Thursday, May 14, 2020
Motor und Sport 18 February 1939
Despite politic tensions in Europe, things were looking up in the German automotive scene. The 1939 Berlin Motor Show showcased some amazing, modernist vehicles, such as the Tatra T87, Adler Autobahn and, most significantly, the Volkswagen.
"A new face in German passenger car construction, because the Sudeten German Tatra plants are now part of the German automotive industry. The car has an air-cooled 8-cylinder engine, which is housed in the rear."
"In the interior of Hall I, on both sides of a giant map which shows the motorization of Germany, we see a Kdf.-wagon, which in the future will be the symbol of the will to motorize and the genuine, socialist spirit of our newly formed Germany, to revive the streets of the city and country.
It is the longing of millions; a longing that will soon be satisfied by the object that will bring the benefits of motorization to all the layers of our people and open up the great, glorious homeland to those who so far have not been able to partake of this blessing.
Not only do we see two fully-fledged automobiles, but on top of that, vehicles of the very latest construction, with four independently suspended wheels and a rear-mounted engine - a construction, one might say, that is directly derived from the successful German racing cars. The cars have an excellent weight distribution and, in connection with the suspension by torsion bars and the aforementioned four wheel independent suspension, unsurpassed road handling. The application of new knowledge in the correct utilization of light material, the so-called lightweight construction method, as it has always been at home in aircraft construction, has brought about a weight saving which has hitherto hardly been possible.
What is striking is the spaciousness of the car and the sleekness of the outer shape, which is very important in reducing air resistance so much that this car can be driven at 100 km/h with low fuel consumption of only 6 to 7 litres per 100 km.
A very big advantage of the Volkswagen is the air cooling of its compact four-cylinder boxer engine, which solves all cooling problems even in the coldest weather. The air is cooled by the lubricating oil, which ensures full operational safety even on long high-speed journeys on the motorways.
The full equipment and the tasteful shape of the instrument panel, which contains a box on the right and left, is particularly pleasing. The large speedometer is in the driver's most favorable field of vision, and to the right of it there is space for the later installation of a radio that is under development.
A big advantage of the KdF. car is its elegant, noiseless driving. The engine itself is very quiet despite its air cooling, but due to its position in the rear, its low noise almost completely disappears when you are driving.
All technical items will be published in a richly illustrated report next week. Previous publications in "MOTOR and SPORT": "Technical problems around the Volkswagen" (issue 36-40 / 1938) and "test drive in the KdF-Wagen" (issue 38/1938)."
As part of the pitch for the Volkswagen, the KDF organization produced this marvelous film: