Audi 100 (1983)
2226cc in-line four
Front engined FWD
Audi who had become known for their aerodynamic development, released the advanced looking Audi 100 in 1982. Its record breaking drag co-efficiency, with flush fitting glass and new engines allowed impressive performance with excellent fuel economy. The Audi 100 also benefited from Audi’s comprehensive safety procon-ten system, a cable tension system to activate seat belts, steering and engine to increase occupant survival. A fastback estate version, badged as the Avant was also released which while it wasn’t comparable to the square rigged Volvo and Mercedes estates, it still offered impressive luggage space.
Like the previous 100, a higher specification 5 cylinder 200 model was developed from the galvanized Audi 100 body, with 200 Quattro models claiming 200bhp. Audi continued to develop the car and featured several innovations including 4 wheel drive and turbocharged options and towards the end of the 100’s production, also was the first VAG car to use the new generation of TDI engines. The Audi 100 was also one of several VAG cars made under licence for the Chinese market, with production starting towards the end of the 100’s German production run in 1990.
Styled by future Renault designer, Patrick Le Quement, the Jellymould hatchback and estate Sierra took some time for public acceptance but once its attributes and Fords monopoly in the company car market was established, it soon became a familiar sight. The Sierra had retained the Cortinas Suspension and Pinto engines connected to a RWD layout. Ford launched their Sierra following the aerodynamic studies of the 5 door probe concept car but took a initial gamble by not offering a 4 door saloon model. This was addressed by the facelifted model in 1987, which by now offered all 3 door styles, but had been joined by several high performance Cosworth engined cars, which performed well both on the motorways and the track.
Volvo 7 series
Offered in 2 guises, the 740 and larger engined 760 models, the 700 series models were distinctively styled using an abundance of chrome and square rigged styling when manufacturers were influenced by wind cheating aerodynamic shapes. Utilising engines from the long running 200 series, the new luxurious designs brought the brand into the 80’s with subtle evolutions of the original Volvo safety ethic and image. The 760 arrived first in 1982, with the 740 models following 2 years later, with the intention of gradually replacing the 200 series models. A bertone designed coupe was also available in some European markets and Turbo charged models were developed, which helped change the image of the traditionally conservative company. In the end both the 17 year old 240, 740 and 760 were sold along side each other and all actually ending production within months of each other. The 700 series was replaced by the similar 900 models in 1992.