Audi 80

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Audi 80 and Audi 90
Audi 80 (B4)
Also calledAudi Fox
Audi 4000
Audi 4000 5+5
Audi 5+5
Audi 4000S
Body and chassis
ClassCompact executive car (D)
LayoutLongitudinal front-engine design, front-wheel-drive or quattro permanent four-wheel-drive
PlatformVolkswagen Group B platform
PredecessorAudi F103
SuccessorAudi A4 (Saloon and station wagon)/Audi A5 (Coupé and Cabriolet)

The Audi 80 is a compact executive car produced by the Audi subdivision of the Volkswagen Group across four generations from 1966 to 1996. It shared its platform with the Volkswagen Passat from 1973 to 1986 and was available as a saloon, and station wagon — the latter marketed by Audi as the Avant. The coupé and convertible models were not badged as members of the range, but used a derivative of the same platforms.

In North America and Australia, the 80 was marketed as the Audi Fox for model years 1973–79, as the Audi 4000 for model years 1980–87 in the USA, as Audi 4000 5+5 from 1981 in the USA, and Audi 5+5 in Australia during 1981 through 1983.

The Audi 90 was an upmarket version of the Audi 80, although all North American sedans of the B4 generation were called Audi 90.

Naming convention[edit]

Under Audi's platform numbering convention, the 80 is classified as a member of the B-series or B platform family of vehicles, with the four generations of 80 being numbered as B1, B2, B3, and B4; its replacement – the Audi A4 – continues this sequence with platform numbers B5 through to B9. Originally this numbering convention ran concurrently with that of the Volkswagen Passat, the first generation of which was essentially a badge engineered clone of the Audi 80. This link was severed in 1988 when the Passat moved to a non-related, transverse-engined, VW-specific platform for its 80-unrelated B3 and B4 versions. The Passat was based again on the Audi A4 (B5 or "8D" platform) for its B5 generation, and returned to a transverse engine for the B6 and later generations.

F103 (1966–1972)[edit]

Audi 80 Variant (F103)

The Audi F103 series, based on the DKW F102 but with an all-new range of four-stroke engines developed in conjunction with Daimler-Benz, was sold between 1965 and 1972. It comprised several models named for their horsepower ratings. From 1966 to 1969 this series included an Audi 80, and there were also Audi 60, 72, 75, and Super 90 models available over the years.

B1 (1972–1978)[edit]

Audi 80 B1 (80/82)
Audi 80 (B1) 2-door sedan (pre-facelift)
Also calledAudi Fox (USA & Australia) [1]
1,103,766 built[2]
Clayton, Melbourne, Australia[1]
Body and chassis
Body style2/4-door sedan
5-door wagon
LayoutFront-engine, front-wheel-drive
PlatformVolkswagen Group B1 platform
RelatedVolkswagen Passat (B1)
  • 1.3 L I4
  • 1.5 L I4
  • 1.6 L I4
Transmission4-speed manual
3-speed automatic
Wheelbase2,470 mm (97.2 in)
Length4,175 mm (164.4 in)
Width1,600 mm (63.0 in)
Height1,362 mm (53.6 in)
PredecessorAudi 60/75
SuccessorAudi 80 (B2)
Audi 80 (B1) 2-door sedan pre-facelift (rear)
Audi 80L (B1) 4-door sedan pre-facelift
Audi 80 (B1) estate (facelift)

This model debuted in Europe in 1972 as the Audi 80, and in 1973 in Australia and North America (Canada and the USA) as the Audi Fox, and was available as either a two-door or a four-door saloon (sedan). It effectively took the place of several models that Audi had discontinued (the F103 series, which included the first model designated as an "Audi 80"), and provided the company with a viable rival to the Opel Ascona and the Ford Taunus (Ford Cortina in the UK), as well as more upmarket offerings including the Alfa Romeo Alfetta and Triumph Dolomite.

The Audi 80 B1 was only the second modern-era Audi product to be developed entirely under Volkswagen ownership - Audi chief engineer Ludwig Kraus had famously been disparaging about the outgoing F103 series, referring to it as the "bastard",[citation needed] owing to its Auto Union/DKW bodyshell and Mercedes-Benz engine. The B1 was a clean break from the Auto Union era, being equipped with a range of brand new 1.3- and 1.5-litre SOHC inline-four petrol engines - the first appearance of the now legendary EA827 series of engines, whose descendants are still used in VW Group vehicles to the present day. The internal combustion engines were available in various rated power outputs. For the 1.3-litre engines, (identification code: ZA) was rated at 55 PS (40 kW; 54 bhp), code: ZF was rated at 60 PS (44 kW; 59 bhp). The 1.5-litre (codes: ZB, ZC) at 75 PS (55 kW; 74 bhp) for the ZB and 85 PS (63 kW; 84 bhp) for the ZC.

On the home market, two-door and four-door saloons were available in base trim (55 or 60 PS, called simply Audi 80 and 80 S, respectively), as L models (LS with 75 PS engine) or as a more luxurious GL (85 PS only). In September 1973, Audi added the sporty 80 GT (two-door only) featuring a carburettor 1.6-litre engine (code: XX) rated at 100 PS (74 kW; 99 bhp).

The Audi 80 had a MacPherson strut front suspension, and a C-section beam rear axle located by trailing arms and a Panhard rod, and using coil springs and telescopic dampers.[3]

Audi's design and development efforts paid off during the 1973 European Car of the Year competition where the 80 won ahead of the Renault 5 and the Alfa Romeo Alfetta.

