In order to quickly present potential Wankel licensees with an exemplary vehicle in the upper middle class, the Ro 80 was launched in 1967, before it was fully developed. 

Although the much-cited engine seal problems were completely under control by 1970, they ruined the reputation of the Ro 80 for good. 

Many drivers were also unable to handle the new type of drive properly. Worn out engines due to lack of oil and over revving were the result. 

The NSU workshops, which up to then had to deal mainly with small cars and motorcycles, mostly did not get along with the Wankel engine. 

For this reason, NSU showed extreme goodwill when replacing engines - and in doing so nurtured the myth of high engine wear. (More than 75% of the "broken" engines only needed a new adjustment of carburettor and ignition). 

When the NSU engineers had finally fixed all technical problems, the oil price crisis of 1973 came and made the Ro 80 unattractive due to its comparatively high consumption. 

However, the final end of the Ro 80 was a corporate policy decision: since the merger of NSU and Auto Union, the new Audi NSU Auto Union AG had two models in the same vehicle class - and so the Ro 80 eventually had to make way for the Audi 100.