DKW F102 (1963 – 1966) Review

DKW F102 (1963 – 1966) At A Glance


+Advanced engineering, good looks, sweet-spinning two-stroke engine that thrives on revs

-The end of the line for DKW, and one less innovative company

The DKW F102 represents the final flowering for its maker, emerging in 1964 as a highly advanced and innovative car. By the time the F102 had been launched, DKW had been un Daimler-Benz's hands for six years, and it had benefitted from much engineering input from its parent company. But it was a short-lived partnership, and within a year of the F102's launch, Volkswagen had moved in to take control of the company - which would have significant consequences. Like the Auto Union 1000 and 1000S it replaced, the F102 was front-wheel drive and powered by a two-stroke three-cylinder engine. But the new car now boasted unitary construction, a much more contemporary look, and a maximum speed approaching 100mph in the right hands.

It was initially launched as a two-door saloon, with the four-door following in January 1965, and soon established itself as a slow-seller. Its buzzy two-stroke engine was already out of fashion when it went on sale, leaving buyers turned off, and the company suffering from mounting losses. And following Volkswagen's takeover, decisive action was taken - the two-stroke was phased out, with production of the F102 coming to a halt in March 1966, after a run of 52,753. The car didn't die, though - it was redesigned to accommodate a four-cylinder engine, and was transformed into the Audi F103 range, where it enjoyed richly-deserved success.