Audi is known for the production of luxurious and sportive cars. The Audi brand was created in 1909 by August Horch, but has been part of Volkswagen since 1966. The make is sold in over 100 countries worldwide.
The brand name is based on August Horch last name. For reasons of fair trade legislation, Horch was not able to use his own name for the company (he already owned a company called Horch). Instead he translated his name (meaning ‘hark’ or ‘listen’ in German) into Latin.
The four rings in the Audi badge stand for the car manufacturer companies which merged together into Audi in 1932. Apart from August Horch’s Audi, the new company was made up of DKW, Horch (Horch’s first company) and Wanderer.
Among the implication of different revolutionary technologies, Audi surprised with the new 14/50ch Type K as the first German car with left-hand driving. Along with this change, Audi improved engine and suspension technologies including combining a six-cylinder engine with front-wheel drive and turning the power train 180° thereby having the drive shaft facing the front. In addition, Audi made safety and comfort its top priorities.
During World War II, the Audi factories, under the name of Auto Union in Germany were used for the production of military engines and therefore dismantled after the war. The company was once more launched in 1949 in Ingolstadt though.
During the 1960’s Auto Union did not see a similar economic growth as competitors including Volkswagen and Opel, leading to its sale to Volkswagen in 1966. Although Auto Union had predominantly produced two-stroke engines, the new company started selling newer four-stroke engines under the name Audi.
The Audi’s of the 1960’s and early ‘70’s were named after their horsepower ratings for example the 60, 75 and 80.
In 1980, Audi produced the Quattro which featured all-wheel drive via a centre differential.
Audi in sport
Audi has performed well in rallies especially in the 2000’s when the R8 FSI won the Mans 24 Hour for 5 years in a row between 2000 and 2005. In 2006 to 2008 Audi won with the R10.