Audi 80 (1972 – 1978) Review

Audi 80 (1972 – 1978) At A Glance


+Economical and efficient saloon that makes the most of its engines

-Rust and a near-unobtainability of some parts

Audi’s development from the remnants of NSU and DKW in 1968 was remarkably rapid, so by the time the 80 appeared in 1972, the company was already beginning to look like a credible alternative to the established rivals. The 80 was a good case in point – platform shared to also become the VW Passat, the Audi 80 sported neat Bertone/Luthe styling, front-wheel drive, a simple beam axle, lightweight construction and the superb EA827 engines, and was a fine saloon as a consequence.

But front-wheel drive was nothing new to a company rooted in DKW. But the EA827 engine that powered the 80 was nothing short of revolutionary – and it would live on well into the 21st century. The 80 was light and efficient, and always went well whatever engine was installed. Owners Volkswagen ultimately benefited from Audi, by badge-engineering the 80 to become the 1973 Passat, but the car’s greatest legacy was the 1.6-litre GTE version, which inspired VW to create the Golf GTi.