A-look-back-at-the-Audi-100-C3It’s easy to forget just how revolutionary the Audi 100 C3 was when it made its debut back in 1982. When you cast your eyes over any editions that have survived to today, they look a little conservative sure. But when it first appeared on the scene in the early 80s – it left its rivals trailing behind in its wake.

So, what was so special about it? First things first, it was one of the earliest models to make use of galvanised steel in the construction, something that resulted in much better rust resilience than its rivals of the same era.

Secondly, it was the first Audi to feature their revolutionary Procon-Ten safety system which – in the event of a crash – pulled the steering wheel and dashboard up and away from the driver’s face. To this day, it’s a feature that many safety experts believe is safer than an airbag, naturally though, the system isn’t compatible with one.

Last, but by no means least, it was exceptionally aerodynamic. Its drag co-efficient of 0.3 was the best in its class by some margin, adding excellent refinement, fuel economy and high-speed performance. The angled nose cut through wind resistance like a knife through butter. Perhaps the biggest innovation was the 100’s use of flush-fitting glass, something to have been adopted by pretty much every car manufacturer since.

Looking at it today, it still looks conservative in an imposing, juggernaut type way. But back in 1982, it was pitched alongside the likes of the Mercedes W123, Ford Granada, Vauxhall Carlton Mk1, BMW 5-Series E28 and of course, the Austin Ambassador.

When compared to that stable, the 100 was far more advanced both with its interior and exterior design. It was supremely well built, in 2.3-litre form it had the perky five-cylinder engine and it wasn’t really prone to rust. It was a fantastic car, the only drawback was that its competitors caught up with it and thereby diminished its impact.

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