|Body and chassis|
|Wheelbase||2,400 millimetres (94.5 in)|
|Length||4,217 millimetres (166.0 in)|
|Width||1,610 millimetres (63.4 in)|
|Height||1,158 millimetres (45.6 in)|
|Successor||Volkswagen Passat TS|
Origins of the project
In the 1970s, the Brazilian market was closed for imports. The only sports car officially made there was the aging (and by then retired) Volkswagen Karmann Ghia, and its successor, the Karmann Ghia TC. Only independent car makers were able to fill the gap, notably Puma, Santa Matilde and Miura.
The Volkswagen subsidiary in Brazil always had some degree of independence from Wolfsburg, so in 1969 they decided to start a new project of their own. A team led by Mr. Schiemann and supported by Rudolf Leiding (the CEO of the subsidiary and later of the entire company), along with his wife Helga Leiding and the designer of the SP2, Marcio Piancastelli, started work on a project they called "Project X". They presented a prototype in 1971, but it would take another year before the car reached production.
The SP2 was built on the frame of a Variant, with the same Volkswagen air-cooled engine, but upgraded to 1,700 cc. It developed 75 hp (56 kW), propelling the car from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in around 16 seconds according to period tests and to a top speed of 160 km/h (100 mph). Fuel economy is 10 L/100 km (28 mpg‑imp; 24 mpg‑US).
When the car was presented, it quickly drew media attention, with its many improvements over the local "air cooled" VW line, an impressive interior, its many extra features and its superb finishing. The name officially stands for "Sao Paolo", but locals gave it the nickname “Sem Potência”, which is Portuguese for “without power”.
A car named SP1 was also built, similar in almost every aspects but the engine, logo and a few trim items. However, due to its very poor performance (65 hp (48 kW) from a 1,600 cc engine), it was soon discontinued, after only 88 units were built. Despite being praised by critics for its looks, the SP2 failed to beat its main competitor, the Puma, in the performance category. Although they used similar engines, the fiberglass bodied Puma was much lighter. This resulted in low sales, and the SP2 was discontinued in February 1976.
With a total of 10,205 units made (670 of them exported, the majority 155 went to Nigeria with only one going to Europe, Portugal), the car is now sought-after as a valuable collector's item. A white SP2 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.
The SP3 concept was an attempt to resolve SP's main problem, lack of engine power, was called "SP3 project". It would be basically an SP2, but with a 1.8L EA-827 (AP in Brazil) engine, water-cooled, 8,5:1, 100 CV (99 hp; 74 kW) SAE at 6,000 rpm and twin carburetors, all "borrowed" from the Brazilian version of the Passat TS. Although nothing came of the factory project, a prototype was made by Dacon who also offered a (prohibitively expensive) conversion kit.
- "The Volkswagen SP2 Is The Sexiest Sports Car You've Never Heard Of". Car Throttle. Retrieved 2018-08-12.
- Torchinsky, Jason. "The Designer Of One Of The Best Looking VWs Ever Just Died". Jalopnik. Retrieved 2018-08-12.
- "1972 Volkswagen SP2 Built exclusively for Brazil with world-class styling". www.hemmings.com. Retrieved 2018-08-12.
- "Throwback Thursday: 1973 Volkswagen SP2". Newsroom. Retrieved 2018-08-12.
- Rocha, Mazinho (4 March 2012). "AUTOS CLÁSSICOS: COMPARATIVO - VW SP1 X SP2". AUTOS CLÁSSICOS. Retrieved 2018-08-16.
- Berezovsky, Sérgio (July 2002). "Grandes Brasileiros: Volkswagen SP2" [Great Brazilian Cars: Volkswagen SP2]. Quatros Rodas (in Portuguese). Editora Abril. Archived from the original on 5 February 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Volkswagen SP2.|
- Marcio Piancastelli (designer) (in Portuguese)
- Mundo VOLKSWAGEN SP2 - Facebook Group for fans of the VW SP2
- About SP1 and SP2 (in Portuguese)
- Club of enthusiasts of the model, with pictures (inclusive of the SP3 prototype, in ads of the time) (in Portuguese)
- Technical data
- German and English web page about this rare car
- German, English and Portuguese web page with a lot of stuff