The concept of an Audi 80 – after the game card “ACE of Spades” – was commissioned in 1973 by Karmann to Italdesign. Giorgetto Giugiaro, co-founder and Chief Designer at Italdesign was responsible for this in the 70’s progressive and milestone in fine designs. It should be a very sporting variant of the Audi 80. The lines of the wedge-shaped study were well established at Karmann and the Board of Directors, but the idea to produce a vehicle with this design was never realised. This was because of that Volkswagen planned a sporty Coupé and to produce a competing product was inappropriate.
However, the thrilling wedge-shaped form of the Asso di Picche exites until today. Straight lines and flat panels support the wedge-shaped appearance. Giugiaro completely renounced the bumper on the front. At the rear, the bumper is integrated in the body.
The entire technology of the Audi 80 85 PS strong 1.5 liter engine sits under the sheet metal dress. The chassis was cut back and extended in the front to get a sportier look. It reached a total length under four meters. Only the two double headlamps and the Audi logo on the front still remembers of the original Audi 80.
The Interior of the Asso di Picche stands out particularly. Light brown folding leather seats set new standards. Large pockets are attached to the doors. Special: These bags can be removed and taken as shoulder bags. The dashboard is cylindrical. This form can be found later in various other studies by Giugiaro. In the 70s, this design was considered extremely advanced. The Asso Di Picche was only the beginning of a whole series of vehicles. It was followed by the Asso Di Quadri (diamonds ACE) on the basis of a 1976 BMW 3 series and the Asso Di Fiori (cross ACE) based on an Isuzu from 1979. A heart ACE was never designed by Giugiaro.
Photos: ©Kay MacKenneth/Classic Car TV