A number of cars are celebrating their fiftieth anniversary this year. That's a decent number, because 1972 brought a lot of new car models. Traditionally, we put a number of newcomers from the past in the spotlight. Today we present part four. In it we briefly describe the Audi 80 and - combined - the Ford Consul and the Ford Granada.
Audi 80 B1 (Type 80, 1972-1976)
The Audi 80 succeeded the F1972 series in 103. The new Audi was actually the first car of a completely new model generation within the Volkswagen group. Under the direction of Ludwig Kraus, Georg Bertram designed a slim-lined middle class car. The technical part was also new, the EA 827 engine generation debuted in the Audi and would later make its appearance in many Audi and VW models.
Car of the Year 1973
The Audi 80 was therefore already introduced in 1972, but the official presentation of the new 80 was only during the Geneva Salon in March 1973. In the meantime, the Audi had already become Car of the Year. The new Audi 80 was initially available with 1.3 liter (55 hp) and 1.5 liter (75 and 85 hp) engines, two and four door bodies and four trim levels. The most luxurious version was initially the GL, which was recognizable by its double headlights, among other things. He also got the 1.5 engine with 85 HP. The S and LS had the 75 hp engine on board, the L got the 55 hp engine. The new Audi had front-wheel drive, McPherson suspension at the front and a rigid axle with a Panhard rod at the rear. The new Audi was the direct founder of the 1973 VW Passat, with whom it had a lot in common. On spy photos, the Audi 80 was initially even recognized as a new Volkswagen, but as is known, things went differently. The Volkswagens (except for the Variant) all got the sloping rear and minor adjustments compared to the Audi 80, which always had a classic three-box design as a two- and four-door version. The Passat Variant in turn became the basis for the Fox Station Wagon that was destined for America. This Audi 80 station was also on the menu in Great Britain.
Motor developed further and arrival of the GTE
Audi continued to develop the 80. The 1.6 engine (for the sporty GT, with 100 hp) came in 1973, and the GTE saw the light of day in 1975. The latter also got a 1.6 engine, but with BOSCH K-Jetronic injection. The rear drum brakes were given a larger diameter, and the interior had the necessary sporty accents and instruments, just like on the GT. With 110 hp, the 80 GTE became the strongest in the B1 Typ 80 series and it remained so until the end of the Audi 80 B1 series. The VW Golf GTI also got the same power source as the Audi 80 GTE. Meanwhile, the 1.5 engines with 75 hp and 85 hp made way in the autumn of 1975 for the 1.6 versions with the same power. The larger 1.6 engines showed a slightly higher torque, and gained in flexibility compared to the predecessors. In August 1976, the facelift version of the B1- the Typ 82- came into the picture. Audi made cosmetic changes, especially at the front (in line with the then new Audi 100) and the rear. The bumpers were given more volume. Audi also shifted equipment levels and brought more combination options. In 1978 the Audi 80 B1 was replaced by the Audi 80 B2.
Ford Consul and Granada: Baroque and illustrious
In 1972, the Ford Consul and the Ford Granada jointly succeeded the Zephyr/Zodiac and the P7b “M” models. The Consul was usually a bit simpler, the Granada type name was reserved for the more luxurious variants of the European Ford twins. In fact, the Consul and Granada were co-productions of Ford of Europe, which were created in Dagenham and Cologne. They shared the rear-wheel drive platform, subframe-mounted trailing wishbones and independently suspended front wheels (with double wishbones).
Consul en Granada: model and country dependent engine range
The Consul was therefore the simpler version of the new European Ford twins, but that does not alter the fact that it can also draw on a wide and already known engine range. This ran from the 1.7 V4 to the 3.0 V6. German Consuls (destined for the European continent) did not have Essex engines on board, but got Cologne engines. At English Consuls, the 1.7V4, 2.0 V4 and 2.5 V6 were all Essex engines. The two-liter four-cylinder (for the Consul, and also the Taunus TC1) was new. The three-litre version was an Essex engine everywhere, including the Granada. Speaking of which: the Granada had an engine range that differed from the Consul. The Granada was also available (market dependent) with the 2600 V6 Köln engine. In most markets the Granada range started with the 2.3 V6 engine, while in Great Britain the 2.5 V6 Essex was initially the basic engine. Most Granadas were delivered in conjunction with the GXL trim level. In West Germany the program was slightly broader, there was also the 2.0 V6 on the menu. For South Africa, a 5.0 V8 Windsor choice was also on the program – exclusively for the Granada.
Joint debut with the same body styles
The Granada and the Consul debuted as Fastback, four-door limousine and station. Later, the program was expanded with the two-door variant. The two- and four-door versions in particular stood out for their bold and lavish shapes. The arrival of the two-door body version made the fastback superfluous, but the sporty shapes remained. The coke-bottle shape of the Fastback was more straightened (with rear side windows with a straight frame line) and so the sporty body style continued as a coupé. At the end of 1974, the luxury Granada Ghia was introduced.
Facelift 1975, the Consul name disappears
A facelift followed in 1975. The Consul name disappeared, and all Consul-Granada variants were brought under the Granada name, including engine choices. The entry-level Granadas, for example, now received the 1.7 V4 engines from Cologne. The seating position has been improved, and throughout the majority of the program the Granadas have been given matte black accents and a black grille. The chrome largely disappeared. Furthermore, the 1975-Granada series got a new dashboard, and Ford made minor adjustments to the chassis. At the end - just before the arrival of the second generation - the 2.8 V6 Köln engine (with injection) was introduced for continental Europe. That happened in 1976, the year that Ford stopped production of the Granada in Dagenham. An after-market Turboset was also available for the Granada 2.3 V6 (in Germany). It was never screwed onto the Granada from the factory. This Ford series may have been one of the most illustrious in the American manufacturer's European history. This striking series was followed in 1977 by the new and more angular second generation, which effortlessly continued the touring car capabilities of the first Granada series (and we also call it the Consul).