Thursday, November 12, 2015

Not-Quite Badge Engineering: Audi Fox, VW Dasher

Classical "badge engineering" usually is a matter of taking a basic car platform and extending it over more than one brand by varying a small number of styling details to provide a smidgen of differentiation.  The present post presents a case where a platform (Volkswagen's B1) was altered at the rear for Audi and VW variants, so changes were not as minimal as they might have been.

The cars in question are the Audi 80 Fox (1972-78), details here, and the Volkswagen Passat / Dasher (1973-81), Wikipedia entry here.  The names "Fox" and "Dasher" were used in America for marketing purposes.

The Audi design is a clean, classical 1970s "three box" theme featuring large amounts of glass.  The main aesthetic flaw so far as I'm concerned is that the wheels are too small.

The VW version is a 5-door "hatchback" with sail panels providing a fastback feeling.  I'm not certain of this, but it looks like the backlight windows are the same for the Fox and Dasher, keeping costs down.  The only other visible differences besides the sail panels and fifth door are the brand symbol ensembles on the grilles.

Although styling was basically well done, I wasn't totally pleased with my Dasher (yes, I actually bought a 1974 model) due to valve problems in the motor.


Audi 80 "Fox" - ca. 1974

Volkswagen B1 "Dasher" - ca. 1974
I owned a '74 Dasher that looked like the ones shown in the first two VW photos.

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