Volkswagen has factories around the world, this includes Brazil. Imports were not allowed in the 1970’s and Volkswagen’s only sports car in the market was the Karmann Ghia. Volkswagen of Brazil chose to start a project in 1969. A team led by Mr. Schiemann and supported by Rudolf Leiding (the CEO of the subsidiary and later of the entire company) started work on a so called “Project X”, and presented a prototype in a 1971 fair.
The SP2 was named after the Brasilian city Sao Paulo and pronounced “Esspeedios.” It was a sports coupé designed on the basis of the classic Volkswagen: chassis with bolted-together bodywork and a flat, rear-mounted boxer engine, with the drive system also at the rear. Rudolf Leiding hand drew the design for the VW SP2 sports coupe. When production of the SP 2 began in Brazil in 1971, the Leidings moved back to Europe. Now the chairman of the Volkswagen board, from his headquarters in Wolfsburg, Rudolf Leiding planned the consolidation of the Volkswagen Group with technical means. Rear-wheel drive became front-wheel drive; air-cooled engines became water-cooled – and, to put it bluntly, nothing came of the sale of the SP 2 in Germany, it already had the Scirocco I.
The VW SP2 failed to beat the Puma Sports Coupe in performance and design and in 1976 it was discontinued. The car is now considered a collectors model and is sought after. One of them, in white, is in the VW museum on public display. While prices during the production time frame were roughly the same as the Beetle, the price of a well-preserved example today is considerably higher than contemporary VW models.
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