A compact, executive vehicle, the Audi 80 was manufactured by German car manufacturer Audi. Introduced in 1966, the Audi 80 had a production space of thirty years. Originally it shared its platform with the Passat and was available as an Avant; an estate car/station wagon, and as a saloon car/sedan. Though both the coupe and convertible models weren't badged as member of the Audi range, they still shared the same platform along with many parts. The Audi 80 was very briefly sold as the Audi Fox in the North American market and from 1980 through 1987 as the Audi 4000. An upmarket version of the Audi 80 was the Audi 90.
A variety of internal combustion engine types were available, of which the petrol engines included the fuel-injected 'E'; Einspritzung and carburtor 'S' and the diesel engines included the 'D'; diesel, 'TD'; turbodiesel or the 'TDI'; Turbocharged Direct Injection. From 1965 through 1972, the Audi F103 series that was based on the DKW F102, were named for their horsepower rating, and from 1966 through 1969 the series included an Audi 80 model.
The Audi 80 B1 was unveiled in 1972 and came in a body style of a 2-door saloon/sedan, a 4-door saloon/sedan and a 5-door estate wagon. The 80 B1 featured a 4-speed manual transmission or 3-speed automatic and featured a wheelbase of 97.2 inches, an overall length of 164.4 inches, a width of 63.0 inches and a height of 53.6 inches. The production run of the B1 last until 1978.
Introduced in Europe in 1972, the Audi 80 Estate began factory production in May of 1972. In 1973, American production began as the Audi Fox, and was available as either a 2-door or 4door saloon/sedan. This model replaced several models that Audi had discontinued; the F103 series, and gave the company an effective rival to the Ford Taunus and the Opel Ascona.
Originally, the Audi 80 came with either 1.3 or 1.5 liter SOHC straight-4 petrol engines and the engines were available with a variety of rated power outputs. The 1.3 L engines; identified as ZA, were rated at 40 kW, while the ZF was rated at 44 kW. The 1.5 L, dubbed ZB and ZC, the ZB rated at 63 kW and the ZC at 84 bhp.
Both two and four door saloons were available in base trim on the home market and were simply dubbed the Audi 80 and the 80S as L models, or the ultra-lux GL. The Audi added the sporty 80 GT in September of 1973. It came as a two-door model only and featured a carbureted 1.6 liter engine that was rated at 74 kW. The Audi 80 also featured a MacPherson strut front suspension and a C-section beam rear axle that was located by trailing arms and a Panhard rod, and utilized coil springs and telescopic dampers.
In the fall of 1976, the Audi 80 underwent a facelift that brought along with it a newly revised front end, much in the same style of the recently introduced Audi 100 C2 with square headlights in the place of the original round headlights. The engine was also changed to the 1.6 rather than the 1.5 liter engine. A new Audi 80 GTE was also introduced with a fuel-injected version of the 1.6 liter that now replaced the former 80 GT. The North American ‘Fox' version had a 1.5 L engine that was rated at 55 hp and was mated to a 4-speed manual transmission. Consecutive models came with 1.6L engines that were rated at 83 hp.
In 1978 the B1 platform was dropped from the European market, though it continued to be sold in North America for the 1979 model year. In several markets, a 5-door 'Avant' variant was available, and basically a re-badged Volkswagen Passat with Audi front panels.
The Audi 80 B2 model was introduced in 1978 and had a production run until 1986. A total of 1,680,146 units were built, and the body styles available were the 2-door saloon/sedan, the 4-door saloon/sedan and the 2-door coupe. Based on the Audi Coupe GT, the 80 was redesigned on the Typ 81 platform in 1978 as a 1979 model in Europe, and in 1979 as a 1980 model in North America. The 80 nomenclature continued to be used in Europe, but it began badging as the 4000/4000S in North America. The design of the body of the B2 Audi 80 is credited to the famous Giorgetto Giugiaro. Though it was more often ordered as a four-door, the 8 could also be purchased as a two-door model. The Volkswagen Passat took the role that had been originally filled by the Avant variant, and now none were produced.
The Audi 80 was the standard model in Europe, and eventually the Audi 90 was introduced and featured a larger-engined version of the 80, with a variety of more options. The 80 was offered with the 55 kW, four-cylinder turbodiesel engine, while the 90 featured two five-cylinder in-line petrol engines, a 85 kW and the 100 kW 2.2. Later this latter engine was modified into a 2.3. North American Audi models featured quad headlamps, while European models came with two headlamp casings.
