Third-generation Audi 80 was launched in 1986. Design boss Hartmut Warkuß and his team had draped the Audi 80 B3 in a smooth and rounded body with a discreet wedge shape. This body distinguished itself with harmonious design solutions and a drag coefficient of just 0.29 – a colossal advance compared to 0.41 for the B2.
The second generation Audi 80, known as the B2, was launched in late summer 1978 as a four-door sedan, while a two-door version followed in the early 1979. Audi 80 GLE with a fuel injection also joined the lineup in 1979. Giorgetto Giugiaro, working as an external consultant, scrutinized the strictly geometric design realized in Ingolstadt – and then made minor modifications to the design.
The first-generation Audi 80 entered production in July 1972. It represented a revolution for the company and featured many new solutions, which were soon adapted to the other models. This new midsize car, which was known in-house as B1, widened the model range below the Audi 100. Audi 80’s harmonious and functional design was the brainchild of a young Hartmut Warkuß. His concept won through against a number of radically wedge-like designs, all of which were rejected by Ludwig Kraus, the Board Member for Technical Development. Ludwig Kraus had demanded strict adherence to lightweight design and the basic model with two doors weighted just 835 kilograms (1,840.86 lb). The first Audi 80 had very compact dimensions. The wheelbase was 2.47 meters (8.10 ft) and the total length of the car was 4.18 meters (13.71 ft).