga Leiding, the partner of Rudolf Leiding, VW Brazil’s then CEO and future manager of VW. She had been drafted into throw her attention over the design and attributes of the SP2, since the woman husband wanted the vehicle to attract females - in a later interview, he stated he previously built the vehicle just for the woman - “for you and all the other females.”

Unfortunately, whenever Leiding relocated to Germany to take-over VW, he performedn’t deliver the SP2 to promote with him - the automobile didn’t fit in with the company’s brand new front-wheel drive, water-cooled path, and required a lot of adjustments to be sold in other markets compared to Europe’s Scirocco.

Hardly any SP2s survive today, partially because they were rarely shipped to many other areas, additionally since they suffered a tremendous amount from rust. It’s a shame, because despite its wheezy powerplant, the SP2 is arguably the prettiest Volkswagen ever made.



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