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 liter 4 cylinder engine producing 60bhp, for overseas
markets the Fox featured a slightly increased capacity
1.5 liter 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.
new and much more handsome design, the B2 became very
popular and is considered by many as the car that established
reputation as a quality European manufacturer, able
to match it with the likes of BMW and Mercedes.
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.
from 1988 to 1992, the B3 introduced a far more aerodynamic
look to the vehicle, and featured the use of a galvanized
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 liter 90bhp unit,
the 1.8 liter 110bhp unit to the Fuel Injected 2.0
liter 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
a 1.6 50bhp (40kW) and 1.6 70bhp (51kW) turbo and 1.6
with intercooler good for 80bhp (59 kW),
although the diesel
versions were only available in
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 liter 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.
choose to only sell the V6 equipped version in the
US, despite the standard 1.8 liter 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-liter 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-liter 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.