The 80 was the first of the so-called `slippery-shape' Audis, originally launched in 1986 with a smooth, flush shape, quite different from its predecessor. The range was substantially updated for 1992 - and it's these models we concentrate on here.
This was the first mass-produced car to use a fully galvanised steel body, making it completely rust-resistant. So much so that Audi offered all new buyers a 10-year bodywork guarantee. Although that won't be much use to used buyers today, it's a good indication of the faith that Audi have in their product.
When the range was revised at the end of 1991, the up-market Audi 90 (a classier looking 80 with 2.0, 2.2 and 2.3-litre engines) was dropped. Initially, most 1992 80s had 2.0-litre four, 2.3-litre five and 2.8-litre six-cylinder engines and, in plusher versions, the expensive option of 'Quattro' four-wheel drive.
A year later, as the 2.3-litre unit was dropped, a 2.6-litre V6 engine arrived and, more significantly, a 1.9-litre turbo diesel unit. This became very popular. At the same time, an estate line-up arrived, with a range of trim and engine options roughly mirroring the saloon range.
In 1993, improvements were added to both the bottom and the top of the line-up. In January, the storming 2.2-litre turbocharged four-wheel drive S2 Estate made its debut, while in the Autumn, a 100bhp 1.6-litre engine was made available in both bodystyles. The range was replaced by the Audi A4 in March 1995.