Wartburg - an East German mark of cars, produced from 1956 to 1991 in the national enterprise Automobilwerk Eisenach in Eisenach.
From 1956 to 1965 he produced a model Wartburg 311. Initially it was a restyled version of the IFA F9 car with a new body, but for its release has been significantly upgraded technically, received a completely new chassis. Produced and modification - Wartburg 312 (wagon), Wartburg 313 (roadster) and the pick-up.
From 1965 to 1988 produced a new car Wartburg 353. Modifications - Wartburg 353W Tourist c station wagon, pick-Trans, Kübel. The car had a bold and modern for the 1965 design of the body and good for the time specifications.
In 1985, Wartburg 353 base and all the modifications undergone restyling that touched primarily appearance: the modified design of the front body, the rear lights.
From 1988 to 1991, was issued a modification of Wartburg in 1300, is a combination of the frame and the body later, "353" models with four-stroke engine Volkswagen 1.3 liter. The car received a new grille, new bumper, headlight unit and new taillights.
Initially, having a number of progressive for its time, technical solutions, to the beginning of the 1980s, "Wartburg" were already morally and technically outdated machines. The company develops new and promising models of these machines in the 1970-1980's, but for one reason or another they were not put into mass production.
Nevertheless, even in this form, "Wartburg" is traditionally considered one of the most reliable, robust and durable cars in its class, not only in the socialist countries, but also in Europe in general, to which he owed in the first place its frame structure (on the frame manufacturer to give a guarantee of 25 years), intelligent design (eg, wagons back door, in bodies of this type are traditionally vulnerable to corrosion, is made of plastic) and high manufacturing quality.
The name comes from the eponymous Wartburg castle situated near Eisenach, where these machines were manufactured.
Seriously car upgraded once - in 1985, when he was given a new, more "plastic" body design.
However, there were unrealized projects and other upgrades. For example prototype of Wartburg 360 with a monocoque body was built in 1974. In 1977, four prototypes were built three-door hatchback Wartburg 355 with a different body and decorated with four-stroke engines manufactured by the French Renault. There were other options winged "Wartburg". Also, work was carried out on the installation on the vehicle of the gas turbine and to create together with the "Skoda" a new generation of cars of the same class - a project RGW-Auto.
At the time of its development in the production of "Wartburg 353" (in the West, also known as the Wartburg Knight) technically and consumer quality is about on par with European cars with two-stroke engines, such as DKW F102 or Saab 96. In the first years of its release, it is widely I exported and was quite popular even in Western countries.
However, towards the end of the decade, "dirty" and two-stroke gas-guzzling car engines in the West is almost out of use, in the budget of the DDR national economy funds for the development of a fundamentally new four stroke engine was not found. The produce nitrates relatively recent development in manufacture and quite modern in design and chassis design car was quickly outdated by world standards because of its powertrain.
The total number of issued "Wartburg" cars exceeded one million, many of them are still on the move and known for strong, enduring and reliable design.
Aware of the moral obsolescence of the impracticality and three-cylinder two-stroke engine cars since 1988 at a plant in Eisenach began to collect "Wartburg" with a license issued by the company IFA 1,3-liter "Volkswagen".
But even in such a machine used a very limited demand in Europe, some parties were supplied to the USSR.
After the transition of East Germany in the calculations of the Deutsche Mark, the car lost its trump card - low price, since he began to cost DM 20,000 - it was comparable to the price of the new VW Golf II. In 1991, production was halted, and in the same year the factory was ceded to "Opel".