A 1971 NSU Prinz 4L has been electrified by twelve apprentices at the Audi facility in Neckarsulm in an impressive display of creativity and teamwork.
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The “EP4” was presented with pride by students from a variety of courses, including automotive mechatronics, bodywork, mechanics of vehicle assembly, and painting. While the latter P4 name refers to the 1971 NSU Prinz 4L, upon which this vehicle is based, the letter “E” stands for the electric drive.
Dean Scheuffler, an apprentice automotive mechanic at Audi, emphasized the objective behind the project. The excellent starting point for their endeavor was a 1971 NSU Prinz 4, which had been inactive for decades before being restored earlier this year. Dean said:
“We wanted to build a car that was not only fast and looked cool but also honored the 150th anniversary of the site.”
The EP4’s two-cylinder petrol engine has been replaced with a potent 176 kW electric motor from an Audi e-Tron from 2020. To power the EP4’s motor, the plug-in hybrid Audi Q7 TFSI e Quattro’s battery is strategically positioned under the front hood, where the petrol tank formerly stood. With a huge hole in the front hood and a wide air inlet at the bottom of the bumper, the design has extensive cooling measures. Notably, the EP4’s rear tailboard can be opened partially to display the electric motor, giving homage to earlier racing vehicles based on the speedy NSU Prinz 1000.
The classic features of the NSU Prinz, such as the distinctive shoulder and roof lines, are still present in the EP4’s exterior design. The apprentices painstakingly repaired the body, removing rust, and painted it in Suzuka Grey and Brilliant Black colors. Apprentice auto painter Cynthia Huster explained, “The eye travels with you! We wanted the EP4’s performance to be visible from every angle.”
The EP4 has an athletic appearance thanks to its larger and more muscular fenders, which were developed in partnership with Audi Design and 3D printed. For the best grip during acceleration and cornering, the car has broad wheels fitted with high-performance tires. A bold Signal Yellow rear wing that is mounted to the roll cage rather than the bodywork gives the vehicle a dynamic look.
The minimalistic interior of the EP4 is inspired by racing and has a bright Signal Yellow roll cage that stands out against a mostly black background. The occupants are supported and comfortably seated with Recaro Podium bucket seats. The vehicle’s speedometer, onboard computer, and diagnostic system are all integrated onto a single board with a corresponding screen.
Timo Engler, Head of Training Vehicle Technology/Logistics, commended their growth as a team, noting, “The project gave our apprentices a chance to work freely with different techniques and materials, and they have shown remarkable development and dedication.”
The EP4 project not only exemplifies Audi’s commitment to innovation but also highlights the importance of nurturing young talent. Xavier Ros, Audi Board Member for Human Resources, praised the apprentices’ accomplishments, by stating:
“Projects like this demonstrate our company’s strong future thanks to our young talent.”
A computer animation professional with over 23 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations, TV channels & production facilities in Pakistan. An avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver quality content to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com