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Old 10-18-2001, 02:49 PM   #1
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Nsu Ro80

One of (if not the) first mass-prdoduced rotary-powered car. This is a French company, and the RO80 was its top-of-the-line model. They were magnificient, plain and simple. They were made in the 70's.
Why havent you heard of NSU lately, then??
The Rotary engine's wore out seals really quick, and the whole engine needed replacing. A new engine every 20000 miles (or 30 000km) was appropriate When 2 RO80's passed on the highway, the driver would hold up his fingers for how many engines he had:hehehe: Some people had up to 9 engines. Today, people have figured out how to make them reliable, but NSU went under from all the warranty claims and people not buying any of their cars due to reliability fears (stupid people, NSU was VERY generous with all warranty claims).
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Old 12-02-2001, 02:45 AM   #2
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i wonder how the modern rotaries would work out in one...
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Old 12-05-2001, 12:07 AM   #3
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Re: Nsu Ro80

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Originally posted by Chris
One of (if not the) first mass-prdoduced rotary-powered car. This is a French company, and the RO80 was its top-of-the-line model. They were magnificient, plain and simple. They were made in the 70's.
Why havent you heard of NSU lately, then??
The Rotary engine's wore out seals really quick, and the whole engine needed replacing. A new engine every 20000 miles (or 30 000km) was appropriate When 2 RO80's passed on the highway, the driver would hold up his fingers for how many engines he had:hehehe: Some people had up to 9 engines. Today, people have figured out how to make them reliable, but NSU went under from all the warranty claims and people not buying any of their cars due to reliability fears (stupid people, NSU was VERY generous with all warranty claims).
NSU was a German company, not French. The RO80 was introduced in 1968. And NSU didn't go out of business.

On April 26, 1969, NSU merged with Volkswagen's Auto Union to become Audi NSU Auto Union, which was entirely owned by Volkswagen. Audis took over where NSUs had been. The last NSU was produced in 1977 and the company was renamed Audi AG. In its 10-year history, only about 38,000 NSU RO80 sedans were produce...which would lead me to believe that it wasn't too often that two passed each other on the road.
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Old 12-07-2001, 11:36 PM   #4
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It started in 1967.
I dont know where I got French from

But they went to Audi because of the Ro80. And they were effectively eaten, not married, by Audi.
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Old 12-12-2001, 11:52 PM   #5
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Nsu also make a few rotary powered motorcycles as well? I recall reading somethig about them not too long ago, but can't remember any details.

PS Chris, if you're looking for a 323GTX check out this page if you haven't already:

http://sturtevant.com/323gtx/forsale.htm

I wanted to get one myself, but I haven't had any luck finding one close to me so I'm gonna get a 1G DSM ('93 or '94 Talon TSI AWD). Good luck
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Old 12-13-2001, 01:36 PM   #6
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I'm not sure about the motorcycles. But thanks for the site, I hadn't found it. I also considered Eclipses, but I thought they were to heavy. But they are good choices, still.
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Old 12-14-2001, 10:35 AM   #7
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NSU made (at minimum) two rotary-powered cars, the RO80 and the Spyder. Suzuki made a rotary powered motorcycle and we all know of the Mazda rotary cars. Off the top of my head, these are the only rotary-powered production cars I can think of.
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Old 08-28-2004, 07:11 AM   #8
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Ro80 was made by Audi, but still with NSU badge until about 1977.

Wankel engine also licensed to Mazda, for Gasoline engines; Norton, for motorcycles; Rolls Royce for diesels; Curtiss-Wright for aero engines.

Mazda we all know, Norton built a 'bike which was supplied to the police in UK, Rolls abandoned the diesel project - they tried a 2-rotor layout with one as a compressor for the other, and I think Curtiss-Wright still build a stationary engine.

In partnership with NSU, Citroen produced about 840 units of 2-rotor car, the Bi-rotor, in 1974/75, with the GS body, but sales figures were a disaster.

