Volkswagen Brasilia

Volkswagen Brasilia

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Volkswagen Brasilia

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The Volkswagen Brasilia was a compact car made in Brazil between 1973 and 1982.

The Brasilia (named after Brazil's capital city) looked like a smaller version of the Volkswagen 412 Variant, but was in fact based on the Volkswagen Beetle. It was developed by Volkswagen do Brasil (Volkswagen of Brazil), which had at the time a unique and somewhat exotic line of cars, which spawned such rarities as the SP2. The Brasilia was equipped with the Volkswagen air cooled engine from the Beetle.


In September 1970, Volkswagen of Brazil's president, Rudolf Leiding, made a challengefor the company's major designers. He wanted to recreate the Beetle but with a Brazilianflair and with the Brazilian market in mind. At that time, the Beetle, the Busand the Karmann-Ghia were the only air-cooled VWs that proved successful in Brazil. For Leiding,the new Volkswagen should be practical, economical and larger than the Beetle as well as usereliable German engineering.

In three months, more than 40 prototypes were made, most of them with bold designs, with wide, inclined windshields. But the prototypes were expensive and VW was looking for a new cheap car, to compete with the brand new Chevette, from Chevrolet.

When the final design was ready and the car was to be put in production, a then unknown automotive reporter successfully spotted some of the vehicles in trial runs in the factory's vicinity. After failed attempts to drive the reporter away, some security personnel fired against his car,...
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