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NSU Ro80 CAR

CARS > USED CAR HISTORY > NSU Ro80

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NSU Ro80 (1967-1977) CAR HISTORY

Car review on NSU Ro80

The German company NSU established its reputation in the post-Second World War years building well-engineered rear-engined economy cars. The Ro80, its first and only big luxury car, startled the motoring world. Here was the world's first purpose-built twin-rotor wankel-engined saloon. Not only was the Ro80 fast - top speed 112 mph (180 kph) - and super smooth, but it was beautiful, too, with a futuristic and slippery five-seater body that pointed the way to styling in the 1980s.


Front-wheel drive, superb power steering and four-wheel disc brakes gave it excellent handling; long-travel strut suspension gave it a comfortable, absorbent ride. To mask the wankel's poor low-down torque and over-run snatch, NSU specified a three-speed semi-automatic transmission: there was no clutch pedal but an electric switch in the gear knob that operated a vacuum system when a gear was selected. NSU called them "performance ranges", with second gear taking the car from a standstill to 80 mph (128 kph).


The car, a minor masterpiece, had a fatal flaw: its engine. Inadequately developed, it suffered from acute wear of its rotor-tip seals, and after 15,000 miles (24,150km) (or less) owners noticed lack of power and higher fuel use. Engines became difficult to start and smoked like chimneys. NSU were generous with warranty claims. Many cars had as many as nine new engines! Owners, legend has it, didn't wave when they saw another Ro80 but displayed fingers to denote how many new engines they had had . . .


The costs sent NSU into the arms of Volkswagen in 1969. As word spread about the wankel engine's problems, sales plummeted. Production, at a lower level, lasted until 1977 when the NSU name died along with this beautiful, innovative saloon. Values of second- hand cars also plummeted in the 70s and 80s, and many owners fitted Ford V-four engines to keep the cars going. Twenty years after the Ro80's demise, collectors are rediscovering it now that engine problems are solved (many have fitted the Mazda RX7 unit). For the brave, a good one is still a superb car.


NSU Ro80

 

SPECIFICATIONS

 

ENGINE TYPE

2-rotor wankel

CAPACITY

1990 cc

POWER

113 bhp

TRANSMISSION

3-speed semi-automatic

TOP SPEED

112 mph (180 km/h)

NUMBER BUILT

37,204

 

 

 

 

 

 
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NSU Ro80 CAR

CARS > USED CAR HISTORY > NSU Ro80


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Shopping Mall :NSU Ro80 Cars at Auto Lemon - Used Car History Check

Cars Directory: NSU Ro80 Auto, Automobile, Automotive, Car, Cars, Classic, Classic Car, Used Cars, New Cars, Used Car, New Car

Site Description: NSU Ro80 Used Car History reviews and guide on classic and older model cars. Including car designers from Italy and Germany. Learn history of cars from classic, exotic, used, new to prototype model cars.

Cars Topics: NSU Ro80 Classic Cars, Price, Prices, For Sale, Part, Restoration,
Classifieds, Classified ads, pictures, muscle car, picture, and photo , AutoCheck, KELLEY BLUE BOOK, USED CAR HISTORY, VIN number, VIN SEARCH, Lemon Car Check