Considered to be very popular, the Audi B2 platform ended up being quite a lucrative little seller. Many of the B2's components where either borrowed or shared with the Audi Quattro, Audi Sport Quattro or the Audi Coupe. This process aided in showcasing the Audi Company to the public as a permanent four-wheel drive system became a useful fixture in a variety of racing forms.
Until late 1986, saloons were available in both Europe and abroad in 1987. The B2-based Audi Coupe continued through until 1988 before being revised. Many components of the Coupe, and its basic body shape were shared with the original Audi Quattro. The Audi B2 received a minor facelift for the 1984 model year, and the taillights now looked quite similar to the ones of the Typ 44 Audi 1000. The front and rear bumpers were now different, as well as the headlights.
The Audi 80 Sport was unveiled in the UK in 1983, and it was based heavily on the GTE. The Sport came with Quattro-style Ronal alloys, deep chin spoiler, rubber rear spoiler, optional body graphics that included full-length Audi Sport stripes and striped charcoal Recaro interior. For the 1985, '86 and '87 model years, a unique commemorative-edition version, the Audi 4000CD Quattro was introduced. In October of 1981, the Audi 5+5 model was introduced to the Australian market and was described as a 'uniquely Australian Special', and was basically a 80 B2 four door sedan with the 2144cc five cylinder engine.
Unveiled in September of 1986, Audi introduced the B3 Typ 89 for the 1987 model year on the European market. Everywhere else it was introduced about a year later. Based on the new B3 platform, it featured a wheelbase of 100.0 inches, an overall length of 172.9 inches, a width of 66.7 inches and a height of 55.0 inches. Though dubbed the B3 by Audi enthusiasts, the newest model was correctly known by its production code Typ 80 and Typ 8A, depending on the model year. This newest model featured a snappy new bodyshell and an all-new aerodynamic look and feel.
Featuring a fully zinc-coated body, this mid-sized vehicle had longevity and durability against corrosion perforation. This shield was so effective that Audi extended its corrosion perforation warranty from 8 years, to 10-12 years. Audi continues to use zinc galvanization for all of its current steel-bodied models.
Worldwide the B3 was marketed only as the Audi 80 or the Audi 90, unlike its predecessor. Existing powertrain concepts were for the most part transferred to the new model, though fuel injection was now readily available for some engines. European customers now received a new range of petrol and diesel 4-cylinder engines as well as the 5-cylinder Audi 90 model that was re-introduced as an up-market and much more lush variant of the standard model. This up-market model was much like earlier during the B2 or Typ 81 series.
The procon-ten safety system was now available for all versions, and the Audi 90 now differed on the exterior by the addition of the full width tail-light panel/license plate surround, and also by the headlights which featured additional high-beam lights. The front grille was also different and the indicators were also in the bumpers next to a wider fog light than the one on an 80.
Wanting to ensure consistency across all of the markets, the trim levels were kept similar throughout the UK and Europe. In North America, the range was limited though, and a choice of the 2.3E and the 2.3 quattro were available from 1988 through 1992.
An all new 2-door Coupe was introduced in Europe in the 1988 model year and was basically a B3 saloon with a modified rear end and a shortened wheelbase. This new model came with an 85 kW 2.0E along with the two 2.3E engines. Later on this model served as a basis for the B4 Coupe and Cabriolet. All of these models dropped the '80' nomenclature and was now simply known as the Audi Coupe and Audi Cabriolet. This model basically carried on until the 2000 year, due to the heavy re-engineering that was involved in the cabriolet version, much longer after the B3 models had been replaced by B4 versions.
The North American market received the Coupe Quattro in 1989 for the 1990 models. The 90 Quattro models were all powered by a detuned 122 kW of the 20V 2.3 L 5-cylinder engine, and these models were considered to be in the 'Grand Tourismo' style of super luxe vehicle with sporting capabilities.
In 1992, the final B3 80's were sold in North America, while in Europe, all B3's were discontinued by the end of the 1991 model year, and being replaced by the B4 series. Several Audi 90 Sport Quattro's with the 2.3 L 20 V engines did come off the assembly
line in 1992.
