The Fabryka Samochodaw Osobowych (FSO) Syrena Sport was inspired by the look of Ferrari models and the Mercedes-Benz 190SL in the late 1950s but never made it into mass production though a handful were produced. According to Polish industry experts the Syrena Sport is considered the most beautiful car ever designed and built in Poland. Syrena Sport was a test bed for innovations expected to be included in the Syrena Sedan which was being produced on a mass scale at the time.
An Innovative Design for the Times
Syrena Sport featured independent rear suspension, trailing arms, torsion bars and horizontal hydraulic dampers. There was a floor gear-shift and a hydraulic operated clutch. Designers included a low and flat bonnet and a new four stroke flat twin engine called the S-16. Another critical innovation was a self-supporting chassis with a strong floor panel and a body made of molded fiberglass. Finally there was a new independent rear suspension with trailing arms and torsion bars.
The car created a buzz when it was introduced and was featured on TV programs and in automobile industry magazines around the world. Unfortunately the project was eventually mothballed by then Prime Minister Cyrankiewicz and the Communist Party who did not have the wherewithal to fund the project.
The prototype of the Syrena Sport S-17 engine has been preserved at the Old Timer Museum near Warsaw.
New Life for Syrena Sport
Entrepreneur Rafal Czubaj has resurrected Syrena Sport with some modifications. Czubaj is using a Nissan 370Z 3.7-liter V6 engine, either 330 or 450 horsepower (hp). Curb weight is 3,850 pounds and is expected to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and have a maximum speed of 180 mph.
A two minute video with Rafal Czubay and his colleagues in Polish: