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The DKW F1 is a small car initially produced by DKW and the Auto Union from 1931 to 1932. It was the first DKW vehicle that featured front-wheel drive, and was built at the Audi plant in Zwickau.

History

In October 1930, Jørgen Skafte Rasmussen, the founder of DKW, commissioned the company's design office in Zwickau to develop an affordable small car run on a DKW two-stroke motorcycle engine built by the Zschopauer engine works. Other requirements were front-wheel drive, independent suspension, and a chassis with a low center of gravity. After about six weeks, the designers presented a steel-bodied three-seater roadster fitted with a 500cc engine, which was later displayed at the Berlin Motor Show in spring 1931. During production, an example of the DKW F1 could be purchased for approximately 1700 Reichsmarks.

Specifications

The F1 was built with a 494cc (later 584cc) two-cylinder engine initially capable of generating 15 bhp (11 kW) of output, and later 18 bhp (13 kW). It also featured three-speed transmission and had a top speed of 75-85 km/h. The F1 weighed between 435 and 600 kg, depending on the selected body style.