The Brasilia (named after Brazil's capital city) looked like a three-door version of Volkswagen 412 Station Wagon, but was in fact based on Volkswagen Beetle. It was developed by Volkswagen do Brasil, which had at the time a unique and somewhat exotic line of cars, which spawned such rarities as the SP2. The Brasilia was equipped with the Volkswagen air cooled engine.
The front of the car was the same as the German 412, and the back resembled a scaled down Brazilian Variant. It was also the first Brazilian hatchback with five doors. The five-door Brasilia was considered and remains a "rare" car, with only a small proportion of Brasilias produced being five-door examples.
The total production of VW Brasilia reached over one million vehicles. Some were exported to Mexico, Chile, Portugal, Bolivia, Perú, Venezuela, Paraguay and Uruguay. starting in March 1976., in CKD kits to Nigeria, where it was renamed Igala. Brasilia was a success, with a good reputation of quality and very popular in its time of production. In fact, when the factory decided to retire Volkswagen Brasilia, a Brazilian wrote: "Brasilia - the end of a success".