Audi 100 c31982 - 1991
Category: Audi 100
The Audi 100 and Audi 200 are executive cars manufactured for model years 1968–1994 by Audi, a division of the Volkswagen Group. The C3 model of the Audi 100 was sold in the United States as the Audi 5000 until 1988.
Edging out the Ford Sierra as the 1983 European Car of the Year following its 1982 launch, the Audi 100 had an aerodynamic look, achieving a drag coefficient of 0.30 for its smoothest base model. It was one of the first mass-produced aerodynamic-looking cars of the 1980s, with this type of design being adopted by many other manufacturers over the next few years.
The increased aerodynamic efficiency resulted in better fuel economy, which was an effective marketing tool for Audi in the 1980s. The shape was a marked contrast from the boxy shape of the C2, an updated appearance commonly found in cars built in the late 1940s to early 1960s called "ponton" styling. Also of note was new technology introduced in the C3, including the procon-ten safety system.
Audi was able to follow up on the modern smooth look first seen in this segment on the 1967 NSU Ro 80 and popularised by the 1974 Citroën CX. It also set a styling trend of flush wheel covers, a thick black side door moulding and blacked out window frames eventually adopted by a range of cars such as the 1984 Honda Accordand the Chrysler K cars. Audi innovated flush windows on the C3, a key area for aerodynamic drag that has been adopted by virtually all manufacturers today. In addition to giving it better fuel economy its aerodynamic body gave the 100 higher top speed than other cars of similar engine size.
The two-door models were no longer available, and the Audi 100 Avant was reintroduced as Audi's first attempt at a station wagon based on the 100. The 200, launched in 1983 continued as the upmarket variant with several versions of the 2.2 L turbo 5-cylinder available in different markets over its life ranging in power outputs from 165 PS (121 kW) MC engine, through the 200 PS (147 kW) versions to the final 220 PS (162 kW) 20-valve 3B engine available from 1991. Due to its low drag coefficient, the 1983 Audi 200 Turbo had a top speed of 139 mph (224 km/h). The MC turbo engine was available in the 100 as well for some markets.
The 1991 200 20V was distinguished by its flared front and rounded rear wheel arches instead of the flat type used for the rest of the 100-200 range, this allowed wider wheel and tire combinations to be fitted to 20V models. For many markets, the 20V Audi 200 gave customers a taste of performance levels that would later be seen in the C4-Chassis Audi S4, and S6. US Magazine articles of the period reported 0-60 times of the 20v Audi 200 under 7 seconds, with 1/4 mile times in the mid to upper 15 second mark.
The 100 also featured a 2.5 L straight-five direct injection turbo-diesel (TDI) model with 120 PS (88 kW) introduced in January 1990 (engine code 1T). A such-engined Audi 100 was the very first model to wear the now ubiquitous and hugely successful TDI label that changed the perception of diesel engines all over the world. It had a brief career in the C3, being replaced in December of that year when the C4 arrived.
On the United Kingdom market, it competed with premium offerings including the BMW 5 Series and Rover SD1 (and from 1986 the Rover 800 Series), and also with the products of mainstream manufacturers including the Ford Granada and Vauxhall Carlton.
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