The Audi 80 is not only the car of the year 1973, it is also the ancestor of many of today's Volkswagen models. The (larger) engine is later modified numerous times and is still running today (2006) with variations even in new cars. While the Golf, appearing two years later, can do only something with the engine, the Passat-series will be entirely a reflection only one year later. Only in future model changes one equalizes again the two models. Audi has at that time the development potential, the parent company VW must use because of own, failed projects.
The internal dimensions of the middle class are still limited in this time. Nevertheless, the Audi 80 offers something special with its front-wheel drive. The advertisement points to good acceleration and quiet motor operation. Short shifting operations make driving a special pleasure. Taking into account the still low external dimensions compared with today, almost sporty driving is possible. Not on the current standard are the large steering ratio and the maximum speed.
Those were the days when power, torque and fuel consumption curves were printed in the prospectus. Also the suspension is visible in a phantom image. It's quite modern, while the radial tyres are reserved only for the more powerful models. Clearly, the space-saving arrangement of the rear axle, which together with the still relatively small tank results in a fairly large trunk that is really usable at 425 kg payload.
Not quite so unusual is the dashboard for the present time. The label is initially designed in green colour, which is corrected in the course of the series development (Fig. 3). It is maintained the wood design outside of the speedometer and additional instrument. It has contributed to the "braces image" of the first Audis with which the advertising strategists have much trouble later. Is refreshing in this car, with how few knobs and levers one actually manages for the service. After all, the indicator flasher has already a 'short-term function'. Trip odometer and quartz clock, however, only is from L-equipment, the center console from GL.
Interesting are the security features at this time. Crumple zones, yes, no head restraints. After all, there are static three-point belts in front (automatic for an extra charge) and child safety locks on the rear doors. The backrests without headrests (optional) can be completely folded down. The penetration of the steering during a frontal collision will be effectively prevented by the wide front mounted drive unit and the bendable and self-releasing steering column. Also the cushioning of the dashboard and the soft buttons apply as security features. In the superior equipment, even the exterior mirrors are adjustable from inside. However, the heated rear window is offered only as an extra.
There is no air conditioning, not even for an additional charge. Perhaps it is at this time indeed colder in Central Europe. Instead is strongly advertised with a very effective ventilation from front behind the engine hood and rear breather laterally under the seats. You can warm the footwell while keeping your head cool with fresh air. Heat ducts to rear seats are still not common. After all, the basic equipment includesalready carpeted floor. Probably taken from North America, there is a roof coated with dark vinyl as an extra.
Of course, behind the Audi 80 is the concentrated power of Volkswagen, even if the dealer network still differs. This will not just clear in the construction of certain details, such as the new three-point seats those similar in VW models. Even from more important innovations such as the diagnostic connector to the shop computer, Audi now benefits. Here only a few electrical settings can initially be collected centrally but its importance is clearly increasing
The Audi 80 has a tradition. Already its predecessor, the Audi 72 has longitudinal engine and front drive. Developed still under the direction of Daimler-Benz the mean pressure engines are now somewhat mitigated, yet powerful, and relatively economical. The body is adapted to the new objectivity. Chrome is no longer considered chic. But the car has to offer something new. For the first time Its two brake circuits are splitted diagonally. Thus there is always 50% braking efficiency, no matter which brake circuit fails. tThereby any resulting possible skewing to the side of the still intact front brake is balanced out by negative king-pin offset and thereby resulting, automatic steering correction. This advantage is also usable right and left for each braking on differing ground.