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NSU--slight Audi content
> If I recall correctly it resembles a 3/4 scale first generation
> Corvair and is powered by a four-cylinder engine of approximately
> one liter capacity.
Yes, it was a transversely-mounted air-cooled SOHC engine, for 45/55 weight
distribution: as close to a mid-engine sedan as we're likely to see. The TTS
in particular cranked out a lot of power relative to displacement! I once
heard that on some rear-engine NSUs (dunno if this was one), you could change
the clutch in 20 min!
Ca. 1965 I read an article about a motorcycle called the NSU Mammut (German
for "mammoth"), and I recall it having a big engine for a bike (as you might
guess w/a name like that), possibly 1 liter. I'm not sure, but strongly
suspect, that the bike and car used the same engine--what a concept!
There was also the NSU K70. This was a piston-engined 4-door sedan that was in
production briefly, beginning in 1967. It wasn't just a Ro80 body shell
w/piston engine (it was a bit boxier than the Ro80), but I understand there
was some relationship under the skin. Actually, I'm not sure if any hit the
street with an NSU rather than VW badge--this was around the time VW bought
NSU. I remember that in the interest of cost-cutting, VW was changing the NSU
2-piece cylinder head design to a 1-piece. So presumably it was conceived as
an upmarket car. I understand that it didn't stay in production long because
it competed with existing or projected Audis.
The Ro80, BTW, wasn't the first Wankel-engined car. The NSU Spyder (mid-60s)
was. I think the Wankel was swapped into an existing body shell in this case.
_Road & Track_'s brief take on the Spyder was, "The Wankel may be the engine
of the future, but not yet."
You really should know better than to get me going on automotive history by now!
--Andrew Buc, Seattle, WA; Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org