A facelift in autumn 1976 brought about a revised front end in the style of the newly introduced Audi 100 C2 with square instead of round headlights, 1.6- instead of 1.5-litre engines (still of 75/85 PS) and a new 80 GTE model with a fuel-injected version of the 1.6-litre (110 PS (81 kW; 108 bhp)) replacing the former 80 GT.

In certain markets a five-door "Avant" (Audi's name for an estate/wagon) variant was offered — effectively a rebadged Volkswagen Passat with Audi front panels. This version, first seen in mid-1975, appeared in the United States, South Africa, and several other markets.[4]

The Fox originally had a 1.5 litre engine rated at 55 hp (41 kW; 56 PS), attached to a four-speed manual transmission. Subsequent versions came with 1.6-litre engines rated at 83 hp (62 kW; 84 PS).[5] By 1978, ever more stringent emissions rules meant that this had dropped to 78 hp (58 kW; 79 PS). Four-speed manuals or three-speed automatics were on offer, in all three bodystyles.[6] Aside from the required larger bumpers, early models looked very similar to their European counterparts, while facelift versions (model year 1977) received a large black grille with double, round headlights, without the wraparound turn signals used elsewhere. There was also a sporting GTi package on offer in later years.[6] The B1 platform was dropped from the European market in 1978, although it was sold into the 1979 model year in North America.

B2 (1978–1986)[edit]

Audi 80 B2 (81)
1983 Audi 80 1.8 GL (European version with single headlamps)
Also called
  • Audi 90
  • Audi 4000 (North America)
  • Audi 5+5 (Australia) [7]
1,680,146 built[8][n 1]
80: 1,405,506
90: 105,593
Coupé: 169,047
DesignerGiorgetto Giugiaro at Italdesign
Body and chassis
Body style2/4-door sedan
LayoutFront-engine, front-wheel-drive or quattro permanent four-wheel-drive
PlatformVolkswagen Group B2 platform
RelatedAudi Coupé (B2)
Audi Quattro
Volkswagen Passat (B2)
Wheelbase2,540 mm (100.0 in)
  • 4,383 mm (172.6 in)[9]
  • 4,488 mm (176.7 in) (1980 Audi 4000)[10]
Width1,682 mm (66.2 in)[9]
Height1,365 mm (53.7 in)[9]
Kerb weight1,060 kg (2,337 lb) (1987 Audi 4000S)[11]
PredecessorAudi 80 (B1)
SuccessorAudi 80 (B3)

Audi presented a redesigned 80 based on the B2 platform (Typ 81) in September 1978 and deliveries of the four-door sedan began a few weeks later in Europe. Deliveries of the fuel injected GLE and two-door bodied cars began early in 1979.[12] The redesigned car was first seen in North America in 1979 (as a 1980 model). Audi continued to use the 80 nameplate in Europe, but badged their Typ 81 as the Audi 4000 in North America. The body of the B2 Audi 80 was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro. No Avant variant was available, as the Volkswagen Passat filled that role, as the B2 was intended to move the 80 upmarket from the mid-sized family segment to a compact executive model pitched to rival the BMW 3 Series. The B2 also acted in a de facto sense, as a replacement for the ill-fated NSU Ro 80 that ceased production the year before, since Audi dropped the NSU brand completely following that car's demise. The corresponding B2 version of the Passat appeared two years later and, although the two cars shared the same platform and running gear as before, the Passat had a much stronger visual identity distinct from its Audi 80 sister in comparison with the B1.

The 80 first became available with four-wheel drive in 1983. The model was essentially an Ur-Quattro without the turbocharger and with saloon bodywork.[13] The four-wheel drive 80, however, weighed more than a front-wheel drive Audi 100 CD with the same 2144 cc 136 PS (100 kW; 134 hp) engine, and with its worse aerodynamics it was slower than the larger, better-equipped, and lower-priced 100.[13] Top speeds are 187 and 199 km/h (116 and 124 mph) respectively, with similar fuel economy advantages for the larger 100.[14] The 80 quattro received twin headlamps, a front spoiler with integrated foglights, and a body-coloured rubber spoiler on the rear. There was also a "quattro" script on the bootlid and a twin exhaust. The luggage compartment was marginally smaller (mostly in height), which meant only a temporary spare tire could be fitted.[15] The 80 quattro was a bargain compared to the Ur-Quattro, but less so in comparison with the two-wheel drive 80 GTE or the 100 CD, although they did not offer the impressive road holding that the quattros do.[15]

1983 Audi 80 1.8 GL (United Kingdom)

In Europe, the 80 was the standard model, while after a 1984 facelift the Audi 90 was launched as a larger-engined version of the 80; with more options, and, aside from the 70 PS (51 kW; 69 bhp), four-cylinder 1.6-litre turbodiesel (TD) engine which was also available for the 80, two five-cylinder in-line petrol engines — a 2.0-litre with 115 PS (85 kW; 113 bhp) and a 2.2-litre with 136 PS (100 kW; 134 bhp) which was later enlarged into a 2.3-litre. The 2.2-litre was available with a catalytic converter and power ratings of 115 PS (85 kW; 113 bhp) for front-drive and 120 PS (88 kW; 118 bhp) for quattro models. European models had two headlamp casings, while North American models generally had quad headlamps.

In 1983, the 80 Sport was introduced in the UK, based on the GTE. It came with quattro-style Ronal alloys, rubber rear spoiler, deep chin spoiler, striped charcoal Recaro interior, and optional body graphics including full-length "Audi Sport" stripes.

