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Re: VW's early watercooled history via Audi and NSU (was Re: [T3] SB with IV engine--was Wasser engine)

Just picking nits.  

In the 1960s, Audi was a brand, not a company.  Auto
Union GmBH was the company, formed out of the merger
of Audi, Horch, Wanderer, and DKW in the 1930s.  Hence
the four-linked rings logo.  Auto Union was purchased
by VW AG in 1964.  Audi's official rendition of the
NSU story has Auto Union merging with NSU in 1969, but
since they were a wholly owned subsidiary of VW, this
really is splitting the hairs fine.  The resulting
name was the mouthful Audi NSU Auto Union AG, and was
used until 1985, when it was simplified to Audi AG.

The Ro80 came out in 1967 and was produced into 1977,
so they continued on trying well after the merger to
make it work.  I didn't realize until I looked this up
that NSU's version of the rotary was air-cooled.

--- Constantino Tobio <ctobio@gmail.com> wrote:

> Dave Hall wrote:
> >I thought Audi and NSU were linked before VW bought
> them.
> >We camped in Neckarsulm some years ago on the way
> to Stuttgart from Wolfsburg -
> >went on a drive past the NSU-Audi factory.
> >>From a website:-
> >"The four rings of the Audi badge symbolise the
> brands Audi, DKW, Horch and
> >Wanderer, which were later combined under the
> umbrella of Auto Union. Auto Union
> >and NSU merged in 1969".
> >There are examples of all these makes in the VW
> Museums in Wolfsburg.
> >
> >The first watercooled "VW" was the NSU-designed
> K-70, first produced in 1971;
> >the NSU Ro-80 rotary engined preceded it.
> >The Audi 50 was the basis for the Mk 1 VW Polo, and
> I'm fairly sure the Audi
> >60(?) became the Golf.  The Audi 80 and Passat
> shared many similarities too.
> >
> >  
> >
> >>
> >>    
> >>
> >That one is actually an NSU design!  Piston version
> of the much more attractive
> >and futuristically-styled
> >Ro-80.
> >  
> >
> It was the Ro-80 that killed NSU as an independent
> entity. It was a 
> phenomenal car as I understand, but it's rotary
> engine was a durability 
> nightmare. Like many early rotary engines (Mazda,
> too, was not immune in 
> their early Rx series) it suffered badly from rotor
> tip wear. NSU's 
> rotaries often needed complete overhauls by 30,000
> miles, and honoring 
> the warranty claims bankrupted them. Still, they had
> great technologies 
> otherwise, particularly in the fields of transaxle
> design and unibody 
> construction.
> Audi was bought by VW in '64-'65 from Daimler-Benz,
> and NSU was bought 
> by VW in '69. Audi and NSU were joined together as a
> single subsidiary 
> around that time- in fact, the NSU name persisted
> officially in Audi's 
> corporate identification until about '85.
> It would not surprise me if VW bought Audi for their
> industrial capacity 
> (they bought Audi shortly after Audi had built the
> factory in 
> Ingolstadt) and NSU for their technology and
> engineering (since they had 
> to have seen the writing on the wall in the late
> '60s that they had gone 
> as far as they were going to with aircooleds and
> semi-unibody 
> construction vis-a-vis emissions and safety,
> respectively). I'll betcha 
> that the Type 4 borrowed heavily from Audi
> construction ideas married to 
> VW's existing powertrain technologies, and that the
> next leap was to get 
> engineering expertise to marry watercooling and FWD
> transaxles to 
> unibody construction.
> This is pure speculation on my part based on what I
> know about the 
> product lines of the 3 players involved and what I
> know about the history.
> That the Golf and Passat were really Audis by way of
> NSU would come as 
> no surprise to me. I mean, the styling on the K-70
> (or Ro-80) isn't that 
> far away from the Passat/Dasher/Fox, right? I see a
> family resemblance. 
> I'm sure the Europeans on this list have much better
> info than I on this 
> early history and can chime in.
> List info at http://www.vwtype3.org/list |
> mailto:gregm@vwtype3.org

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