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IAA 1957: The trend is towards small cars

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W he can make beads of sweat stand out on the forehead of the motorcycle market The automotive industry is only happy: The Germans now want to be motorized with four wheels.

BMW's 'big' Isetta premieres at the IAA in 1957

BMW has already had good experiences with the little ones, the Isetta still sells very well. But now the customers want more - it should be a real four-seater. And with the 600 BMW presented at the IAA ( for the current IAA Special ). The shape is strongly reminiscent of the Isetta, especially because of the front entrance door. Through a second door on the right side of the vehicle, the small car can also accommodate two adults in the back seat. The all-round view of the car, which costs 3,890 marks (including heating), is excellent. Around 100 liters of luggage space are available for luggage.

If four adults want to travel with this car, a roof rack must be fitted. Thanks to the boxer engine with 585 ccm known from the R67, the performance is sufficient. Here the tried and tested and reliable engine produces 19 instead of 28 hp in a two-wheeler - enough for the 515 kilograms.

The NSU Prinz appears

Another half a hundredweight lighter is the second eagerly awaited new small car - the NSU prince. It also has two doors, but here they are to the right and left of the longitudinal axis. The interior is comfortable for the external dimensions and four adults can be transported quite comfortably. There is a 140-liter trunk under the front hood, storage compartments in the doors and another narrow shelf behind the rear bench seat.

In the rear there is an air-cooled 583 cc twin with 20 hp - also a descendant of a motorcycle engine . The Max engine has been further developed and drives the Prinz to a top speed of 105 km /h. The prince enthuses the car testers with the sporty tuning. The standard version, the Prinz I with heating, costs 3,749 marks, the better equipped Prinz II costs 4,079 marks.

Opel and Ford with new onesMid-range cars

With the Opel Rekord and Ford Taunus 17 M, the two traditional manufacturers want to fill the gap that has arisen between their 1.5-liter models and the small Mercedes. There is undoubtedly great potential in the middle class. Increased needs for comfort, equipment and driving activity require new developments and new models.

With the 17 M, Ford is bringing the logical upgrade alternative to the 15 M on the market. Thanks to the longer wheelbase, wider track and the front axle suspended on spring struts, the 17 M impresses with a larger interior and better road holding - and 120 kilograms more weight. The performance remains roughly on par with its smaller brother. With 200 cc more displacement, the four-cylinder in the 17 M only produces 5 hp more than the 55 hp 15 M. On the other hand, the throughput is better thanks to the significantly increased torque, while the maximum top speed of both Fords is around 125 km /h. The customer can choose between two- and four-door (from January 1958) and station wagons.

Opel presents the Rekord P1 at the IAA 1957

At the Opel stand, the focus is on the Rekord P1 . Its fashionably designed body causes a sensation, especially the new panoramic windshield is an eye-catcher. Visually, it is based strongly on the American model Bel Air, from which it takes many design elements. In contrast to its drive, the record uses small four-cylinders with 1.5 or 1.7 liter displacement with 45 or 55 hp, which drive the rear wheels via a fully synchronized three-speed gearbox.


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