1984 facelift[edit]

1985 Audi 80 CC (front view); the car received an updated, more aerodynamically shaped front
1985 Audi 80 CC (rear view); note the taillamps that are similar to those of the Audi 100 Typ 44

In Mid-1984 for the 1985 model year, Audi gave the B2 a subtle facelift with tail lights resembling the ones of the Typ 44 Audi 100, and different front and rear bumpers and headlights and an updated interior. In Europe, engines with catalytic converter emissions controls were made available for the first time. The 1.6- and 1.8-litre engines were replaced by newer iterations of the same, enabling the fitment of catalytic converters.

The B2 platform proved to be both quite versatile and quite profitable; many components were shared to or borrowed from the Audi Coupé, Audi Quattro, and Audi Sport Quattro, which in the process helped to cement the company into the public eye after their quattro permanent four-wheel-drive system proved useful in various forms of racing.[16]

The saloons were offered until late 1986 in Europe and 1987 abroad, and the B2-based Audi Coupé lasted through to 1988 (as an early 1989 model) before being changed. The Coupé shared many components, and its basic body shape, with the original Audi Quattro.


4000 (North America)[edit]

The North American Audi 4000 was first introduced for the 1980 model year, with a 1588 cc inline-four with 76 hp (57 kW).[17] This engine came in for some criticism, being somewhat buzzy and underpowered for a car in this price segment. Audi did not offer an automatic transmission, as the engine could not quite cope.[18] A five-speed transmission was also not available until the 1981 model year.[17] For 1981, the 4000 received a long-stroke 1.7-litre engine and a standard five-speed manual (with a three-speed automatic still available). The new engine was a fifty-state version with a three-way catalyst, and power dropped to 74 hp (55 kW). Nonetheless, more torque and the new gearbox translated into better performance and improved gas mileage.[19]

Audi 4000 5+5 (North America)[edit]

The Audi 4000 5+5 was launched onto the American market in the 1981 model year. The 5+5 was essentially an 80 B2 two-door saloon with the 100 hp (101 PS; 75 kW) 2144 cc five-cylinder engine from the 5000 and a five-speed transmission.

The 4000 5+5 was the precursor to what would become the Audi 90. It was fitted with various sporty parts such as an oil pressure gauge, sports interior, and alloy wheels as standard equipment.

Audi 5+5 (Australia)[edit]

The Audi 5+5 name was used in the Australian market for a unique four-door Audi 80, so named as it was fitted with the 2144-cc, five-cylinder engine coupled with a five-speed manual gearbox.[7] An automatic option was also offered.[7] The 5+5 was marketed in Australia from October 1981 through to 1983.[20]

Audi 4000S[edit]

The 4000 5+5 was accompanied on the American market by the 4000S. This is a more pedestrian yet well-equipped four-door version with the same engine, originally only coupled to a three-speed automatic.[18]

After a facelift it was sold in North America in 4000S (1.8-litre) and 4000S/CS quattro (2.2-litre) derivatives,[21] with the S and CS quattros corresponding to the European Audi 90 quattro. The Audi 4000 quattro debuted in 1984 and was sold in four colors, Black, Alpine White, Tornado Red, and optional Zermatt Silver metallic. It came standard with a five-speed manual transmission, brown velour interior, and automatic windows up front and manuals in the rear. The early Audi 4000 models were very similar to the Audi 80 with the addition of USA mandated crash safety bumpers and quad sealed beam headlights. The mounting for the safety bumpers intruded into the luggage compartment floor, making for a very irregularly shaped and less useful space.[17]

The S has a 1.8-litre inline-four-cylinder engine that puts out 76 kW (103 PS; 102 bhp) at 5500 rpm. The CS quattro has a CIS-E fuel-injected 2.2-litre inline-five cylinder petrol engine (identification code: JT). It displaces 2226 cc and was constructed from a grey cast-iron cylinder block, with an aluminium alloy cylinder head, and uses a timing belt-driven single overhead camshaft (SOHC). The rated horsepower is 115 hp (86 kW; 117 PS) at 5500 rpm, and the torque is 171 N⋅m (126 lbf⋅ft) at 3000 rpm. The only transmission available on the 4000CS was a five-speed close-ratio manual.

4000 gallery[edit]

B3 (1986–1992)[edit]

Audi 80 B3 (89)
Also calledAudi 90
  • 1986–1992
  • 1,623,382 built[8][22][n 1]
  • 80: 1,438,475
  • 90: 184,907
DesignerJ Mays (1983)[23][24] under Hartmut Warkuß
Body and chassis
Body style4-door sedan
LayoutFront-engine, front-wheel-drive or quattro permanent four-wheel-drive
PlatformVolkswagen Group B3 platform
Transmission5-speed manual
3-speed automatic
Wheelbase2,540 mm (100.0 in)
Length4,404 mm (173.4 in)
Width1,695 mm (66.7 in)
Height1,397 mm (55.0 in)
PredecessorAudi 80 (B2)
SuccessorAudi 80 (B4)

In September 1986, Audi released a new Typ 89 Audi 80 for the 1987 model year on the European market and introduced it elsewhere within a year. It was based on a new platform that broke the relationship between the 80 and the Volkswagen Passat, the corresponding third generation of which used the transverse-engined Volkswagen B3 platform, whilst Audi stuck with the longitudinal front wheel drive layout for the B3-series 80. Production codes were Typ 89 from 1987 to 1989, and Typ 8A from 1990 onward (in line with a restructuring of many VW platform designations). It introduced a new aerodynamic look and a fully zinc-coated galvanised bodyshell.

Unlike its predecessor, the B3 was marketed worldwide only as the Audi 80 or Audi 90. Initially, Audi transferred existing powertrain concepts to the new model although fuel injection was now available for some engines. A range of new petrol and diesel inline four-cylinder engines became available to European customers along with the procon-ten safety system which became standard fitment from 1991.

