Production Years: 1967-1977
Country: Germany
Number Produced: 37,204

The NSU RO 80 was a technologically advanced, large sedan-type automobile produced by the German firm NSU from 1967–1977 with a production of 37,204 vehicles. Most notable was the powertrain: 113 bhp, 995 cc twin rotor Wankel engine driving the front wheels through a semi-automatic transmission employing an innovative vacuum system. It was voted Car of the Year in 1968 by European automotive writers.

The styling by Claus Luthe, who was head of design at NSU and later BMW, was considered very modern at the time and still holds up well; the Ro 80 has been part of many gallery exhibits of modern industrial design.

Surviving NSU’s are now considered highly prized classic cars with values to match.

Obviously, the 170H resembles a Volkswagen deluxe with a good engine, the type 170, which was still alive after the war in conventional Mercedes cars: the 170V. In 1937, Hitler lost his patience with Porsche’s prototypes and commanded DB to realize 30 KDF cars. In 1937, our 170 H was imported to the United States with instruments in English units. The leather seats, overdrive, and radio were definitely not the staples of the Volkswagen Class. On the other hand, coil springs replaced the torque-bar suspension and the engine was water cooled. The cabriolet limousine body, with its open top, was trendy in pre-war Germany.

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Tampa Bay Automobile Museum

3301 Gateway Centre Blvd.
Pinellas Park, FL 33782 USA

Museum Hours:

Mon - Sat: 10am - 4pm
Sunday: Noon to 4pm
Closed Tuesdays and Holidays


$8 per person ($6 for Seniors)
$5 for Youth and Groups of 12 or more
Free for children under 12