24. Volkswagen SP2
The biggest car company in Brazil was Volkswagen. They produced all their products there, including the Beetle, T2 Van and 1600 TL. The combination of air-cooled quality, usability and low price made Volkswagens the most popular cars in Brazil by far. However, Volkswagen didn’t have any performance credentials or a sports model. So in the early ’70s, Volkswagen wanted a piece of the action.
The problem was that Volkswagen didn’t have any powerful engines or performance drivetrain components that could turn any of its models into anything close to a performance car. So to produce a muscle/performance car, Volkswagen took the Beetle floorpan, a 1.7-liter flat-four engine and tuned it to 75 HP. Although that wasn’t much, it was far more than stock.
They called the finished product the SP2, presenting it in 1972. It looked modern with its long front end, low profile and sporty silhouette. The car cost more than any other Volkswagen product. Although it offered some performance, it failed to meet the expectations of performance-oriented car fans. The SP2 was in production for four years until 1976 and Volkswagen made over 11,000 of them.