Procon-ten was a notable safety feature comprising a series of hidden steel cables routed behind the gearbox, attached to the steering wheel and front seatbelt inertia reels. In the event of a front impact, the engine and gearbox are forced rearward, pulling on these cables. This action simultaneously pulls the steering wheel into the dashboard to prevent the driver colliding with it while tightening the front seatbelts. This innovation was a precursor to the airbag, which became popular on mass produced cars during the 1990s after being patented by Mercedes-Benz in 1982.[25]

In 1987, the Audi 90 was reintroduced as an upmarket, more luxurious variant of the 80. To begin with it would again feature a choice of 10-valve inline five-cylinder petrol engines, and could be specified with or without quattro. The 90 differs visually from the 80 by a full width tail-light panel; headlights that featured additional high-beam lights and a slightly different front grille. Indicator lamps were moved from beside the headlights to the bumpers next to the fog lights, which were standard fitment on the 90. Brightwork surrounds for the windows, tops of the bumpers and side rubbing strips were also standard. Interiors were upgraded over the 80 featuring velour seat coverings and a slightly more generous level of equipment. The then range-topping 2.2E offered a boot spoiler, alloy wheels, leather steering wheel, and sports front seats. Switchable ABS was standard on quattro versions.

From 1989 to 1991 the Audi 90 offered the first 20-valve engine from Audi since the turbocharged engine used in the Audi Sport Quattro. This new 2.3-litre engine produced 170 PS (125 kW; 168 bhp) and featured in the front wheel drive 20V, 20V Sport, and four-wheel drive 20V quattro derivatives. The non-quattro 20V models were 120 kg lighter.[26] The Audi 80 16V, new in 1990, was also offered with the quattro system, making for a certain amount of overlap with the 2.3-liter Audi 90. The quattro 16V was built in comparably small numbers, meaning that it did not reach the initial annual production requirement of 5,000 examples required to be homologated for Group A rallying.[27]

Externally, Sport versions of the 90 were visually distinguished by the deletion of brightwork in favour of satin black window surrounds, bumper cappings, and thinner side mouldings. A raised aluminium boot spoiler, lowered suspension, and uprated brakes were fitted as standard, Speedline wheels were also standard fitment in the UK.

In October 1988, a Coupé version based on the 80/90 appeared, called simply the Audi Coupé (typ 8B). This had completely different three-door liftback bodywork and replaced the earlier, B2-based Coupé which had been manufactured into early 1988. This version remained in production until 1996, in parallel with the succeeding B4 generation Audi 80. A convertible was planned from the beginning, but did not appear until May 1991 as the Audi Cabriolet. This model remained in production until 2000 and was optically aligned with the B4 Audi 80 from its introduction.

Altogether, the Audi 80 came with the following engine range, although not all of these were available in all markets:

Model Displacement Power at rpm Torque at rpm Fuel supply Catalytic
Notes Production
Petrol engines
Audi 80 1399 cc 65 PS (48 kW; 64 hp) at 5,200 110 N⋅m (81 lb⋅ft) at 3,000 Carburettor No Greece only
1595 cc 70 PS (51 kW; 69 hp) at 5,200 123 N⋅m (91 lb⋅ft) at 2,700 No Austria only 03/87–07/89
70 PS (51 kW; 69 hp) at 5,200 118 N⋅m (87 lb⋅ft) at 2,700 Yes 08/89–12/91
75 PS (55 kW; 74 hp) at 5,200 125 N⋅m (92 lb⋅ft) at 2,700 No 08/86–12/91
Audi 80 1.6E 102 PS (75 kW; 101 hp) at 6,300 135 N⋅m (100 lb⋅ft) at 3,500 MPFI No Portugal and Greece 08/90–12/91
Audi 80 1781 cc 75 PS (55 kW; 74 hp) at 4,500 140 N⋅m (103 lb⋅ft) at 2,500 Carburettor No 10/86–01/90
75 PS (55 kW; 74 hp) at 4,500 140 N⋅m (103 lb⋅ft) at 2,500 Yes
Audi 80 1.8S 88 PS (65 kW; 87 hp) at 5,200 142 N⋅m (105 lb⋅ft) at 3,300 Yes 08/86–07/90
90 PS (66 kW; 89 hp) at 5,200 150 N⋅m (111 lb⋅ft) at 3,300 No 08/86–12/91
90 PS (66 kW; 89 hp) at 5,400 140 N⋅m (103 lb⋅ft) at 3,350 SPFI Yes 08/86–12/91
90 PS (66 kW; 89 hp) at 5,400 145 N⋅m (107 lb⋅ft) at 3,350 Yes
90 PS (66 kW; 89 hp) at 5,500 142 N⋅m (105 lb⋅ft) at 3,250 Yes 03/88–12/91
Audi 80 1.8E 112 PS (82 kW; 110 hp) at 5,800 160 N⋅m (118 lb⋅ft) at 3,400 MPFI No 08/86–12/91
Audi 80 1.9E 1847 cc 113 PS (83 kW; 111 hp) at 5,600 160 N⋅m (118 lb⋅ft) at 3,400 Yes 09/86–07/88
Audi 80 2.0E 1984 cc 112 PS (82 kW; 110 hp) at 5,300 168 N⋅m (124 lb⋅ft) at 3,250 Yes 08/88–10/90
113 PS (83 kW; 111 hp) at 5,300 170 N⋅m (125 lb⋅ft) at 3,250 Yes 08/90–12/91
Audi 80 16V 137 PS (101 kW; 135 hp) at 5,800 181 N⋅m (133 lb⋅ft) at 4,500 Yes 03/90–12/91
Diesel engines
Audi 80 Diesel 1588 cc 50 PS (37 kW; 49 hp) at 4,800 97 N⋅m (72 lb⋅ft) at 2,700–3,200 Diesel No Austria only 08/86–07/89
54 PS (40 kW; 53 hp) at 4,800 100 N⋅m (74 lb⋅ft) at 2,700–3,200 No
1896 cc 68 PS (50 kW; 67 hp) at 4,400 127 N⋅m (94 lb⋅ft) at 2,200–2,600 No 08/89–12/91
Audi 80 Turbodiesel 1588 cc 80 PS (59 kW; 79 hp) at 4,500 152 N⋅m (112 lb⋅ft) at 2,300–2,800 Turbodiesel No 04/89–12/91
80 PS (59 kW; 79 hp) at 4,500 155 N⋅m (114 lb⋅ft) at 2,300–2,800 No 04/88–07/90

