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NSU Ro 80: books - history and technology

A book on the NSU Ro 80? Explore here our selection of illustrated books on the history, models and technology of NSU passenger cars.

NSU Ro 80 - The Complete Story


Launched in 1967, the NSU Ro80 had modern aerodynamic styling, a technologically advanced Wankel rotary engine and was voted Car of the Year in 1968. However, after the initial positive reception, the car developed a reputation for unreliability, with problems arising as early as 15,000 miles and many vehicles required a rebuilt engine before 30,000 miles.
Despite the company resolving these reliability issues in both existing and new vehicles, and offering a generous warranty, the damage to the car's reputation was done.

The NSU Ro80 is the most celebrated motoring lost cause of the second half of the twentieth century, outranking the likes of the Edsel and the DeLorean because, unlike those statements of misplaced optimism and ego, it was a good car. Not just good: the NSU Ro80 is one of the great saloons. Launched in September 1967, the Ro80 was an all-new four-door five-seater from a West German company that - post-war - had never made anything other than economy runabouts, motorcycles and mopeds.

That alone should have been enough of a risk, but this was also the world's first purpose-built Wankel-engined family saloon. This compact, refined and elegantly simple power unit was the first really new concept in the realm of internal combustion engines to achieve mass production for ninety years.
A car like the Ro80 could only really have come from Germany, where there was a passion for research and a pride in engineering not found elsewhere in Europe. With front-wheel drive, superb power steering and four-wheel disc brakes, the car had top handling and driver appeal. Quite simply, it was a masterpiece, considered by many to be the finest vehicle of its type in the world. But with one fatal flaw: its engine.
With over 300 archive photographs, drawings and diagrams, this book tells the story of the NSU.

Author:Martin Buckley
Specs:176 pages, 26 x 21.5 x 1.9 cm / 10.25 x 8.5 x 0.75 in, hardback
Illustrations:300+ b&w and colour photographs
Publisher:The Crowood Press Ltd (GB, 2023)
Series:The Complete Story
Book: NSU Ro 80 - The Complete Story

NSU Ro 80 - The Complete Story

Language: English

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NSU Ro 80

Auch 50 Jahre nach seiner Präsentation ist der NSU Ro 80 immer noch eine Ausnahmeerscheinung auf der Strasse: Wie kaum ein anderes Automobil verbindet er progressives Design mit extravaganter Technik.
Claus Luthe, später Chefdesigner bei BMW, schuf eine Form, die heute noch durch Eleganz und Zeitlosigkeit besticht, dabei aber auch höchst aerodynamisch ist. Der einzigartige Wankelmotor und progressive Sicherheitsmerkmale addieren sich zu einem Fahrzeug, das bis heute begeistert.

Dabei sind dürfen aber auch die Schattenseiten nicht verschwiegen werden: Die bauartbedingten Nachteile des Wankelmotors bekam NSU nur zögerlich in den Griff, was den Ruf dieser Technik - und letztlich auch den des Ro 80 - nachhaltig schädigte.
Während die Tester von Sicherheit, Fahrkomfort und Formgebung schwärmten, beklagten Kunden sich über Motorschäden und Verbräuche von mehr als 20 Litern auf 100 km.

Klaus Arth beleuchtet den Ro 80 in all seinen Facetten und schlägt den Bogen von den ersten Skizzen bis zum Produktionsende 1977.

Author:Klaus Arth
Specs:112 pages, 18.5 x 24.5 cm / 7.3 x 9.7 in, hardback
Illustrations:82 b&w and colour photographs
Publisher:Delius Klasing Verlag GmbH (D, 2017)

NSU Ro80 - Brooklands Portfolio

Brooklands Portfolio book about the NSU Ro80 passenger cars with Wankel-engine.

  • The 23 articles, taken from contemporary British and American car magazines, provide much information about history, model changes and technology.
  • Also driving impressions, tests, comparison tests, technical specifications, etc.

Click here to know more about the Brooklands Portfolio books

Specs:92 pages, 27 x 20.5 x 0.5 cm / 10.6 x 8.1 x 0.2 in, paperback
Illustrations:200 photographs and drawings
Publisher:Brooklands Books (GB, 1999)
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[JH 013] NSU 1000 C, 110, 1200 C, TT, TTS

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[AB837] NSU Prinz 1000, Typ 110, 1000, 1200 (63-72)

NSU Prinz 1000, Typ 110, 1000, 1200 (1963-1972)

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The TMB Bookshop offers not only general books about NSU . Click here to discover all books about NSU (including technical books like workshop manuals, restauration manuals, driver's handbooks, parts catalogues, etc.).

Last update:15-06-2024