Wecome to Jerry's Audi Fox Webpage
This website is dedicated to the Audi Fox ( called the Audi 80 in Europe). There are three reasons why I have created this particular site:
1978 Audi Fox Brochure (same as mine including the colour)
- Although a rather significant model, the Fox seems to have fallen between the cracks as far as Audi enthusiasts are concerned; at least I have found no specific site for the marque and only scattered references to it among the myraid of Audi sites on the net.
- It is now a relatively rare item - at least in Canada (and I suspect North America).
- And finally it is a great car and I would encourage other Audi Fox owners to E - mail to me their stories and photograhs.
Rear View !978 Model
Introduction: Code named "E A 400", the Fox was designed and developed in - house by Audi at Ingolstadt. It made its debut (as the Audi 80) in Europe in the summer of 1972 garnering critical acclaim from automotive writers. North America, however, did not see its first Fox until early 1973. Initially offered as a 2 and 4 door (with a wagon added later) the prices in Canada ranged from about $4795 to $7500 during its 6 year production run. Total sales for Canada are not available but in the United States 142,500 new units were sold during the same period.
The Audi Fox: A Brief History (1972 - 79)
Design/Concept: The progenitor for the Fox undoubtedly was the NSU K70 which Volkswagen made into the VW K70 when it bought the company in 1969 and merged it with Audi. The new unibody (unitized through a process of arc and spot welding) not only had great structural strength combined with lightweight construction but was (and is) aesthetically pleasing with crisp, nicely creased lines, balanced proportions, thin roof pillars and an attractive grille replete with Audi's 4 interlocking rings.
Because of its front wheel drive design, the interior was relatively spacious for its overall size (only 14.5 feet in length) with a generous trunk (15.4 cu. feet) and all in a package that weighed a mere 2100 pounds. Indeed, most automotive authorities agreed that the Fox was a "marvel of functional design" that while" look[ing} small from the outside was actually very roomy on the inside..." (Road & Track) and adequately "... fit four to 5 people and their luggage"(Car and Driver).
Although the suspension was relatively straight forward with torsion - crank construction in the rear and independent Macpherson struts in the front the Audi Fox did have an unusual feature. It was designed with "negative steering roll radius".Without being technical, in the case of uneven front braking conditions (such as a tire blowout) this innovation allows the car to steer in the direction that helps the driver maintain directional stability.
Mechanicals: The engine employed in the Fox was a new unit designed totally in - house by VW and Audi. It was relatively simple and very durable with a cast iron block, an aluminum cylinder head and a single overhead camshaft driven by an internally toothed belt. The 1973 and 1974 models had the 1471 cc. version - a four cylinder rated at 75 h p. Through 1975 - 1979 a slightly larger (1588 cc) variant was used with a fuel injection system replacing the carburettor producing 78 h p @ 5500 rpm.
Road Test: Voted "Car of the Year" by no less than 3 journals when it came out, I can attest that it is a comfortable, economical (72 km/gal. highway and 45km/gal.city with the manual) touring automobile with good performance (0 to 100 km/h in about 13 seconds) and very safe.
As with other German cars the ride is taut and well controlled.This is especially true over rough surfaces where its long travel suspension ensures relatively smooth and uneventful progress. Indeed, its a great handling car with a turning circle of just 32 feet. Only at the extreme limits of adhesion does the understeer become dangerous enough for the car to break away as it were. I have never quite reached that point. I found it a relaxing cruiser on long distance trips - one could drive the the car all day at 130 - 140 km p h (if it were not as against the law).
Significance: The Audi Fox was significant for a number of reasons
The Fox did for VW what the K - car did for Chrysler (the comparison ends there since the K - car was much inferior) - it rescued VW. By the end of the 1960's VW was on a financial down swing. Sales of the Beetle flatten out and the rising Deutschmark made exports more and more expensive.In the North American context, the Fox also had an
Meanwhile, the 411 model which was to replace the Beetle was not overly successful. What VW needed was a completely new line of cars. And that's what the 80/Fox heralded setting the stage for a whole range of very successful front wheel drive, water cooled cars including the Golf, Jetta, Passat/Dasher and Scirocco.
impact; its efficiency in fuel, space utility and front
drive technology pointed the way for Detriot's plunge
into front wheel drive automobiles.
And indeed, the design was so good that it was resurrected in 1987 as the VW Fox, a downgraded version of the original (with VW's detuned 1.8 L. engine). The car, built in Brazil,was imported to Canada until 1992.
The Life and Times of my Audi FoxThe Audi Fox featured below was my first new car purchased in Edmonton, July 28, 1978 at a substantive (at the time) $7,200. I drove it for the next 15 years and 245, 000 kms blissfully ignorant of the less than sterling reputation these models had for reliability. In this decade and one half (which included 7 trips across Canada) the car performed admirably with no serious problems and never once left me stranded.
Then in 1993 for reasons that in retrospect remain obscure, I sold my old friend. It was driven into the sunset and I thought that was the end of that. However, in the spring of 1996 it suddenly re - appeared in Grande Prairie, alas in far less pristine shape than when it left. In fact, it was barely running - the engine was shot and the fenders looked like metal munching gremblins had them for lunch.
Such a forlorn state for one having served so well was acuting distressing. I just couldn't let it dissipate to its final rusting place in some junkyard cemetery. This car, which had been an inextricable part of my life and times in the Great White Alberta North, deserved a better fate. There was only one right thing to do - buy it back and fix it up!
In the next few months my wallet got lighter but the patient got a whole lot better. The mechanicals have been resuscitated, the body redone and painted to the same original metallic green which had first caught my eye in the show room. Sentimentality aside, my born - again Fox is earning its keep the second time around. Once more, it has begun plying the streets of Grande Prairie on a daily basis. My significant other -an Audi 5000 - is now in storage for the winter.
The photo with me included is after the most recent restoration about two years ago (a Ford 150 ran into it 2 weeks after the first restoration but thats a different story). The other photo was taken about 1982 when Alberta license plates were still yellow.
Please visit my other automobile related site: Book Project on exotic 4 door sedans
Any comments? thoughts? suggestions? E - mail me.
This website has been created by J. Petryshyn using Netscape Composer