The new year has begun. A year in which a number of new classics will reach the Dutch old-timer age of forty. In two companies we look back on a number of selected models, who pressed their nose to the window in 1978. Today we describe the second part of the diptych.
New Classics: Datsun 280 ZX
The first generation of the Datsun Z models had been around for nine years, when Datsun announced the two generation. The 280 ZX appeared on the scene. Both the two-seater and the two plus two versions grew and were designed to be more aerodynamic. Similarly, similarities with the predecessor were visible, but in fact, with the 280 Z's engine in mind, those responsible reconstructed a completely different car, in which the comfort aspect (including technical equipment) prevailed. A version with an 2 liter six in-line engine was also supplied for Japan. Turbo versions were born in 1981 and a version with Targadak was presented. In 1983 this beautiful ZX, which was meticulously adjusted throughout his career, was replaced by the 300 ZX. Nice detail: the 280 ZX made its European debut at the AutoRAI of 1979.
New Classics: Fiat Ritmo
The Fiat 128 successor. He appeared in 1978 with an aerodynamic carriage, with the plastic bumpers, the round headlights and the slender rear light units stand out. The Ritmo was available in various types and motorizations. It was built in three generations, and also got a diesel version. The TC models and the convertible versions designed by Bertone caught the eye. The construction of the Ritmo was new for Fiat. It was welded and assembled using robot technology, to be eventually followed up in 1988 by the Fiat Tipo.
New Classics: Renault 18
In 1978 the world was introduced to the R18, and that was a bull's-eye for Renault. The 18 was available in various variants. The middle class Renault was joined by the Break in 1979, which also had a beautiful design. In 1980 the Diesel (2.1 liters) and the desirable Turbo made their appearance. The R18 was built in two series. In 1986 the R18 got a successor. That was the Renault 21.
New Classics: Audi 80 B2
Six years after the debut of the 80, Audi presented the second generation of the model. This B2 made subcutaneous use of the necessary things from parent company Volkswagen. The new 80 received the platform, which was later also used for the VW Passat B2. The model was placed considerably higher in the market than its predecessor. The build quality and the variety in equipment were therefore very good. Of course, diesel and turbo diesel engines were also built in the B2. In 1983 the quattro technique debuted in the 80, and in 1984 a facelift followed, in which the nose and the stern were particularly turned on. This excellent Audi 80 generation was replaced by the B1986 in 3.
And last but not least…
In addition to the 280 ZX described, Datsun also presented the new Cherry N10 and the conventionally designed Sunny. Honda launched the Prelude, which shared its technology with the Accord but got its own chassis and body. Mazda launched its new mid-range asset: the attractive 626, available in multiple trim levels and with multiple engines. It was delivered as a sedan and a coupé. Finally, the FSO Polonez should not be unmentioned, which incidentally got its Western European debut in Amsterdam in 1979.