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NSU Reviews

NSU was formed in 1873 by Christian Schmidt to make knitting machines. The business moved to Neckarsulm in 1880, and soon moved into the manufacture of bicycles, known by the name, 'Germania'. By 1892, NSU had stopped making knitting machines, moving completely into bicycles. NSU stands for Naeh-und Strick Union (meaning 'Sewing and Knitting union').

In 1901, the company moved into motorcycle manufacture and would end up a major player in that market. In 1957, the company moved into car manufacture with the Prinz, and would blaze a brief trail in its wake the culminated in the briliant Ro80 and, ultimately, takeover by Volkswagen in 1969. 

Good: Cheap to run, and challenging to drive if you like that sort of thing
Bad: More four-wheeled motorcycle than civilised passenger car
Good: Sweet styling, great steering and solid build quality
Bad: Sluggish and buzzy
Good: Great styling, excellent handling, formed the basis of the legendary TT
Bad: Good build but poor rust prevention, low survival rate
Good: Good build quality, surprisingly capable on the road
Bad: Tricky handling in poor conditions
Good: Fast and pretty, with smooth rotary engine, Wankel issues sorted now
Bad: Parts are scarce in the UK, with little club back-up
Good: Modern styling, roomy cabin, cossetting ride, clever semi-auto gearbox, restful cruising, excellent front-wheel drive handling, engine reliability worries
Bad: Wankel engine's huge thirst for petrol and oil, watch out for serious corrosion