The untold story of Germany’s forgotten courier car that was faster than a Porsche

Within the vast automotive world, there are cars from a certain era that aren’t talked about much. The 1940s are times most remembered for the Second World War, which forced many of the carmakers to temporarily switch from making cars to assembling military equipment, such as Tanks and Bombers. It seems the subject is taboo when we talk about German vehicles, in particular, such as the obscure 1947 Volkhard V2 Sagitta. Although the car’s roots are, even today, frowned upon by some, it featured some revolutionary design solutions. Today, we are sharing everything we have uncovered about this unrealized and forgotten automotive treasure.

It was based on the people’s car

1944 Volkhart V2 Sagitta - The Luftwaffe's Sleek Courier Car
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Even at the start of its lifespan, the VW Beetle was used as a platform for more performance-oriented vehicles. The Volkhart V2 Sagitta was one of the first cars, based on the cheap Bug. To be more specific, it was based on the Kdf Wagen Type 60, which was the very first version of the Beetle, produced between 1937 and 1944. A total of 840 Type 60 were made. Because of what it was based on, nowadays, the Volkhart is often referred to as a Kdf Wagen Type 60, just like the car it was based on. Subsequently, this makes the car even more obscure.

It was designed as a courier car for the Luftwaffe

The car was actually named after K.C. Volkhart – the engineer who came up with the idea for it. The goal was to make a quick car that would serve as a courier vehicle for the German Air Force. Needless to say, the car needed to be small, light, cheap, but also simple and reliable. There really wasn’t any other option than to use the Kdf Wagen (VW Beetle) chassis and drivetrain. The development started around 1942, but the project was only realized in 1947, after funding from the industrialist Sagitta.

It used the same engine as the Beetle

The engine used in the V2 Sagitta was virtually identical to the one used in the Kdf Type 60 donor car. This meant a 1.1-liter (1,131 cc / 69 ci) air-cooled flat-four engine, producing 24.5 horsepower (18.3 kW) at 3,300 RPM.

It was extremely aerodynamic

The Volkhart V2’s body was designed by Baron R.König von Fachsenfeld, who would later go on to produce many streamlined designs for the likes of Opel, Adler, and BMW. He also built an aerodynamic test car for the tire manufacturer Fulda, based on the Maybach SW38, for 200 km/h (124 mph) tests. The Sagitta’s body was then built by Helmut Fuchs Niederwenningern/Ruhr. Thanks to the engineering prowess and craftsmanship of the two engineers, the end result was an extremely “slippery” body.

The Volkhart V2 Sagitta had a drag coefficient of just 0.17 Cd. This allowed for a top speed of 150 km/h (93 mph).

Faster than the first Porsche

1939 Porsche Type 64

In 1938, the Porsche Type 64 was conceived. Essentially, it was Porsche’s testbed and is considered to be the first-ever car to wear the Porsche name. With it, Ferdinand Porsche proved that he is a master in aerodynamics. Type 64 (Typ 64) had a drag coefficient of 0.20 Cd – a remarkable achievement for the time. Baron R.König von Fachsenfeld, being an engineer focused on aerodynamics, accepted the challenge. Although Type 64’s engine produced 32 horsepower (23.9 kW) at 4,000 RPM, it had a top speed of 142 km/h (88 mph). This meant that the more aerodynamic Sagitta, despite being less powerful was faster than the first Porsche.

Moreover, the Type 64 was over 200 kg (440 pounds) lighter than the Volkhart creation. The Porsche had a wet weight of just 615 kg (1,356 pounds), while the Volkhart V2 Sagitta tipped the scales at 880 kg (1,940 pounds). This goes to show just how crucial aerodynamics are, especially at high speeds.

Only two exist

The project for a fast courier car for the German Air Forces never really took off. Because of the war effort, the project was halted. And although it was resumed post-war, the Volkhart V2 Sagitta was ultimately produced in only two copies. Nevertheless, the car managed to prove that, even in times of great global conflicts, it’s possible to make a revolutionary vehicle. Sadly, although more efficient, Baron Reinhard’s design was overshadowed by the overall success of Porsche’s legacy.

Dim Angelov
Dim Angelov
Born in 1992, I come from a family of motoring enthusiasts. My passion for cars was awoken at the age of six, when I saw a Lamborghini Diablo SV in a magazine. After high school I earned a master’s degree in marketing and a Master of Arts in Media and Communications. Over the years, I’ve practiced and become skilled in precision driving and to date have test driven more than 250 cars across the globe. Over the years, I’ve picked up basic mechanical knowledge and have even taken part in the restoration of a 1964 Jaguar E-Type and an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint. Lately, I’ve taken a fancy to automotive photography, and while modern cars are my primary passion, I also have a love for Asian Martial Arts, swimming, war history, craft beer, historical weapons, and car restoration. In time, I plan my own classic car restoration and hope to earn my racing certificate, after which I expect to establish my own racing team.  Read full bio
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