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Audi 100 (C3)
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1985 Audi 100.jpg

Audi 100 (C3 or Typ 44). 1982–95 (prod. 852,243 saloon, 122,852 Avant, German production only). 4-door saloon, 5-door estate. F/F, F/A, 1781 cm³ (I4 OHC), 1921, 1994, 2144, 2226, 2309 cm³ petrol, 1986, 2370, 2461 cm³ diesel (I5 OHC), 2598 cm³ (V6 OHC). The car that kicked off the aerodynamic trend of the 1980s. Audi needed to compete with other premium marques in Germany, and took the aero trend with a car that had a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0,30 (base model). While the Cd figure is not, by itself, an indicator of aerodynamic efficiency (the frontal area is also required), the 100 C3 forced others to cite theirs, and the lack of drag became a selling tool for most of the decade. Nevertheless, an economical car. Also well equipped in order to lure customers from Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Quattros particularly good with roadholding, but ride and handling gradually improved even for FWD models. Avant now an estate (what one might term a ‘lifestyle estate’ in the 2000s) rather than a hatchback. Sold in the US as the Audi 5000. Unfortunately, Audi was the subject of negative publicity over ‘unintended acceleration’ claims in the US as well as footage of modified cars duplicating the behaviour aired on CBS’s 60 Minutes, and sales there dropped rapidly. Audi was ultimately exonerated. Renamed 100 in US for 1989. German production to 1990. Chinese production began with an initial assembly programme in 1986–8 at SAIC-VW, before transferring to FAW, where both FAW–Audi 100 and Hongqi-badged models were made. The last Audi-badged model was made c. 1995, with the 2·6 V6 from the C4 available. Related models built well into the 2000s at Hongqi.

Manufacturing locations: Ingolstadt, Germany; Neckarsulm, Germany; Changchun, Jilin, China

Marque: Audi | Model: Audi 100 | Predecessor: Audi 100 (C2) | Successor: Audi 100 (C4)

q.v. Hongqi CA7180, Hongqi CA7200, Hongqi CA7300, Hongqi Mingshi, Hongqi Century Star, Audi 200 (C3)

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