Audi Tradition is introducing an unusual idea to mark the start of the classic car season. At the Techno Classica in Essen, which opens its doors from March 30 to April 3, the Audi stand will be based on the motto “Attractive Couples”. Audi Tradition’s display at the world’s biggest classic car show will be entitled “Racing Series”, with five competition vehicles representing various chapters of the company’s motorsport history, each of them matched with its series-production equivalent.
Techno Classica: More than 160,000 visitors are expected at the world’s largest classic car show, held in Essen, Germany from March 30 to April 3
Once again more than 160,000 classic car enthusiasts, including dealers, collectors and restorers, will come to the “Gruga” exhibition buildings to experience this international classic car show at first hand. Audi Tradition is there too, with a stand in Hall 7. Directly adjacent is the Audi Club International (ACI) display of privately owned rarities that also reflect many aspects of Audi’s history.
Five pairs of vehicles are proudly presented on the Audi Tradition stand, giving rise to several questions: how does a series-production vehicle differ from the competition version? What makes a car or motorcycle faster, lighter or more aerodynamic? What other laws and needs does a vehicle for day-to-day use have to comply with? To cast light on this situation, Audi Tradition has chosen two motorcycles from its NSU and DKW heritage and three cars made by Audi and NSU.
Surely the most spectacular exhibit will be the Audi 80 quattro 2.5 DTM. Only a single prototype of this touring car exists, built in 1992/93; its six-cylinder engine develops 388 bhp at the impressive engine speed of 10,500 revolutions per minute. But this car never reached the starting line: after a dispute with the ONS (Germany’s supreme motorsport authority) on how the rules should be interpreted, several manufacturers including Audi withdrew from the race series. This car is being exhibited for the first time outside Ingolstadt, where it has been exhibited in the Audi museum mobile from time to time. It is contrasted here with a 1994 Audi 80 TDI, the fourth generation of what was known internally as the B series. From 1995 onwards this model line was renamed the Audi A4.
The Audi Coupé GT 5E from 1984 is also a B series car. It is contrasted with a new vehicle in the Audi Tradition car collection, the 1981 Audi Coupé GT Group 2 Touring Car entry. When the Motorsport department had just been established, and was heavily involved in rallying with cars featuring the brand new quattro driveline, circuit racing was left largely in the hands of private entrants, who were provided with factory support in European Touring Car championships. The new Audi Coupé GT first appeared on the starting grid in the 1981 season: the 225-bhp competition version was the world’s most powerful front-wheel-drive car at that time. Its overall win in Zolder, driven by Willi Bergmeister and Peter Seikel, was Audi’s first in a European Championship event. The exhibit at the Techno Classica is the actual car driven by Peter Seikel.
Last but not least of the Audi “couples” consists of the 1972 NSU 1300 TT competition car that was extremely successful in hillclimbs; its engine developed up to 130 bhp. The other half of this couple is the road version of the NSU 1200 TT, built in the same year, with a power output of 65 bhp. Also on the stand are two further pairs of classic motorcycles: the 1954 NSU Rennfox racing bike on which Rupert Hollaus became world champion, shown alongside a 1951 NSU Fox road model with 4-stroke engine, and a slightly younger DKW RT 175 S, dating from 1956 and built in Ingolstadt, which is paired with a motocross version of the same model.
Lovers and collectors of miniature models will also find much to interest them on Audi’s stand in Hall 7. Once again this year, an annual Audi Tradition model has been issued – in orange, the traditional colour. Starting on Thursday March 31, this limited edition of 333 models of the NSU 1000 TT can be purchased at the Techno Classica. Also available: a Piccolo model of a DKW RT 125 motorcycle, also in orange, and also limited to an edition of 333.