The Audi 90 came with the following engines:

Model Displacement Power at rpm Torque at rpm Catalytic
Notes Production
Audi 90 2.0E 1994 cc 115 PS (85 kW; 113 hp) at 5,400 rpm 172 N⋅m (127 lb⋅ft) at 4,000 rpm Yes PS 05/87–11/91
Audi 90 2.0E 20V 160 PS (118 kW; 158 hp) 190 N⋅m (140 lb⋅ft) No NM Italy/Portugal only 02/88–11/91
Audi 90 2.2E 2226 cc 136 PS (100 kW; 134 hp) at 5,700 rpm 186 N⋅m (137 lb⋅ft) at 3,500 rpm No KV 05/87–89
Audi 90 2.3E 2309 cc 136 PS (100 kW; 134 hp) at 5,700 rpm 190 N⋅m (140 lb⋅ft) at 4,500 rpm Yes NG 05/87–11/91
Audi 90 2.3E 20V 170 PS (125 kW; 168 hp) at 6,000 rpm 220 N⋅m (162 lb⋅ft) at 4,500 rpm Yes 7A 02/88–11/91
Audi 90 Turbodiesel 1588 cc 80 PS (59 kW; 79 hp) at 4,500 152–155 N⋅m (112–114 lb⋅ft) at 2,300–2,800 No RA/SB 88–90

North America[edit]

In 1989, for the 1990 model year, North America received the 90 quattro model (and Coupé quattro) that was powered by a detuned 164 hp (122 kW; 166 PS) of the 20v 2.3-litre 5-cylinder engine. It was marketed in the "Grand Tourismo" (GT) style of a comfortable luxury car with sporting tendencies, as opposed to a dedicated lightweight sports car. Weighing between 3,042 lb (1,380 kg) (1990 sedan model) to 3,308 lb (1,500 kg) (1991 Coupé model), these cars were not lightweight, especially in consideration of the 164 hp powerplant (slightly less than the European version). These models can be recognised by their distinctive wheels, 14" BBS Mesh wheels or 15" Six-star Speedlines. They differed from regular 80/90 models in several ways. Notable differences include their standard leather interiors with Zebrano wood trim, additional VDO gauges mounted in the bottom of the centre console, a carbon fibre centre prop shaft, and push-button locking rear differential.

The final type 89 80s and 90s were sold as 1992 models in North America; in Europe, all type 89 sedans were discontinued at the end of the 1991 model year to give way to the B4 series; a few Audi 90 Sport Quattro with the 2.3-litre 20v engine were assembled in early 1992.[citation needed]

B4 (1991–1996)[edit]

Audi 80 B4 (8C)
1,090,690 built[28][n 1]
4-door: 908,255
Avant: 182,435
Body and chassis
Body style4-door sedan
5-door wagon
LayoutFront-engine, front-wheel-drive or quattro permanent four-wheel-drive
PlatformVolkswagen Group B4 platform
Transmission5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
Wheelbase102.8 in (2,611 mm) (sedan)
102.2 in (2,596 mm) (quattro)
Length180.3 in (4,580 mm) (sedan)
Width66.7 in (1,694 mm) (sedan)
Height54.3 in (1,379 mm) (sedan, 1992–94)
54.7 in (1,389 mm) (quattro)
55.0 in (1,397 mm) (saloon, 1995–96)
Kerb weight1,190–1,430 kg (2,624–3,153 lb)
PredecessorAudi 80 (B3)
SuccessorAudi A4 (B5)
Audi 90
The contemporary Audi Cabriolet was derived from the Audi 80 B3

The Audi 80 (B3) obtained a major facelift in the autumn of 1991, although the UK launch was not until early 1992. From then on it was known internally as the B4 (or Typ 8C). Changes from the B3 included a longer wheelbase, a fully redesigned fuel tank and rear axle to enable the use of folding seats, 15" wheels with more prominent wheel arches, redesigned and painted rear and front bumpers, as well as higher-quality materials for the interior, and a larger boot. The front grille was merged with the bonnet and given a bolder look. This design had been previewed on the 1990 Audi Coupé S2 and was applied to the full lineup of the B3-based Coupés as well in July 1991. The Cabriolet (Typ 8G) had been introduced in May 1991 and continued to be built long after the B4 had been replaced, receiving similar updates to the Audi 80 B4 and succeeding Audi A4.

The B4 also marked the beginning of Audi's move into the German luxury mid-sized vehicle segment, which until then was clearly dominated by Mercedes-Benz and BMW. On the European market, and in Germany in particular, the B4 and its variants were highly successful and popular.

