Saturday, April 3, 2010

Performance is relative - Opel Kadett vs Ford 12M vs NSU Sport Prinz vs Fiat 850 Coupé vs Renault Caravelle vs Sima 1000 Coupé vs Karmann Ghia

Sportcars are expected to run faster than the everyday saloon car an average citizen drives. Today you expect 0-100 km/h in less than 7 seconds, a top speed of at least 250 km/h and premium cornering abilities. In the mid sixties this wasn't that different except that the expectations were much lower. What you see illustrated here is a comparison test of small (and affordable) sportscars - Ford 12 M TS Coupé, Opel Kadett Coupé, NSU Sport Prinz, Fiat 850 Coupé, Simca 1000 Coupé, Renault Caravelle S and Karmann Ghia 1300. The bi-weekly published journal Hobby measured 16.1 seconds for the fastest car - Ford 12 M TS Coupé - for the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h. The slowest cars were the NSU Sport Prinz and the Karmann Ghia 1300 with 26 seconds. Today, you will barely find a car that is taking more than 20 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h at all. But in the sixties the best sold car in our geography was the Volkswagen Beetle and this one took 30 to 40 seconds to get to 100 km/h and the top speed was about 120 km/h. So in comparison the Ford was quite quick and with a top speed of 150 km/h a benchmark! It remains to be said that these cars too between 45 and 55 meters to break down from 100 km/h comparable to 32 to 38 meters today.
Gladly enough a number of these cars have survived until today, you can still see the Fiat 850 Coupé being used in daily traffic today for example. And if you ever have the opportunity to drive one of these you will see that they feel much faster than they are. As said, performance is relative!

1 comment:

John L said...

They may be the slowest but I'd have a Sport Prinz any day.