Car Albums
Bubble Cars
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NSU ro80
NSU took a bold step forward with the large saloon Ro80 in 1967 with a one litre Wankel engine. Claus Luthe designed the superb aerodynamic body which would have been remarkable for any motor manufacturer, but particularly so for one that had only been making cars for about ten years and even those were economy microcars. Automatic transmission, four wheel discs set this car apart from other executive saloons. The most notable achievement of the car was that it was the first mass production car to be equipped with a Rotary engine. Designed by their own Felix Wankel, this engine has a curved triangular rotor which orbits a kind of fattened figure '8' chamber and will fire 3-times in each revolution. The NSU Ro80 had a twin-rotor Wankel engine of 995cc (although Wankel engines are often classified at twice their displacement), and gave 113bhp. Launched at the 1967 Frankfurt Show, the Ro80 was awarded European Car of the Year for 1968. However, the Wankel engine was unreliable with some customers having several replacement engines under the guarantee. The reputation of the car suffered and sales plummeted even though NSU did achieve an improved engine, better fuel and oil consumption. The development costs of the NSU Ro80, coupled with the teething troubles of this new technology was too much for NSU and in 1969 it agreed to a buyout by VW/Audi who promptly cancelled the car in 1977 after 35,000 were sold.
aa_NSU Ro80 1975 badge80
NSU Ro80 1975 - badge on bootlid. 'Ro' stood for Rotary power, and '80' was the NSU project number.
aa_NSU Ro80 1975 badgen
NSU Ro80 1975 - badge on bonnet
ac_NSU Ro80 1972 head
NSU Ro80 1972. Powered by a twin rotor (497cc x 2) Wankel rotrary engine jointly produced by comotor, a venture by NSU and Citroen.
ac_NSU Ro80 1975 head
NSU Ro80 1975. Under the bonnet a twin-rotor 995cc Wankel engine driving the front wheels through a semi automatic gearbox. The autobox was given in order to overcome the poor power at low revs, a characteristic of the Wankel engine, but from low revs the engine would rev freely and smoothly.
m_NSU Ro80 1975 engine
NSU Ro80 1975. This is the twin-rotor Wankel engine, smaller and lighter than a conventional engine. It was rated at 995cc and gave out 113bhp, but some authorities would rate it at 2-litres rather than 1-litre.
NSU Ro80 1975 frontl
NSU Ro80 1975. A twin-rotor 995cc Wankel engine powered the Ro80 driving the front wheels through a semi automatic gearbox.
NSU Ro80 1975 frontr
NSU Ro80 1975. The Claus Luthe body had a drag coefficient of 0.355.
NSU Ro80 1975 rear
NSU Ro80 1975. Body designed by Claus Luthe giving a drag coefficient of 0.355
s_NSU Ro80 1973 side
NSU Ro80 1973. An iconic aerodynamic profile by Claus Luthe made the NSU Ro80 the Citroen DS icon of the 1970s, allied to the technical innovation of 2 x 497cc twin rotor Wankel engine. Sadly the project ended NSU as an independent manufacturer
s_NSU Ro80 1975 glass
NSU Ro80 1975 - window in c-pillar.
t_NSU Ro80 1975 tail
NSU Ro80 1975. The high boot gave aerodynamic benefits and capacity, but it was partially filled by the fuel tank.
Wankel Rotary Engines
NSU Sport Prinz and Wankel Spider
Citroën DS and ID
Citroën SM
key text:  This is the page introducing Simons love of cars from the website  RedSimon which is a series of photo albums of Simon GP Geoghegan.
The names of Pinin, Farina, and Pininfarina are also considered
There are also notes on Pininfarina
as well as the car maker
and links tothat car maker
see also my Picasa car albums
withe even more on RedSimon
Simon is also a contributor to SuperCars.Net
And also to Wikipedia
Photos may be purchased from PhotoBox