Good evening, and welcome back to the series that gets more attention than Scarlett Johannson driving a transparent AMC Pacer in the nude. It’s part twelve.
We’re notching the dial o’ intrigue up a couple of clicks, here, to take a look at what the Germans were up to in the early seventies, namely VW who were moving away from air-cooled tradition for the first time.
It’s the K70. LS, to be precise.
“See it, Drive it, Choose it, Own it, Love it, Buy it”
Gotta admire their confidence. Indeed, with the absorption of NSU Volkswagen were either feeling pretty sure of themselves, or wanted to look that way. The NSU-developed K70 was intended to herald a new beginning; to distance VW from the popular-as-breathing Beetle, and move upmarket. They summed things up rather piquantly;
“We made the VW K70 LS for the people who liked everything about Volkswagen. Except the cars.”
Brilliant. And true, because the package here was virtually the mirror-opposite of the Beetle. Front engined, front-drive, water cooled, four door. And on this LS model, actual power from the 100hp 1.8 litre four. And all the way through this publication VW extol the features of this exciting new offering with their typical sense of humour.
“There are large, easy to see rear light clusters, and the wrap round rear bumper is rubber faced. Just in case things go bump in the night.”
It’s a sharp looking thing, the K70, clearly of NSU stock, the centre hull is very similar (but not the same) as on the car’s more advanced (and more controversial) sister, the RO80 which was also a Claus Luthe masterpiece.
“The K70 LS is progressive for a family saloon and revolutionary for a Volkswagen. It’s crammed with advanced engineering and design features. That’s why it goes, stops and handles as well as it does.”
Which was to say, far better than a Beetle. VMax was quoted as a hundred, and it took 8.5 seconds to reach half that velocity, which put it in direct contention with the competition. But more important for the cause of VWs ongoing success and reputation-building exercise, was quality. You get the feeling that this was the copy-writer’s favourite subject.
The poet behind the typewriter explained:
“….because it’s one of the latest additions to the Volkswagen family, our inspectors are really keen to do a good job of inspecting. And more importantly, the inspectors who inspect the inspectors feel the same way. It seems no matter how different a car we make, we can’t make it any differently.”
The K70’s broadly successful mission ended in ’75, with the launch of the first Passat; a car which, though good, wasn’t nearly as interesting as this one. Remaining ’70s are popular among the VeeDub posse, so I’m unlikely to ever drive, let alone own one. But, hey, A.L.I.O.T.B.
<Disclaimer:- All photos were taken by the author on his bathroom floor and are of genuine original manufacturer publicity material. All copyright rights remain in the possession of the manufacturer, who nowadays don’t really care whether you love their cars or not. As long as you buy them . On finance, preferably>