Frank Wilksen is a veteran of Broom’s editorial board. He has worked as an automotive journalist for over 50 years and tested a large number of cars both at home and abroad.
Some cars remember it better than others. Frank now shares the memories with all of his Broom readers. This time around the 45th anniversary of the Audi 100 Avant. In 1977, it became the beginning of a new type of car.
When the Audi 100 was to come with a station wagon as part of the new model generation in 1977, they didn’t. No, Audi has taken it all in – and introduced a stylish five-door coupe. The funny thing is that even with the very elegant lines, it made conditions for space like, – yes, specifically: a station wagon.
I know, because I owned such a car. It wasn’t any such car either, but exactly the same top model that rally driver Per Engseth and I tested in the Elverum area shortly after the car was introduced in that country. In other words, it was about the Audi 100 Avant GL 5E. Avant was responsible for the Audi version of the station wagon, and the GL was the highest level of equipment – and the 5e spoke of a 5-cylinder petrol engine with an initial (at that time!) power of 136 hp.
again more traditional
This was a car people would turn into. Not only was the design fresh and new, but it was also the beginning of a new type of car that many eventually copied or made their own.
The tailgate of the vertical station wagon and the upper rear section of the car that were typical of large station wagons are gone. Instead, they got a line that the beautiful coupe model would have been familiar with!
This style was retained in a very clear way in the new generation that came in 1983, where aerodynamics almost trumped everything else. Later, with the A6, Audi reverted a little more to the more traditional station wagon design.
One of the best
What happened in 1977, there is in any case every reason to celebrate a small anniversary, because here the Audi has cut new roads. It was no coincidence that the new Audi 100 took second place in the Car of the Year pick in 1977 – only the Rover 3500 defeated it! There were quite a few who wondered that there is no reverse order…
That this car has an extraordinary amount to offer, Bear Ingseth and I stated after our news test on winter roads in and around Elverum.
“This is one of the best larger family cars on the market today. There are only positive things to be said about the Audi 100 Avant GL 5E – the driving characteristics, comfort, driver’s seat, engine, station wagon solution, overview – everything is top-class, “We can say.
When the car was launched, customers were almost ready for the new Audi 100, but soon the strong price development dampened interest a little: “Initially, the car disappeared like hot wheat bread – today it may well have positioned itself in a more classy wreath-cake class. Flowers: Liked a lot, but not what you usually buy,” she wrote.
With the Avant hatchback model, the popularity of the Audi 100 has gone up another notch, but the prices have gone up, too. From our Alle Menn #37 test report in 1978, it appears that the price of the highest model at this time was approx. 118,200 crowns – very expensive for a car at the time.
But then it was also the case that the Audi 100 is one of the most “ultimate” new cars we’ve driven – in other words, there was exceptionally little to complain about.
“The Avant has a little bit of a solid body touch that the regular model really lacks. It looks more aggressive and has more character,” I thought, adding that long rides were the strongest aspect of the Audi 100 Avant.
“Easy long-distance driving is the car’s biggest advantage. Of all the long-distance cars we’ve tried, this one gave the least feeling of tiredness. An important contributor to this was also the low level of interior noise. The Avant was well insulated from noise, and little let in – whether From roads, tires, or from the engine.
The driver’s seat is as perfect as you can get today. The seat is excellent and adjustable in height as well. Besides, it’s electrically heated, and it’s a good Nordic product (listen, listen!). We still wish this was a process that happens spontaneously, depending on the temperature.”
Amazing rattling sound
“To the driver’s seat, there was a small, short gear lever that fell straight into my fists. On top of that, it’s excellent to use: – Accurate, quick and gentle to shift, that’s what a pure formula car is,” Beer said.
We didn’t have much to add about the overview, apart from “that’s how it should be – simply put”.
The steering characteristics were also mostly just good words, and we noted, among other things, that steering was surprisingly easy, even without the servos. A big car, very heavy and front-wheel drive – but servo was of course not an issue at the time.
When driving fast on uneven ground, we still saw some loud noises that really surprised us, as the car would otherwise. But most of them had their interpretation that it was one phenomenon of the car we drove there then.
Audi with gromlåt!
What was ultimately the car’s biggest feature in our eyes was the engine. Five cylinders weren’t everyday food, but here it worked to such a degree. “It’s a lot more vibration-free than a four-cylinder, and therefore less noisy. Traction is very good, even at low speeds, and it’s smart up to a thousand.”
Not many family cars can show acceleration figures like this: 0-100 km / h in just over 9.5 seconds. However, more important is the large traction force, which, among other things, provides a very good resource for fast and safe overtaking.
Hence this is an Audi with a real “roar” in it. In the previous generation – excellent cars, too – it did not go a little deeper. Now it’s getting seriously close to bass — and best of all, it’s really not a matter of false advertising,” we can report.
A few handshakes were enough
Despite the power and kicks, the car was pleasant with fuel consumption. The winter consumption type in 1978 meant approx. 1.09 per mile – with a mix of city and highway driving…
The Audi 100 Avant offers good conditions for space, both for passengers – also in the back seat – and for luggage. “Combi’s solution is very simple and easy to work with. A few handles suffice to fold the rear seat down so that there is a loading surface completely flat against the backs of the front seat. In this mode, the car can carry a lot, but the usual luggage compartment is usually enough for most people.
“Excellent big family car”
A neat detail is the opening in the back of the seat back. With the help of the ski bag – which comes with the car as standard equipment – this makes it possible to bring the skis inside the car. All tools and other loose parts are assembled – and secured tightly – in special enclosed spaces on both sides in the rear of the vehicle.”
The conclusion should have been as it was: “An excellent large family car, especially powerful in the long run. Most things are so well thought out and so good that it is just a matter of taking off your hat … that Audi has taken another long step closer to BMW and Mercedes-Benz is not amenable to For discussion! “
Audi 100 Avant GL 5E:
Engine: Five-cylinder, water-cooled petrol injection. The stroke volume is 2,217 cc. Max torque 181 Nm
Driving: front wheel drive, 4-speed manual transmission
Power: 136 hp (101 kW)
L x W x H: 4.59 x 1.77 x 1.39 m
Wheelbase: 2.68 m
Luggage compartment: 433 – 1113 liters
Net weight: 1,170 kg
Allowed Gross Weight: 1,630 kg
Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h: 9.5 seconds
Max Speed: Approx. 190 km/h
Fuel consumption, average road / city driving – winter driving 1.09 l / ml
Price: approx. 118,200 kr
Video: Here we meet an enthusiast with a very special Audi
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