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DKW - Sonderklasse series

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About DKW

Dampf Kraft Wagen (German: steam-driven car) or DKW is a historic car and motorcycle marque. In 1916, the Danish engineer Jørgen Skafte Rasmussen founded a factory in Saxony, Germany, to produce steam fittings. In the same year, he attempted to produce a steam-driven car, called the DKW. Although unsuccessful, he made a two-stroke toy engine in 1919, called Des Knaben Wunsch — "a boy's desire". He also put a slightly modified version of this engine into a motorcycle and called it Das Kleine Wunder — "a little marvel". This was the real beginning of the DKW brand: by the 1930s, DKW was the world's largest motorcycle manufacturer.

In 1932, DKW merged with Audi, Horch and Wanderer to form the Auto Union. Auto Union came under Daimler-Benz ownership in 1957, and was finally purchased by the Volkswagen Group in 1964. The last DKW car was the F102 which ceased production in 1966; after this the brand was phased out.

Automobiles made before WWII

DKW cars were made from 1928 until 1966. They always used two-stroke engines and, from 1931, the company was a pioneer in front-wheel drive and transverse mounting. The most well-known cars made before World War II, bearing model names F1 through F8 (F for Front), had front-wheel drive and a transversely mounted two-cylinder engine. Displacement was 600 or 700 cc, power was 18 to 20 hp. These models also featured an innovation with a generator that doubled up as a self-starter, which was mounted directly on the crankshaft. This was known as a Dynastart.

They also produced a less well-known series of rear-wheel drive cars called Schwebeklasse and Sonderklasse with V4 two-stroke engines. Displacement of this engine was 1000 cc, later 1100 cc. These engines had two extra cylinders for forced induction, so they really appeared like V6es but without sparkplugs on the front cylinder pair.

In 1939, they made a prototype with the first three-cylinder engine. The engine had a displacement of 900 cc and produced 30 hp. With a streamlined body, the car could run at 115 km/h (72 mph). This prototype was to be put into production only after World War II, first as an IFA F9 (later to become Wartburg) in Zschopau, East Germany, and shortly afterwards in DKW-form from Düsseldorf as the 3=6 or F91.

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2-door
2+2-seat
S4   0.9L TS M-3
25.4 kW / 34.1 hp / 34.1 hp  69.0 N·m / 50.9 lb·ft / 50.9 lb·ft
   

DKW Sonderklasse Coupé (1954)

2-door 2+2-seater fixed-head coupé, petrol (gasoline) 4-cylinder 0-valve straight (inline) engine, two stroke, 903 cm3 / 55.1 cu in / 55.1 cu in, 25.4 kW / 34.1 hp / 34.1 hp @ 4000 rpm / 4000 rpm / 4000 rpm, 69.0 N·m / 50.9 lb·ft / 50.9 lb·ft @ 2000 rpm / 2000 rpm / 2000 rpm, manual 3-speed transmission, front wheel drive, 126 km/h / 78 mph / 78 mph top speed

Infobox

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