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NSU Sport Prinz (1958 - 1967)

Last updated 7 September 2013

 
4
Sweet styling, great steering and solid build quality
Sluggish and buzzy

Introduction

NSU’s rear engined small car, the Prinz 4, wasn’t universally admired for its styling, which had been criticised for being awkward. However, the Sport Prinz reversed the misdeed – the pretty two-door coupé bodywork was the work of esteemed stylist Franco Scaglione, who at the time was working for the Italian styling house, Bertone. The sleek little car was a delicate thing, and yet it could be pushed along as quickly as some much larger and mature sports cars. It wasn't powerful – the standard Prinz's air-cooled twin put out just 30bhp – but lightweight, quick steering and a nimble chassis meant it held the road brilliantly in the hands of an expert driver. It would snap into oversteer if driven too hard through corners, especially in the wet.

Although it was proudly German, all Sport Prinzes were actually built by Bertone in Italy for the first seven years, and only moved to Heilbronn in Germany for the final three years of the production run. Despite remaining popular and still looking fresh, NSU’s parent company killed off the Sport Prinz in 1968 to concentrate on developing rotary engines – and the impressively forward looking Ro80.

 

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