If a car is deemed good enough to be named European car of the year, then it's guaranteed sales success, surely? Not in the case of the controversial NSU Ro8O. Universally praised at launch for its incredible styling, excellent performance and superb high-speed refinement, the Ro8O was also a technical masterpiece. It was the first volume production car to use a rotary engine, which has fewer moving parts than a conventional unit and offers exceptional smoothness. But unfortunately, the engine hadn't been properly developed, and was prone to failure as the seals between the tips of the rotors and combustion chamber wore out, sometimes as early as 15,000 miles. Later cars were vastly improved in terms of reliability, but NSU's reputation was ruined and sales never recovered. A great shame, because the Ro8O was a brilliant piece of design.
NSU Ro 80 Specifications
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