In Europe, the 90 designation for five-cylinder models was dropped for this generation, and all saloons were badged as 80, regardless of which engine they had. Audi of America went the opposite direction, and sold the saloon as the 90. B4s for the American market typically offered more luxury and style even in the standard version, such as automatic transmission, cruise control, air conditioning, and leather seats, all of which were usually optional at additional cost on European models.

Because the United States does not recognise the international ECE Regulations on auto safety components and constructions, but rather maintains its own Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, the front of the B4 had to be specially redesigned for vehicles sold in North America. The front and bumper had to be designed to accommodate impact energy absorbers not required outside North America. Instead of the dual-reflector headlamps, a single-reflector design was used inboard of an amber combination turn signal, parking, and side marker lamp and reflector wrapping around the corner, and fog lamps smaller than the rest-of-world items were placed the corners of the bumper air duct.

European market cars were now available with a selection of inline four-cylinder engines, as well as the familiar in-line five, and two different new V6 engines (2.6-litre and 2.8-litre); the later 2.8-litre V6 was the only engine available for vehicles sold in North America. As another first, Audi introduced a new high-torque, direct-injection, turbocharged diesel engine, the 66 kW (90 PS; 89 bhp) 1.9-litre TDI (Turbocharged Direct Injection). The standard 1.8-litre petrol engine of the B3 was discontinued; a two-litre, 66 kW (90 PS; 89 bhp), four-cylinder petrol engine, a variation of the previously known 85 kW (116 PS; 114 bhp) 2.0 E engine, was now available for the base model.

Altogether, although some layouts were not available everywhere outside Germany, Audi offered the following engine range for the 80/90 B4:

Petrol engines:

  • 1.6 – 52 kW (71 PS; 70 bhp), in-line four-cylinder (export only)
  • 1.6 E – 74 kW (101 PS; 99 bhp), in-line four-cylinder
  • 1.8 E 20v – 92 kW (125 PS; 123 bhp), in-line four-cylinder
  • 2.0 – 66 kW (90 PS; 89 bhp), in-line four-cylinder (base model in Germany)
  • 2.0 E – 85 kW (115 PS; 113 bhp), in-line four-cylinder
  • 2.0 E 16v – 103 kW (140 PS; 138 bhp), 16-valve, in-line four-cylinder
  • 2.3 E 10v – 98 kW (133 PS; 131 bhp), 10-valve, in-line five-cylinder
  • 2.6 E – 110 kW (150 PS; 148 bhp), V6
  • 2.8 E – 128 kW (174 PS; 172 bhp), V6
  • S2 – 162–169 kW (220–230 PS; 217–227 bhp), 2.2 L, 20-valve turbocharged in-line five-cylinder
  • RS2 Avant – 232 kW (315 PS; 311 bhp), 2.2 L, 20-valve turbocharged in-line five-cylinder

Diesel engines:

Most petrol versions could be ordered with quattro permanent four-wheel-drive; at the time, however, it could only be combined with a five-speed manual transmission. Additionally, Audi built approximatrly 2500 units of the Quattro Competition for the German and European market. It was a street homologation of the B4-based Super Tourenwagen Cup (STW) race car saloon with four-wheel drive and a modified 140 PS (138 hp; 103 kW), 16-valve, two-litre petrol engine. The powertrain had its roots in the two-litre, four-cylinder inline engines that most European Audi 80s were equipped with at the time. On the outside, the Quattro Competition featured the same bumpers as the S2, V6 headlights, and a rear wing mounted on the bootlid. Together with the S2 and the RS2 Avant, the Quattro Competition has become an increasingly rare and highly sought-after collector's item.

Together with the saloon, Audi produced a B4-based estate, the Audi 80 Avant, and a convertible, the Audi Cabriolet, which was largely based on the B3 Coupé. This meant that Audi now had saloon, coupé, cabriolet, and estate variants of the 80 available to European customers. For the North American market, however, Audi only sold coupés during the 1990 and 1991 model years, and the station wagon was never officially available.

Audi 80 unraced DTM prototype

As of the 1994 model year, a limited edition model, known as Europa, was introduced on the European market. It could be ordered both as a saloon and an Avant. It was factory-equipped with power mirrors, alloy wheels, rear seat headrests, an airbag steering wheel, and offered a choice between power sunroof or air conditioning. It came in five different special colours. For "regular" 1994 B4 saloons and Avants, standard features as well as options available were stepped up too, including an airbag steering wheel and redesigned door liners (standard), and passenger airbags and a built-in engine immobiliser (optional).

The 80-series was effectively replaced by the new Audi A4 in 1994, a variant of the 1996 (B5) Volkswagen Passat. By that time it was feeling very dated in comparison with more modern rivals such as the BMW E36. Production ceased at a time when prestige European manufacturers were making the transition of older executive saloons to newer models based on newer platforms in the compact executive car market.

The B4 saloon was discontinued at the end of the 1994. The Avant was axed in 1995, and the Coupé (with no immediate replacement) followed suit in 1996. The Cabriolet, however, continued in production until August 2000. The B4 platform saloon was replaced by the Audi A4 for the 1995 model year (1996 in North America), followed by a new A4 Avant later in 1996. A mid-sized convertible was not available again until 2002, when the A4 Cabriolet was introduced. Since 2007, Audi has produced Audi A5 - which is similar in concept to the old 80-based Coupé.

