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NSU Ro80 — The Complete Story

NSU Ro80 — The Complete Story
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  • 0719841747
  • 9780719841743
by Martin Buckley Launched in 1967, the NSU Ro80 had modern aerodynamic styling, a... mehr
NSU Ro80 — The Complete Story

by Martin Buckley

Launched in 1967, the NSU Ro80 had modern aerodynamic styling, a technologically advanced Wankel rotary engine and was voted Car of the Year in 1968. However, after the initial positive reception, the car developed a reputation for unreliability, with problems arising as early as 15,000 miles and many vehicles required a rebuilt engine before 30,000 miles. Despite the company resolving these reliability issues in both existing and new vehicles, and offering a generous warranty, the damage to the car’s reputation was done.

The NSU Ro80 is the most celebrated motoring lost cause of the second half of the twentieth century, outranking the likes of the Edsel and the DeLorean because, unlike those statements of misplaced optimism and ego, it was a good car. Not just good: the NSU Ro80 is one of the great saloons. Launched in September 1967, the Ro80 was an all-new four-door five-seater from a West German company that – post-war – had never made anything other than economy runabouts, motorcycles and mopeds. That alone should have been enough of a risk, but this was also the world’s first purpose-built Wankel-engined family saloon. This compact, refined and elegantly simple power unit was the first really new concept in the realm of internal combustion engines to achieve mass production for ninety years. A car like the Ro80 could only really have come from Germany, where there was a passion for research and a pride in engineering not found elsewhere in Europe. With front-wheel drive, superb power steering and four-wheel disc brakes, the car had top handling and driver appeal. Quite simply, it was a masterpiece, considered by many to be the finest vehicle of its type in the world. But with one fatal flaw: its engine.

With over 300 archive photographs, drawings and diagrams, this book tells the story of the NSU Ro80 and includes:

  • An overview of how the NSU-Wankel partnership arose
  • The innovative design and technology, with full specifications, performance data, colours and options
  • Contemporary press reactions
  • Profiles of key individuals: Felix Wankel, Gerd Stieler von Heydekampf, Claus Luthe, Ewald Praxl and Walter Froede
  • The car in popular culture
  • Appendices covering production figures and sales

Buch, Hardcover, 22 x 26,5 cm, 176 Seiten, ca. 300 teils farbige Abbildungen, englischer Text