Mercedes produced a prototype 3-rotor engine in a 2 seat sports car, which toured dealers in UK and elsewhere in the late 70's. It looked amazing. I met one coming towards me one day, and nearly drove off the road!

I collected my first Ro80 from the factory in Neckarsulm in 1968 and regretfully sold it a year later. I bought another in 1973, which I spun and wrecked in Greece in 1983 - I drove it back to Spain, though. I found a good one to replace it in 1984, and broke the other for parts.

The torque converter siezed, stripping the flywheel key, and the engine reached some unholy rpm as I pulled away from a toll gate in Spain one day. The tip seals ripped out and perforated the rotor housings - total destruction.

I fitted the engine from the wrecked car, but this started smoking badly, a sign of bad seals. I stored it away, after a bare body restoration and 8 coat paint job.

Last year I installed a Mazda 13B rotary engine, modified to take 2 very large SU carbs, and with modified rotor seals. This has about 170 bhp, a big improvement on original 115, with no special tuning. Fuel economy is better than original too, about 20 mpg compared with 14 or so before. (US gallons). Car has done just over 120mph on the German Autobahn, but suffered from fuel starvation, needs a bigger fuel pump.

The car is on www.nsu-ro80.com click FOTO ALBUM, then Dick Flower.

Be interested to hear from any other owners, also to find any Ro80 Forums in English
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Old 08-28-2004, 06:37 PM   #9
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BTW, the guy who built my modified Mazda engine also builds an 8 rotor Mazda. Around 600 bhp from under 4 litres with no special tuning.
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Old 09-02-2004, 08:52 AM   #10
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Re: Nsu Ro80

Don't you mean 4 Rotor? That's the approximate output of an N/A 4 Rotor. an 8 Rotor would be over 10 liters in real terms!
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Old 09-02-2004, 12:02 PM   #11
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You're right, of course, 8-rotor 13A engine would be about 9.2, 13B about 10.5 litres.

I was harking back to NSU's original capacity rating, which was combustion space swept volume, i.e. 497.5 x 2 rotors, 995 cc for the Ro80 engine. Capacity is now generally based on combustion space swept volume x number of firing strokes per crankshaft revolution (=4), so is double the original rating.

8 rotor conversion is no longer listed, but was based on 13B engine.
Power output (SAE) for standard N/A (2 rotor) 13B engine is around 170 bhp, probably higher without all the anti pollution gismos, and better breathing with carbs.

This would give around 680 bhp, for 8-rotor, but I think he claimed 800. I said "around 600" because I can't find the old brochure.
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Old 09-07-2004, 10:40 PM   #12
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Re: Nsu Ro80

How about the Suzuki rotary bike? Oh, and GM's licensing of Wankel pantents?
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Old 09-08-2004, 06:41 AM   #13
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Re: Nsu Ro80

Yeah, here's a few more :- www.monito.com/wankel/engines.html
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Old 05-02-2005, 04:49 PM   #14
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Re: Nsu Ro80

Acquiring NSU "saved" Audi. The NSU K70 became the Audi 80, 90 and 100 LS.

The Ro80 is a car 20-30 years ahead of its time! The only weak link is the engine; early rotor seal technology doesn't last very long and all parts are hard to find. I read an article in a British motor enthusiast magazine that reported people who want to use their Ro's every day swap in a Mazda rotary!
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Old 05-03-2005, 05:15 PM   #15
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Re: Nsu Ro80

Quote:
Originally Posted by RFlower
Mercedes produced a prototype 3-rotor engine in a 2 seat sports car, which toured dealers in UK and elsewhere in the late 70's. It looked amazing. I met one coming towards me one day, and nearly drove off the road!
Wait a minute! Amazing yes but that car never went into production even limited production.. you're talking about the Mercedes C111 I believe? You must be very lucky to catch one on the street since it was an experimental project.
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