1965 NSU Wankel Spider road test – Throwback Thursday

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016 - autos, cars, motoring, news

Source : 1965 NSU Wankel Spider road test – Throwback Thursday

Road test number 2043 was the 1965 NSU Wankel Spider, where its engine as well as practicality gave us nothing however expect for the future


Back in 1965, Autocar began road test number 2043 by pondering what newfangled contraption would certainly replace the internal combustion engine, much as we so often do today.

We were reviewing the NSU Wankel Spider (Germans pronounce ‘W’ as ‘V’, remember…), a two-door left-hand-drive sports car, with the innovative Wankel engine, an invention later put to not bad use by Mazda.

“Before the fuel cell – or whatever that will is actually to be – takes over, can any various other form of internal combustion engine seriously challenge or even supplant the reciprocating piston type in private cars?” we pondered.

“Certainly inside relatively brief however extremely busy as well as fertile history of the internal combustion engine, no alternative power unit has attracted so much publicity as well as commercial interest as Felix Wankel’s rotary piston device.”

Wankel engines convert pressure into rotation, giving them a smoothness as well as high rev count that will piston engines cannot.

We went on to have a look at the auto itself: “This particular conventional little convertible embodies components already familiar in various other NSU products. In effect, the Spider resembles the [slightly gawky] Prinz Sport coupé except for its soft top as well as rear suspension.”

Despite its promise, the Spider disappointed somewhat: “Although the engine as well as its exhaust are very quiet, there is actually a constant as well as persistent whine.

“Moreover, with the hood raised wind roar rises to such a crescendo as the maximum speed is actually approached that will even shouted conversation becomes practically impossible. 

In these respects the NSU designers have done their revolutionary brand new engine less than justice, robbing the auto as a whole of the touring refinement that will that will could of otherwise had.”

that will wasn’t too practical, either. Instruments were “few as well as simple,” the “simple heating as well as ventilation system” was a disappointment, as well as raising as well as lowering the hood was “truly a job For two main, as well as one could get pretty wet while trying to put that will up in a rainstorm.”

The Spider did redeem itself elsewhere, though. The gearbox’s synchromesh was excellent, the parking-brake held the auto on a 1-in-3 slope with exceptional ease, the brakes where well suited to the auto, that will required “very modest” servicing, as well as the handling was commendable.

Autocar described that will thusly: “The Spider is actually truly most enjoyable on minor roads with lots of twists as well as turns, where its exceptional stability as well as cornering powers, together with the quick reactions of its rack-as well as-pinion steering, allow very fast averages to be maintained.

“If there is actually any roll one does not notice that will, while all-independent suspension keeps the wheels securely in contact with the ground even on bumpy corners.”

The engine itself gave mixed results. that will was certainly fast – Autocar had a long-termer Spider set to a limit of 6,000rpm (out of a possible 8,000), as well as that will went to its redline with “extraordinary ease”. “Indeed, one must keep a careful eye on This particular instrument to avoid overspeeding,” we warned.

Despite having limited pull in first as well as second, the Spider’s unusual engine did pick up in third, a gear in which that will could then reach 90mph, without being “more than usually dependent on the gearbox.”

that will wasn’t too easy to do that will, mind you, seeing as the wide-angled positioning of the accelerator required “dancers agility to hold full throttle.”

Nevertheless, the auto did provide us with some expect for the future of the auto’s technology.

“Having established that will the Wankel rotary piston engine is actually a perfectly practical proposition, one awaits the next developments – perhaps two as well as three-rotor units – with increased interest, as well as the expect that will they may be installed in larger as well as more sophisticated vehicles,” we concluded.

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