Audi S2[edit]

Audi S2 Avant

Audi developed a sports version of the Coupé in 1990, called the Audi Coupé S2. This replaced the famous Audi Quattro and was capable of 150 mph. In 1993, the S2 received some cosmetic updates, including new AVUS-style alloy wheels, ellipsoid beam (projector) headlamps, and clear front indicator lenses. This coincided with the introduction of the five-door S2 Avant, along with a limited run of four-door S2 sedan models, of which 306 were produced. The S2 saloon and Avant feature a lot of similarities in the rear axle support system to the later B5 A4 quattro. The B4 platform S2 Avant was also used between 1993 and 1995 as the basis for Audi's RS2 Avant super-sports estate, which was modified for Audi with assistance from Porsche.

Audi RS2 Avant[edit]

Audi RS2 Avant

The Audi RS2 Avant is fitted with a similar 2.2-litre turbocharged engine to the S2, but producing 232 kW (315 PS; 311 hp). It can accelerate from 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) in 4.8 seconds and has a top speed of 262 km/h (163 mph).

The Audi RS2 was generally only available as an Avant, although four 4-door saloon models were officially produced by the factory, including one for the chief of the RS2 development programme. The RS2 was at least partially assembled at the Porsche Rossle-Bau plant in Zuffenhausen. Prior to manufacturing the RS2, the Porsche Zuffenhausen assembly line was busy producing the high-performance W124 bodystyle Mercedes-Benz 500E. The RS2/Porsche link is further exemplified by the RS2's dual circuit Porsche braking system (wearing Brembo calipers with a Porsche name), 7.0Jx17" alloy wheels that were identical in design to the Porsche 911 Turbo wheels of that era, and side view mirrors are also borrowed from the Porsche 911 Turbo. Additionally, the word "PORSCHE" is inscribed in the RS2 factory emblems affixed to the tailgate and front grille, and on the engine's inlet manifold. Porsche modified the Avant S2 body optics, added more power, better brakes, bigger anti-roll bars to front and rear, fine tuned the interior – and a super-sports estate was born. Porsche's involvement in the project was on the strict understanding that a coupé model would not be produced, as this was felt to be too close to Porsche's own products.

Model Cylinder Bore × stroke Displ. Compression Ratio [29] Rated power (DIN 70020) Max. Torque (DIN 70020) Engine
0–100 km/h
(0–62 mph)
Top speed Construction period
1.6[a] 4 81 mm × 77.4 mm 1595 cc 9:1 52 kW (71 PS; 70 hp) at 5400 rpm 120 N⋅m (89 lbf⋅ft) at 3000 rpm ABM 15.4 s 162 km/h (101 mph) 01/1992–08/1994
1.6 E[a] 4 81 mm × 77.4 mm 1595 cc 10.5:1 74 kW (101 PS; 99 hp) at 6000 rpm 130 N⋅m (96 lbf⋅ft) at 3200 rpm ADA Un­known 189 km/h (117 mph) 06/1993–12/1995
2.0 4 82.5 mm × 92.8 mm 1984 cc 8.9:1 66 kW (90 PS; 89 hp) at 5400 rpm 148 N⋅m (109 lbf⋅ft) at 3000 rpm ABT 13.6 s 177 km/h (110 mph) 09/1991–12/1995
2.0 E[b] 4 82.5 mm × 92.8 mm 1984 cc 10.4:1 85 kW (116 PS; 114 hp) at 5400 rpm 166 N⋅m (122 lbf⋅ft) at 3200 rpm ABK 11.8 s 190 km/h (120 mph) 09/1991–12/1995
2.0 E 16V[a][b] 4 82.5 mm × 92.8 mm 1984 cc 10.8:1 103 kW (140 PS; 138 hp) at 5800 rpm 181 N⋅m (133 lbf⋅ft) at 4500 rpm ACE 9.6 s 201 km/h (125 mph) 08/1992–12/1995
2.3 E[b] 5 82.5 mm × 86.4 mm 2309 cc 10:1 98 kW (133 PS; 131 hp) at 5500 rpm 186 N⋅m (137 lbf⋅ft) at 4000 rpm NG 9.8 s 200 km/h (120 mph) 09/1991–11/1994
2.6 E[b] 6 82.5 mm × 81.0 mm 2598 cc 10:1 110 kW (150 PS; 148 hp) at 5750 rpm 225 N⋅m (166 lbf⋅ft) at 3500 rpm ABC 9.3 s 212 km/h (132 mph) 07/1992–12/1995
2.8 E[b] 6 82.5 mm × 86.4 mm 2771 cc 10.3:1 128 kW (174 PS; 172 hp) at 5500 rpm 245 N⋅m (181 lbf⋅ft)[c] at 3000 rpm AAH 8.0 s 220 km/h (140 mph) 09/1991–12/1995
S2[d] 5 81.0 mm × 86.4 mm 2226 cc 9.3:1 169 kW (230 PS; 227 hp) at 5900 rpm 350 N⋅m (258 lbf⋅ft) at 1950 rpm ABY 5.9 s 248 km/h (154 mph) 02/1993–12/1995
RS2 Avant[d] 5 81.0 mm × 86.4 mm 2226 cc 9.3:1 232 kW (315 PS; 311 hp) at 6500 rpm 410 N⋅m (302 lbf⋅ft) at 3000 rpm ADU 5.4 s 262 km/h (163 mph) 03/1994–05/1995
  1. ^ a b c Only for export.
  2. ^ a b c d e All-wheel-drive (quattro) was available as a factory option.
  3. ^ With "Super Plus" petrol (98 RON): 250 N⋅m (184 lbf⋅ft)
  4. ^ a b All-wheel-drive was a default option.
Model Cylinder Bore × stroke Displ. Rated power (DIN 70020) Max. Torque (DIN 70020) Engine
0–100 km/h
(0–62 mph)
Top speed Construction period
1.9 TD 4 79.5 mm × 95.5 mm 1896 cc 55 kW (75 PS; 74 hp) at 4400 rpm 140 N⋅m (103 lbf⋅ft) at 2200–2800 rpm AAZ 17.5 s 162 km/h (101 mph) 09/1991–07/1995
1.9 TDI 4 79.5 mm × 95.5 mm 1896 cc 66 kW (90 PS; 89 hp) at 4000 rpm 182 N⋅m (134 lbf⋅ft) at 2300 rpm[a] 1Z 14.1 s 174 km/h (108 mph) 09/1991–07/1995
  1. ^ Starting from model year 1994: 202 N⋅m (149 lbf⋅ft) at 1900 rpm.

