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Part of the Auto Union (AUDI), made some excellent cars until they got rather heavily stung by Wankel engines.

Abbreviation for "Neckarsulmer" as in "Neckarsulmer Fahrradwerke A.G.", German for "Neckarsulmian Bicycle Ltd.".

NSU (Germany) 1905-1929, 1958-1977

Neckarsulmer motorcycles and bicycles were already well known when this company started building Belgian Pipe cars under license.

In 1906, they began production of a Pfaender-designed car with a 1420cc four-cylinder engine, followed by models of up to 2608cc. A vertical-twin voiturette of 1105cc appeared in 1909, a year which also saw the arrival of one of the most popular NSU cars of the period, the 1132cc four-cylinder, produced until 1913; there was also a 1550cc version.

The biggest pre-war NSU was a 3300cc four. Introduced in 1913, the 1232cc 5/15 PS was still in production in 1926. Other models of the 1920s had four-cylinder engines of 2100cc and 3610cc, and sixes of 1567cc and 1781 cc.

Production was shifted to Heilbronn in 1927, but ceased when this had to be sold to Fiat. In 1934-35., however, the Neckarsulm factory produced some VW-like prototypes, with assistance from their English designer Walter Moore. But car production was not resumed until 1958; with the 583cc ohc vertical-twin Prinz, followed by an improved 598cc version. Meanwhile, NSU had sold its entire motorcycle production set-up to Yugoslavia.

In 1963, NSU created a sensation with the introduction of the first quantity-production Wankel-engined car, the Spider, developing 50 bhp from the equivalent of 500cc; it was built until 1967. The 1964 four-cylinder ohc 996cc Prinz was followed by models of 1085cc and 1177cc.

Successor to the Spider was the elegant Ro80 saloon, produced for nearly a decade, despite some durability problems with early examples of its rotary power unit.

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