Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 4
Manufactured from 1971 until 1995, the Audi 80 shared its platform with the parent company’s Volkswagen Passat. The first incarnation was designated the B1, and was available from 1972 to 1978. Sold in some markets (including Australia and the US) as the Audi Fox, the Audi 80 was available in either 2 door coupe or 4 door sedan body styles.
Equipped with an underwhelming SOHC 1.4 litre 4 cylinder engine producing 60bhp, for overseas markets the Fox featured a slightly increased capacity 1.5 litre unit good for 75bhp. Both versions were fitted with MacPherson strut front suspension
and a dead rear-axle supported by coil springs, trailing arms and a Panhard rod. The B1 platform was dropped from the European market in 1978, although it was sold into the 1979 model year in the US.
The second incarnation, the B2 platform, was available in Europe from 1978 and in the US in 1979. The car underwent extensive body re-design by styling genius Giorgetto Giugiaro. With it’s new and much more handsome design, the B2 became very popular and is considered by many as the car that established Audi’s reputation as a quality European manufacturer, able to match it with the likes of BMW
Many components on the B2 were borrowed from the Quattro and Sport Quattro, these latter vehicles success in rally competition further garnishing favour for the marque. The B2 would remain in production until 1988. Manufactured from 1988 to 1992, the B3 introduced a far more aerodynamic
look to the vehicle, and featured the use of a galvanized body-shell.
For the first time since its introduction, Audi choose to use the 80 moniker for all international markets. The purchaser could now choose from three different engine types, from the 1.6 litre 90bhp unit, the 1.8 litre 110bhp unit to the Fuel Injected 2.0 litre 122bhp unit.
There was a limited edition S80 high spec model released between 1988 - 1991 (it would re-appear for a time in 1993, but was a shadow of its former self, now less powerful although slightly more fuel efficient). There were several diesel
models available, a 1.6 50bhp (40kW) and 1.6 70bhp (51kW) turbo
and 1.6 turbo diesel
with intercooler good for 80bhp (59 kW), although the diesel
versions were only available in Europe.
In 1989, for the 1990 model year, the US received the simply named Coupe Quattro and Quattro (sedan) models, all powered by the 164 hp version of the 20v 2.3 litre engine. In the tradition of Grand Tourismo, both were comfortable luxury cars with sporting tendencies, as opposed to dedicated light weight sports cars. The final iteration, the B4, was available from 1992 until 1995. Pretty much only a facelift of the outgoing B3 version, the big news was the availability of a V6 power-plant.
Audi choose to only sell the V6 equipped version in the US, despite the standard 1.8 litre engine making the car good for a top speed of 122 mph. The B4 was available in sedan, coupe, cabriolet and wagon variants, however Audi choose to discontinue exports to the US in 1991. The sedans were replaced by the Audi A4 in 1996, however the cabriolet would live on until 2000. Both the coupe and cabriolet versions were subsequently replaced by the wonderful TT coupe and roadster.
Audi 80 Diesel
VAG again enlarged their Audi 80 range, introducing an oil-engined version, besides the five-speed 'Economy' gearbox option (with geared-up fifth) and new ZF power steering
. The diesel engine is derived from the familiar 1.5-litre Golf unit but enlarged from 1471 to 1588 cc by an increase in crankshaft stroke from 80 to 86.40 mm. Cylinder bore dimensions stayed at 76.50 mm and although the '80' diesel hod a 1.6-litre capacity like the petrol engine, in fact the bore and stroke dimensions were quite different.
The revised oil engine had a compression ratio of 23: 1, developed a maximum power output of 54 bhp DIN (40 kW) at 4800 rpm - a plus of 4 bhp (2.98 kW) over the 1471 cc unit, and at 200 less rpm. Torque was greatly improved, 75.192 Ib ft (10.4 mkg/ 101.96 Nm) being delivered at the exceptionally low rpm of 2000. We suspect the VW / Audi engineers made a close study of the Fiat Ritmo Diesel! With five-speed gearbox the 80 Diesel could attain 87 mph (140 km/h), accelerate from 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in 20 seconds, and its claimed fuel consumption at a constant 56 mph (90 km/h) was 59.97 mpg Imp (4.71 lit/100 km), in spite of a 2160 Ib (980 kg) kerb weight.