NSU Ro 80 Classic Cars for Sale

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NSU Ro80

The Ro 80 was German saloon car manufactured by the West German firm NSU, utilizing a pioneering rotary 2-disc Wankel engine. Marketed as a luxury car, production of the NSU Ro 80 ran from 1967 until 1977.

The history of the NSU Ro 80.

Founded in 1873, like many other car manufacturers of its period, NSU's specialization was not in automobile production, but in another area, namely knitting and sewing machines. Following its acquisition by Volkswagen Group in 1969, NSU was subsequently merged with Auto Union to form part of what is today known as prominent car manufacturer Audi. The NSU Ro 80 first appeared on the scene in 1967 at the International Motor Show IAA in Germany IAA and in 1968 was voted "European Car of the Year". Despite receiving widespread critical acclaim, as it would materialize, due to a number of issues, sales of the NSU Ro 80 unfortunately failed to reach the expected levels and production was later ceased some ten years later in 1977.

The technology behind the NSU Ro 80.

In 1967, the NSU Ro 80 was among the most technologically advanced cars in the world, utilizing Felix Wankel's 2-disc rotary engine technology. Lightweight and compact, the Wankel engine lent a smoothness that could not be achieved at the time by a standard piston led engine. The pioneering design wasn't limited to its engine however. The NSU Ro 80 adopted a uniquely aerodynamic design which reduced air resistance and thus greatly improved the NSU Ro 80's fuel consumption, adding to its appeal. Furthermore, the front end wedge shape set a new trend in modern car design.

The decline of the NSU Ro 80.

Unfortunately and somewhat ironically given that it was the pioneering Wankel rotary engine which had helped to set the NSU Ro 80 apart and make it one of the must-have premium cars of its time, the Ro 80's engine was beset by issues which adversely affected the Ro 80's performance. The NSU Ro 80's rotor tips wore rapidly with the end result being a loss of power and subsequent deterioration in fuel consumption. As a result, declining sales of the NSU Ro 80 in a highly competitive market meant that NSU's first luxury car unfortunately also turned out to be their last. Following the cease in production of the NSU Ro 80 in 1977, NSU's factory in Neckarsulm, Germany, subsequently went on to manufacture Porsche 924's.