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Audi Transforms NSU Prinz 4 into Exciting Electric Vehicle

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EV transformation

Audi has taken the charming NSU Prinz 4 from the 1960s and early ’70s and completely revamped it into an exhilarating electric vehicle concept.

Unveiled recently, this unique creation was the result of a project undertaken by apprentices at Audi’s manufacturing facility in Neckarsulm, Germany, in celebration of 150 years of production at the site.

“Our aim was to build a car that not only delivered speed and a striking appearance but also paid homage to the 150th anniversary of this location,” stated Dean Scheuffler, one of the apprentices involved in the project.

Although Audi itself wasn’t in existence 150 years ago, the site originally housed the production of NSU sewing machines, bicycles, and later motorcycles. NSU eventually ventured into car manufacturing in 1905, introducing the world to the first rotary-powered car with the 1964 Spider (also known as Sport Prinz). This preceded Mazda’s launch of its initial rotary car, the Cosmo 110S, by three years.

The NSU brand was later acquired by the Volkswagen Group in the late 1960s and merged with fellow VW Group brand Auto Union, eventually evolving into the Audi we know today.

The NSU Prinz 4, which debuted in 1961 and remained in production until 1973, marked one of the final vehicles under the NSU brand. This compact coupe featured an air-cooled twin-cylinder engine with rear mounting. However, in the modern concept called the EP4 (Electric Prinz 4), the original 30-hp engine has been replaced by a powerful 236-hp electric motor borrowed from the E-Tron SUV (now the Q8 E-Tron). It’s worth noting that the diminutive concept does not include the massive battery of the E-Tron, instead utilizing a smaller unit from an overseas plug-in hybrid Q7 variant. This battery is situated in the space typically occupied by the car’s fuel tank.

Creating this concept was no small feat, but it provided the apprentices with invaluable experience. After stripping the original vehicle and addressing any remaining rust issues, the apprentices modified the floor pan of an Audi A1, including the brakes and axles, to accommodate the Prinz 4. This modification was necessary due to the substantial increase in horsepower, as explained by Audi.

Incorporating 3D printing technology, numerous custom parts were created specifically for this one-off concept. The interior, in particular, showcases bespoke instruments and displays. A computer system installed in the vehicle provides information on remaining charge, speed, and performs diagnostic tasks.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about EV transformation

What is the NSU Prinz 4 EV concept?

The NSU Prinz 4 EV concept is a unique electric vehicle created by Audi’s apprentices to commemorate 150 years of production at their German plant. It is a transformation of the vintage NSU Prinz 4 into a powerful electric vehicle.

How does the NSU Prinz 4 EV concept differ from the original NSU Prinz 4?

The NSU Prinz 4 EV concept replaces the original air-cooled twin-cylinder engine with a 236-hp electric motor borrowed from the E-Tron SUV. The concept also incorporates a smaller battery from a plug-in hybrid Q7 variant, situated in the space where the fuel tank would normally be.

What technology was used to create the NSU Prinz 4 EV concept?

The creation of the NSU Prinz 4 EV concept involved the use of 3D printing technology to produce custom parts, including bespoke instruments and displays for the interior. This advanced manufacturing technique allowed for greater flexibility and customization in the design and construction process.

Why did Audi’s apprentices undertake this project?

The apprentices undertook this project to not only build a fast and visually appealing car but also to pay homage to the 150th anniversary of the production site. It provided them with valuable experience and an opportunity to showcase their skills and creativity in transforming a vintage vehicle into a cutting-edge electric concept.

Will the NSU Prinz 4 EV concept be mass-produced or available for purchase?

The NSU Prinz 4 EV concept is a one-off project created by Audi’s apprentices and was not intended for mass production or commercial availability. It serves as a demonstration of Audi’s innovation and commitment to sustainable mobility while celebrating the heritage of the NSU brand and the manufacturing site’s long history.

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