In the 70s and 80s, Audi developed the reputation for being at the forefront of technological advancements, and in most cases they did very well, but in the mid-80s I seem to recall that they hit a string of back luck, in great part caused by suddenly-accelerating cars. The problem was almost certainly exaggerated, but the damage to Audi’s reputation was immense. To counter this, Audi refocused its energies and undoubted talent on increasing the build quality, which it accomplished with the Audi 80/90 Series. Unfortunately, the early models were panned by critics for a variety of reason, including the too-small trunk, dodgy handling and more. But what counted was that the cars were well-built and oozed quality, which they did masterfully. In fact, with their entirely galvanized bodies, they were the first cars to be completely rust-proof, no small detail if you live somewhere where they routinely spread salt on the roads!
What made the difference between the 80 and 90 models was the size of the engine; the 80 had the four cylinder, and the 90, the 20-valve five-cylinder. In terms of performance, the 90 with the Quattro system was quite impressive: the engine produced 170 horsepower, and pushed the car to a respectable 137 mph, with a 0-60 acceleration in the 8 second range.
Audi being Audi, they quickly fixed the issues with both the handling and the size of the trunk, even including folding rear seats, which finally made this little car into the success that it deserved to be.