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NSU Ro 80

Still modern-looking body and totally different engine

NSU Ro 80 Twin disc rotary engine, 497 cm3, 9,0 : 1, regular petrol, twin downdraught carburettor, automatic starter, twin ignition, from 1970 single condenser, later thyristor, 83 litres, liquid cooling, 160 Nm 4000 rpm, 84 kW (115 hp) 5500 rpm, longitudinal engine, front-wheel drive, three-speed semi-automatic, torque converter, 4,8/2,86/1,75/1,41 m, McPherson struts, anti-roll bar, semi-trailing arms, toothed rack, servo, discs f/r, 4+2 brake circuit distribution, 175 R 14 H (5''), 600 litres, 1290 kg + driver 180 km/h, 1967 - 1977.

Alloy rims
Rear head restraints
Steel crank roof, electric
Thermal insulation glass
Adhesive strip set
Radio, retractable antenna

Rotary piston engine
Originally planned ...
Engine power: 80 hp
Unladen weight: 800 kg
Sales price: 8.000 DM

The fact that this car was not exactly one of the fuel savers can be seen from the unusually large tank. This peculiarity and the equally suboptimal emission of pollutants could not be eliminated even up to the last day of production. One was more successful over the years with the elimination of teething problems. A more durable seal between the rotary piston and the trochoid housing and later an even better coating of the running surfaces allowed the initially very low durability of the engine to increase to almost normal values. The engine was only less forgiving than its brother with reciprocating pistons in short-distance traffic.

The consumption of lubricating oil was also reduced somewhat. The Wankel engine was lubricated both by mixing oil and fuel and by forced circulation. The first series consumed quite a lot of oil. Improved sealing between the inner oil space and the chamber volume ensured relatively little oil leakage even after a long period of standstill.

What remained was a particularly beautiful and modern body for the time, which one would have wished for greater success on its own. The low-built engine made a gently rising hood possible. Years later, the large and sloping windshield was no longer unusual. But the interior was somewhat limited despite good body dimensions. The same could be said of the driving performance and especially of the acceleration.

The external impression and the large wheelbase despite the longitudinal engine and front-wheel drive remain positive. The handling was impeccable with good comfort. One would have liked it to have had an additional conventional motor. The semi-automatic was added to increase comfort and not be suitable for sports. The semi-trailing arms at the rear were somewhat unusual for front-wheel drive vehicles. For increased safety requirements, there was a 4x2 dual-circuit brake with two brake hoses to each front wheel.

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