Based on the B4 platform, Audi developed the Audi S2 Coupe, a sports version of its 80/90 in 1991. The S2 Coupe came with a 2.2 inline five cylinder 20-valve turbo petrol engine that was adapted from the Sport Quattro. The Audi 200 20v and the Audi 100 based S4 used a similar version of the engine. These engines came standard with Quattro permanent four wheel drive and came with a heavy-duty manual transmission, which originally was 5-speed before being upgraded to a 6-speed for 1993.
Originally, the Audi S2 came with a 2-door sports coupe though in 1993 a 5-door S2 Avant model was unveiled, along with a short-run of a 4-door S2 saloon/sedan models. A total of 306 of these models were produced. Both the S2 saloon and the Avant were based on the future generation B4 platform and carried a lot of the similarities in the rear axle support system of the later B5 A4 Quattro. From 1993 through 1995, the B4 Platform S2 Avant was used as the basis for Audi's RS2 Avant super-sports estate, which had been modified for Audi with assistance from Porsche. Originally, the S2 was available with a 2.2 L turbocharged engine that produced 162 kW and later models produced 169 kW. This model could achieve 62 mph in barely 5.8 seconds and could reach a top speed of 152.9 mph. The S2 Avant could achieve 62 mph in just 6.1 seconds and had a top speed of 150.4 mph.
Introduced in 1991, the Audi 80 B4 was basically a B3 that received quite a major facelift and was then known internally as the Typ 8C, or the B4. Changes included a longer wheelbase, 15' wheel with much more prominent wheel arches, a fully redesigned petrol tank and rear axle to now enable the use of folding seats, front bumpers, redesigned and painted rear and a higher-quality of materials for the inside of the vehicle. To give the model an edgier look, the front grille was merged with the bonnet.
The Audi B4 was also the major movement that marked the beginning of Audi's move into the German luxury mid-sized vehicle segment. At the time, the market had been dominated by BMW and Mercedes-Benz. The Audi B4 and its variants were extremely well-loved and popular in Germany and the European market.
The 90 nomenclature was deleted and in Europe all salons were badged as the Audi 80, despite which engine they featured. The American market decided to go in a separate direction and the saloon was sold as the 90. Audi B4s in the American market usually offered much more luxurious attributes that included cruise control, ACA, leather seats and automatic control. All of these were features were optional at an additional price on the European models.
To satisfy the U.S. DOT, the Audi B4 had to be redesigned for all models sold in North America, and also craft safety designs and headlamp adaptations. The front bumper now had to be redesigned to accommodate crash absorbers, which were not necessary or required in Europe. This meant that the North American version of the Audi B4 featured no dual H1/H4 head-lamps, the fog-lamps were made smaller and moved down to the corners of the bumper air duct, and the indicator lamps had to be placed next to the headlamps and not in the bumper. All of these adaptations were not made to the European V6 models.
European models now were offered with a variety of 4-cylinder engines along with the usual in-line five and two-different all-new V6 engines. The 2.8 liter V6 was the only engine that was sold in North America. The Audi also introduced a new high-torque, turbocharged diesel engine, direct-injection, the new 90-hp 1.9 TDI. The B3's standard 1.8 liter petrol engine was discontinued, and a new two-liter, 90-hp, 4-cyliner petrol engine was available for the base model.
A limited special edition model, that was known as the Europa was introduced in the 1994 model year for the European market. This model could be ordered as either an Avant or a saloon and was factory equipped with alloy wheels, power mirrors, rear seat headrests, a choice between power sunroof or AC and an airbag steering wheel. The Europa came in a variety of five different special colors. Basic 1994 B4 saloons and Avants came with standard features along with options available that included redesigned door liners, airbag steering wheel, passenger airbags, and a built-in engine immobilier that was optional.
At the end of the 1994 model year, the B4 saloon was discontinued. Both the Coupe and the Avant model also were discontinued in 1995 and 1996, though the Cabriolet continued on until 2000. The Cabriolet and the Coupe were replaced by the first-generation Audi TT coupe and roadster that were both sold from 1998 through 2006. The Audi A4 replaced the B4 platform salon for the 1995 model year, and in 1996 for the North American market. The new A4 Avant later joined the market in 1996. It was until 2002 that a mid-sized convertible was available, the A4 Cabriolet. For the 2008 model year, the Audi A5, Audi's newest mid-sized coupe was released.By Jessica Donaldson