The Volkswagen K70 (pronounced as "ka siebzig" in German) is a sedan automobile developed by NSU and sold by Volkswagen from 1970 till February 1975. The K70 was the first VW to have a front-mounted watercooled engine.
VW was nevertheless in desperate need for a new family sedan to replace the commercially unsuccessful Type 4, which itself had been intended as a move upmarket for the Beetle based cars. Thinking that the K70, featuring front wheel drive and modern styling, was the perfect way to transform its image, the Wolfsburg firm quickly scrapped publicity material showing the K70 badged as an NSU, and just over a year later the sedan instead went into production not at Neckarsulm, but at Volkswagen's new Salzgitter plant. Now branded as a Volkswagen, the K70 finally started coming of the production line with little fanfare in August 1970, and was launched in export markets during the ensuing months. A launch date for the wagon / estate version, already delayed, was further deferred - indefinitely as it turned out.
Although the look of the K70 was modern, the performance from the engine, especially on the entry level 75 bhp versions, was merely adequate. Comparison with the 411, which by 1970 had acquired an enlarged engine and fuel injection, was and is hard to avoid. Neither of VW's family middle weight sedans topped the charts for top speed and acceleration, nor for fuel consumption, and the K70's indifferent fuel consumption became an increasingly pressing issue because the car's production run coincided with the 1973 oil price shock. The introduction during 1973 of an 1807 cc version with a claimed 100 bhp addressed the most acute performance concerns. The final K70s did out accelerate the final 412s, and had a higher maximum speed. But in respect of fuel efficiency, the air-cooled model - at least in manual transmission guise - retained a useful advantage till the end.
The 1960s was a decade when forward looking manufacturers were highlighting secondary safety features. Those on the K70 included a fuel tank mounted directly over the rear axle, ahead of the trunk / boot. As publicity for the Mercedes-Benz S Class would stress when that car was launched in 1972, this was the least vulnerable position in terms of the risk of the fuel tank being punctured in the event of a crash. The steering column was angled in order to reduce the risk of its being pushed too far back into the passenger cabin, and while seat-belts were an optional extra at least on the domestic market, mounting points for them were standard.
In total, Volkswagen had produced 210,082 K70s before the car was withdrawn from sale in February 1975.
|Produced:||1970 - 1974||1970 - 1973||1973 - 1974|
|Engine:||4-cylinder-inline engine (four-stroke), front-mounted|
|Bore x Stroke:||82 mm x 76 mm||87 mm x 76 mm|
|Displacement:||1605 cc||1807 cc|
|Max. Power @ rpm:||@ 5200||@ 5200||@ 5300|
|Max. Torque @ rpm:||@ 3500||@ 4000||@ 3750|
|Compression Ratio:||8.0 : 1||9.5 : 1||9.5 : 1|
|Fuel feed:||single 2bbl-carburetor Solex 40DDH, later 40DDHT|
|Fuel tank capacity:|
|Valvetrain:||Overhead camshaft, duplex chain|
|Gearbox:||4-speed-manual, front wheel drive|
|Electrical system:||12 volt|
|Front suspension:||McPherson axle, coil springs, anti-roll bar|
|Rear suspension::||Trailing arms, coils springs, anti-roll bar|
|Brakes:||Front discs (Ø 255 mm), rear drums, servo-assisted|
|Steering:||Rack & pinion|
|Body structure:||Sheet steel, unibody (monocoque) construction|
|Dry weight:||align="center"||align="center" ||
|Loaded weight:||align="center"||align="center" ||
| Track front/|
|Top speed:||align="center"||align="center" ||
|Fuel Consumption:||align="center"||align="center" ||