The Audi Super 90

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The Super 90 is a more urgeful version of the original Audi 70, the car Volkswagen have concocted out of the former Auto-Union-D.K.W., with Mercedes four-stroke engine. Using a British industrial process, Audis are assembled at Auto-Union’s Ingolstadt works, which is 70% VW owned, at the rate of 350 a day. This latest version has 18 additional b.h.p. The engine is the best part of the car – smooth, quiet until it is really revving, prompt to commence on auto choke, and giving very good acceleration, from quick step-off to a s.s. 1/4 in 18 1/2 sec. It has been condemned in some quarters as notoriously thirsty but I got 27 m.p.g. from 4-star petrol and virtually no oil had been consumed in 425 miles.

The handling does not match up to this fine Heron-head 10.6 to 1 c.r.  90-b.h.p. engine, perhaps because it is mounted far forward and 6.2 1/2% of the weight is over the driven front wheels. The steering becomes very heavy under strong understeer when cornering fast with power on, the four turns lock-to-lock are emphasised by on out-of-round wheel, and the 13 in. Metzeler cross-ply tyres howl all too readily. Fast open corners are happier terrain for an Audi than tight bends. The ride is pitch-free but lurchy. The steering-column gearchange has been improved but I did not like it. The brakes, inboard discs in front, are very powerful and progressive. The bonnet has to be propped up and the prop came off on the test car.

The Audi in this form is a 100-m.p.h. car, impressively engineered and beautifully (VW) finished. There are fully-reclining, comfortable front seats, although I prefer something smoother than the cloth/plastic cushions. Instrumentation is very simple (no odometer trip or decimal readings), with accurate Vdo clock, a combined temperature and fuel gauge, and 1.h. stalk for turn indicators which, flicked, controls daylight-flashing or night-dipping of the powerful HeIla lamps. The unlockable cubby just takes a Rolleiflex, boot and fuel filler have to be unlocked by key, the boot is enormous, but the imitation light grained wood of facia and decor is unfortunate – as someone said, like sitting in a coffin – in a modern, rather “tinny” car. Front passengers liked the generous seat area and leg-room. For a car aimed at “executive” motoring the heater controls are far too stiff and the rubber knob for the two-speed wipers is most unpleasant to use, but in torrential rain no water entered the car.

There is quite a lot of good detail and the appearance is impressive, with the four-rings Auto-Union insignia on the radiator grille. With better handling and a floor gear-lever I would be quite partial to this unusual German car. It costs £1,194 Os. 3d. inclusive of duty, and a sun-roof can be had for £59 6s. Id. extra. – W. B.