Type codes[edit]

Audi assigned its individual models "Typ" codes, in addition to the primary Volkswagen Group B platform codes:

  • F103 – Audi 80 (1966–1969)
  • Typ 80 – B1; Audi 80 (1972–1976)
  • Typ 82/33 – B1; Audi 80 (1976–1978)
  • Typ 81 – B2; Audi 80/90 (4000 in US) (1979–1987); Audi Coupé (1980–1987)
  • Typ 85 – B2; Audi Coupé quattro (1984–1988); Audi Quattro (1981–1991); Audi 80/90/4000 quattro (1984–1987); Audi Sport Quattro (1984–1987)
  • Typ 89/8A – B3; Audi 80/90 (1986–1992)
  • Typ 89Q – B3; Audi 80/90 quattro (1986–1992)
  • Typ 8B – B3; Audi Coupé (1989–1996); Audi S2 (1991–1996)
  • Typ 8C – B4; Audi 80 (1992–1995); Audi RS2 Avant (1994–1996)
  • Typ 8G – B4; Audi Cabriolet (1991–2000)


The Audi 90 is best known for its heavy dominance in the IMSA GT Championship under the IMSA GTO category as well as in the Trans Am Series in the late eighties.

See also[edit]

Works cited[edit]

  • Oswald, Werner (2001), Deutsche Autos 1945–1990 [German cars 1945-1990] (in German), vol. 4, Motorbuch Verlag, pp. 263–274, ISBN 978-3-613-02131-0


  1. ^ a b c Figures given for calendar years, some overlap with predecessor/successor models; actual figures therefore slightly lower.


  1. ^ a b Pedr Davis & Tony Davis, The Best of Circles - Audi in Australia, page 74
  2. ^ Oswald (2001), p. 274
  3. ^ Paul Fernley, "Car of the Year: 1972", Classic and Sports Car (September 2005) p. 135
  4. ^ Wright, Cedric, ed. (September 1978). "Audi 80 GLS, by Volkswagen". CAR (South Africa). Vol. 22, no. 8. Ramsay, Son & Parker (Pty) ltd. p. 58.
  5. ^ Imports: Audi", Collector Car and Truck Market Guide, (VMR International, July 2001) p. 76
  6. ^ a b Road & Track's Road Test Annual & Buyer's Guide 1979, Greenwich, CT: CBS Publications, January–February 1979, p. 81
  7. ^ a b c Paul Harrington, 5+5 aussie audi, Motor Manual, December 1981, page 36
  8. ^ a b Oswald (2001), p. 263
  9. ^ a b c Scarlett, Michael (16 September 1978). "Audi 80 description: Bigger and better". Autocar. 149 (4271): 37–40.
  10. ^ Hogg, Tony (ed.). "Six Family Sedans". Road & Track's Road Test Annual & Buyer's Guide 1981 (January–February 1981): 22.
  11. ^ Audi for 1987
  12. ^ Oswald (2001), p. 282
  13. ^ a b Renaux, Jean-Jacques (1983-06-02). "Essai Détaille: Audi 80 quattro". Le Moniteur de l'Automobile (in French). 33 (770). Brussels, Belgium: Editions Auto-Magazine: 38–39.
  14. ^ Renaux, p. 41
  15. ^ a b Renaux, p. 47
  16. ^ Audi of America Press Site 25 Years of Audi Quattro Archived 2008-06-19 at the Wayback Machine 22 February 2005
  17. ^ a b c Six Family Sedans, p. 18
  18. ^ a b Hogg, Tony (ed.). "1981 Buyer's Guide". Road & Track's Road Test Annual & Buyer's Guide 1981 (January–February 1981): 82.
  19. ^ 1981 Buyer's Guide, p. 81
  20. ^ The Red Book, October 1989, Automated Data Services Pty. Limited, page 24
  21. ^ "Audi World 4000 spec sheet". Retrieved 2011-09-04.
  22. ^ Kittler, Eberhard (2001), Deutsche Autos seit 1990 [German cars since 1990] (in German), vol. 5, Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag, pp. 24–26, ISBN 3-613-02128-5
  23. ^ "J. Mays to Succeed Jack Telnack as Head of Ford's Global Design... -- re> DEARBORN, Mich., Sept. 15 /PRNewswire/ --". Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  24. ^ "J Mays, Vice President - Design, Ford Automotive Operations". Archived from the original on 2014-06-01. Retrieved 2013-07-12.
  25. ^ Oagana, Alex (21 May 2018). "Audi Procon-Ten: The No-Airbag Safety System".
  26. ^ Volkswagen Audi Car September 1989 Page 37
  27. ^ Kjellström, PeO (1991-04-18). "Vän av vinterväg" [Friend of winter roads]. Teknikens Värld (in Swedish). Vol. 43, no. 8. Stockholm, Sweden: Specialtidningsförlaget AB. p. 11.
  28. ^ Kittler, p. 24
  29. ^ "Specs for all Audi 80 (B3/B4) versions". Retrieved 2022-02-10.

External links[edit]