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IAA 1985: Porsche 959, goodbye Beetle and all-wheel drive

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D he big trend at the IAA 1985 is, however, all-wheel drive. Hardly any manufacturer would want to do without the prestigious technology. All German manufacturers present at least one 4x4 model. The concepts are designed very differently. Pragmatic at BMW, Opel and Ford with a simple transfer case. Mercedes, on the other hand, is already equipping its 4matic model with ABS, ASR and electronic torque distribution. The Volkswagen engineers install a viscous clutch with freewheel on the rear axle. The relatively new technology is thus starting a great career. The all-wheel drive technology was inspired by the Audi Quattro.

IAA 1985 and the Über-Porsche 959

A dream for the visitors of the IAA ( Click here for the current special ), and a dream also for the engineers who had a free hand in developing the Porsche 959. While the VW Beetle has now finally survived, Porsche is presenting what was technically feasible in 1985 with the 959, which was limited to 200 copies as a homologation model. Even then it was considered a 'high-tech carrier of the first quality, in which knowledge and technical systems were realized that could only become common property of the automobile manufacturers at a much later point in time - if at all', as Gert Hack 1985 in the auto motor und sport wrote. And he was right.

The technical and material expenditure was enormous. Roof, fenders, rear area were made of Kevlar, the front apron made of polyurethane, front hood and doors made of aluminum, the chassis is still today with all-wheel drive, adjustable power distribution with four adjustable driving programs - dry, wet, ice, traction, adjustable dampers and level control up to date.

The engine should also point towards Porsche's future. For the first time, water washes around the cylinder heads, air cooling is only available for the cylinders. Two KKK turbochargers forcibly breathe the only 2.85-liter six-cylinder boxer and squeeze 450 hp out of it - enough for 320 km /h and an acceleration of four seconds from zero to 100.

In addition to the Porsche 959, they should at least have had eyes for the second novelty: The 924 S is downright affordable. It only costs a tenth of thatPorsche 959, has a usable trunk. The four-cylinder adopted from the 944 and throttled by 13 HP to 150 HP allows a sluggish driving style, but it can also be different and accelerates to 100 km /h in eight seconds.

Toyota presents the T-VIS system with the Technology of variable intake manifold lengths, which was soon adopted by other manufacturers, in order to reduce consumption and increase pulling power. At lower speeds, the intake manifolds have the greatest length, at higher speeds they are shorter.

On Ford booth, the first car with standard ABS can be admired. The Cologne-based company has given the new Scorpio the automatic stutter brake, as it is popularly known. Curiously, companies like Girling and Kugelfischer /FAG still rely on the development of simpler systems. Girling is working on a purely mechanical system, Kugelfischer wants to replace the complex high-pressure system with simpler technology. Both have no future.

You can also look into the future at the Ford stand with the concept vehicle called Eltec. Eltec points out the wasteful use of electronics. Injection, ignition, on-board computer, level control, an exciting five-part glass louvred roof that can be raised and retracted. The highlight: A rain sensor automatically closes it when the first droplets are registered. The 80 HP engine is also equipped with variable intake manifolds and the electronic valve control enables the activation of a third valve (inlet) at higher speeds.

Fiat presents a continuously variable CVT transmission and Volvo a traction control system; Both are, however, still in the testing phase.

Gert Hack attaches great importance to the supercharged engines - 'The number one tonic is still supercharging ... the number of turbo models is hardly manageable' . One inevitably wonders why this technology has become so unpopular in the meantime when one considers the ranks of turbo models and the era of turbo Formula 1 when the 1.5 liter engines produced up to 1,000 hp.

Audi introduces full galvanization for the 100 and 200 series. The construction of the Porsche 924/944 in Neckarsulm made it possible to gain experience and instead of the previous 36 percent of the body surfaces, it is now fully galvanized, which means 5.5 kilograms more weight.

Opel's new Kadetten -' Better to react than act '

Four new Opel Kadett models can be seen in Frankfurt in 1985: convertibles, notchbacks, all-wheel drive and the small delivery vanCombo. Six years since the Golf I Cabrio appeared, the Rüsselsheim-based company has left its Kadett convertible ready for the market. Opel boss Ferdinand Beickler is proud to be quoted as saying 'Better to react than to act'. Given today's situation, that also seems anything but farsighted.

The Kadett Rallye 4x4 is a prestige object, which is to be produced exactly ten times as a homologation model for Group S. The 400 to 550 hp are distributed continuously from 50:50 to 30:70 to both axles via a six-speed transmission called the X-Trac.

Mercedes - the anti-T and big S

At Mercedes you can admire the future successful model of the Stuttgart-based company in full size. The new T-model will develop into a bestseller and will also convince those interested in technology with standard level control, the multi-link rear axle based on the 190 model and automatic closing aid. There is also a lot of anti-equipment: anti-squat (starting torque support), anti-dive (braking break compensation) and anti-lift (braking torque support). The new 'driving dynamics concept' offers an automatic limited-slip differential, traction control and, as a highlight, the 4matic all-wheel technology, for a hefty surcharge. The engine range extends from the 72 hp naturally aspirated diesel to the 188 hp three-liter six-cylinder petrol engine.

The new top-of-the-range engine in the S-Class of the 126 series is the 5.6-liter V8 with up to 300 HP in the high-performance version.

IAA 1985: BMW calculates: 5 x 3=new class

BMW is presenting five new 3 Series in Frankfurt. The Beau is of course the first convertible from Munich since the 1950s. The sportiest of the new M3, the most sensible of the 324d with 86 HP naturally aspirated diesel. The 325i is a powerful petrol engine that is also available with all-wheel drive on request. The small two-liter six-cylinder gains 129 hp and is more powerful thanks to the shorter rear axle ratio.

IAA 1985: Volkswagen - Polo G40 and Golf syncro

For the last time the Beetle is on the VW stand. Its time is over. Now we are looking to the future. With the Polo G40, the G-Lader is used for the first time, and in the following years it is to fire almost the entire range from Wolfsburg. The name is based on the simple technique: the G-shaped spiral is 40 millimeters wide. Thanks to the supercharging, the 1.3-liter four-cylinder has 115 hp.

The Golf Syncro is presented in time for winter 1985/86, bringing permanent all-wheel drive to the compact class for the first time. Particularly interesting is the viscous coupling technology, which was used for the first time in the VW bus and replaces the central distributor differential.The force is distributed variably, adapted to the driving and surface situation - i.e. the different coefficients of friction. In extreme cases it acts as a rigid through drive.

News from Japan and the world

The new extreme in things Wedge is the Subaru XT. Many still remember the 'Allrad für alle - Alle mit Allrad' advertisement in which Keke Rosberg recommends the all-wheel drive coupé. Apart from the design, which takes getting used to, the XT is also an interesting car on the technological side. 1.8-liter turbo engine with 136 hp with water-cooled charger, Bosch L-Jetronic, level control and switchable all-wheel drive.

Citroën is showing the BX combination variant, Renault the R5 as a five-door and with automatic, Ferrari the 328 (previously 240 hp) increased to 270 hp. The rest of the manufacturers can hardly show anything new and limit themselves to facelifts and new engine variants.


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