It’s easy to get lost in the world of cars that didn’t come to the United States. Enthusiasts in the U.S. swoon over supermodels that never came here; the M5 Touring(s), the Rallye Golf and Audi RS2 name just a few of the many high performance headliners that seem to pop up nearly daily as examples of the arbitrary rules that dictate what comes in to the U.S. market. However, what always tickles me is seeing the lesser known models, and amongst Audi and Volkswagen products there are a plethora of models that are relatively unknown to U.S. enthusiasts. In part, that’s because the U.S. model range did not always mimic what was for sale in Europe – not only in name, but at some points in chassis as well. The Audi B2 is an excellent example of this – to U.S. fans, for example, say “Coupe Quattro” when referring to the B2 chassis and immediately lesser versed individuals will assert that it never existed without a turbo and flares. Of course, they’re wrong – but there were many other models that we didn’t get from the small Audi lineup as well.
In Europe, 1986 was the last year of the B2 Audi 80 sedan – in 1987, it was replaced by the all-new B3 which wouldn’t be seen in the U.S. until 1988. As with U.S. models, the B2 was refreshed in late 1984 with new and more aerodynamic body bits such as headlights and bumpers. Visually, the differences between U.S. and European bumpers – for most of the lineup – was gone at that point. True, underneath there were differences; European cars received integrated fog lights where U.S. cars had blinkers (and the blinkers moved to the reflector blank area for U.S. cars). Now, I say “for most of the lineup” because there was a model which was really part Type 81 and part Type 85 available to Europeans – the Audi 80 Sport: