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Learn More About Audi
Audi – beginnings / years 1899-1931
The first mention of Audi comes from 1899, when on November 14 the future founder August Horch together with Carl Benz began the activity of the company ” Horch ”, which focused on the production of premium passenger cars. Three years later the company was moved to Reichenbach, and in 1904 the final location in Zwickau was established. The following years brought a worsening of the financial situation, as a result of which the company left August Horch, who then founded the company under the name August Horch Automobilwerke GmbH. In the meantime, a court hearing took place, where the owner was forbidden to use his own name, so he decided to circumvent the recipe and translate the word Horch (German: horchen – listen) to Latin. In this way, on April 25, 1910, Audi Automobilwerke GmbH was born, and in July of the same year the first model of the new brand left the production plants. The car met with positive reviews, which translated into the creation of the two most-known Audi models at the time – Audi Type A (10/22 hp) Phaeton and its successor Audi Type B 10/28 hp, which also appealed to users. As a result, Audi began work on creating new A-type power units with capacities of 2.6, 3.5, 4.6 and 5.7cm3, which allowed Audi models to start and win recognized races and car rallies. The successes translated into the creation of the strongest M-type unit with 4.6cc capacity, which debuted in 1924, and the first K-type models with the steering wheel mounted on the left. As for the company’s structures in 1914,Berlin , starting work as a car appraiser. Approx. 1928. Audi was taken over by DKW (Zschopauer Motorenwenke JS Rasmussen AG) due to financial problems.
Audi – cooperation with Auto Union / 1932-1945
From 1932, i.e. the moment of starting cooperation between Audi and DKW – the company became a partner of the Auto Union company, which adopted a characteristic logo with four intertwining rings representing the brand until today. The new cooperation gave rise to new investments, which resulted in the Audi Front model, which was also the first European car to have front-wheel drive and an engine equipped with six cylinders. It was the Wanderer model, which the designers turned 180 degrees so that the drive shaft was shifted forward, thanks to which the vehicle was positively evaluated and was the only Audi model of the Auto Union company in the period 1933 – 1938. After this time, since 1939, Audi, due to the introduction of an economic policy excluding market cars from the upper class, was suspended for almost three decades, which was also caused by World War II. For this reason, Audi factories were used to produce military equipment, and the employees were mainly war prisoners, forced laborers and prisoners of concentration camps.
Audi – after World War II until 1968
After the war, Auto Union AG was absorbed by Soviet enterprises, producing the AWZ P70 car model until 1958, when Horcha factories located in areas formerly owned by the GDR joined the production. Merged companies under the new name VEB Sachsenring Automobilwerke Zwickau started producing popular trabants until 1991. As a result, in 1949, Auto Union AG (Ingolstadt) was again registered in Germany, which has since focused on cars from the DKW offer. Production resulted in the acquisition of 87% of Auto Union shares by Daimler-Benz AG, which ultimately did not improve the brand’s situation. Despite this, in 1964 Volkswagen took over all of Auto Union shares, including the right to a distinctive logo with four rings symbolizing: Horch, Audi, Wanderer and DKW. The result of this operation was the launch in 1965 of the first Audi model, which was a construction continuation of the DKW F102 model, but did not have any additional markings. The change was the initiative of one of the former employees of Daimler-Benz, who presented the director of the Volkswagenwerk Wolfsburg plant with his project Audi 100, which he gained recognition and caused that from that moment Audi vehicles left the production lines with markings symbolizing the number of horsepower, e.g. Audi 60 In addition, the cars were equipped with medium-pressure engines, in which the compression ratio was at the level between diesel and gasoline.
Audi – from 1969 to today
1969 began with the merger of Auto Union GmbH with Neckarsulm NSU AG, which allowed us to expand production with another plant and change the name to Audi NSU Auto Union AG based in Neckarsulm. The brand launched an advertising campaign that was promoted by the later popular slogan Vorsprung durch Technik (” advantage thanks to technology ”) during the advertisement of the NSU Ro 80 model equipped with a Wankel engine. Further changes were introduced at the beginning of 1985, when the brand name was shortened to Audi AG and the headquarters was moved to the destination Ingolstadt, which remains to this day. Currently, in the case of the Audi structure, Volkswagen AG owns approx. 99.55% of shares, and the remaining part, i.e. approx. 0.45%, is available on the stock exchanges: Dusseldorf, Berlin-Bremen, Munich, Hamburg and Frankfurt am Main. An important element in the business of Audi is also the company quattro GmbH, which is responsible for the production of sports models – RS, preparation of vehicle components participating in races and projects of individual equipment of audi models on request. The company started operations in 1983, producing additional equipment, and in 1986 the RS and S series debuted for the first time, includingAudi S6 . Currently, quattro GmbH is involved in the production of the Audi R8 equipped with three engines to choose from, including the Audi RS 6 Avant, Audi RS 4 Avant and Audi SUV Sport. Since 1996, quattro GmbH has sold approximately 75,500 Audi sports cars and 2.5 million accessories. All quattro GmbH vehicle models are equipped with quattro drives.
Audi – innovative solutions introduced by the brand
Audi has created many innovative technical solutions over all the years of operation. The first important for the automotive market was the VW engine debuting in 1975 with K-Jetronic injection, which was later used, among others in the VW Golf with the Gti unit and a 5-cylinder gasoline engine available in the Audi 100. Another innovative solution was the quattro all-wheel drive presented in 1980, which was first presented at the Geneva International Motor Show. The solution appealed to users so much that by 2013, approximately 710,095 copies were produced in both the production plant in Neckarsulm and Ingolstadt, which translated into approximately 44% of all customers present on the market. In the meantime, manufacturers have also decided to start exporting Audi models to countries such as:South Africa , Canada , USA and Germany . Currently, quattro technology is available in all Audi series, including the popular models: Audi R8 , Audi A4 allroad, Audi Q7 and Audi A6 allroad. The second solution, which made the brand popular, was the galvanized body, which in the form of mass production began in 1985 – right after Porsche. The first vehicle with this solution was the Audi 100, which was also the vehicle with the highest air resistance coefficient at that time of about 0.30, which translated into the first German car with a certificate of entry into service with a catalyst. The introduction of the first model in the late 1980s, which had a diesel engine equipped with direct injection and turbocharging, turned out to be the third innovative solution, as for serial production was introduced in 1989. This translated into a total sales of 7.5 million cars with TDI engines. Diesel units were constantly improved over the years, which increased the capacity by 100% at 98%. decrease in emissions of harmful substances. A sport version of this unit was also created, which enabled Audi to compete with the best race cars competing in the prestigious 24-hour Le Mans race. The result was victory in eight rallies out of 9, in which Audi models took part. In the meantime, the Audi body was constantly improved and in 1985 during the fair inHanover was presented with a new Audi Space Frame model made of aluminum, so light that it was carried by two women with ease. It was made of special profiles and elements cast using a vacuum method, which were connected to the metal sheet forming the roof structure, side elements and floor. The most popular models in which this solution was used were: Audi TT (2006), Audi R8 (2008) and Audi A8 (2002, 2010, 2013). In addition, in 2014 Audi released a special car model, which was equipped with an improved model in the coupe version with an aluminum body with a total weight of 210 kg
Audi – honorable mentions
From the beginning of the brand’s existence, Audi has regularly won awards and prizes in many categories, including seven times in the most important competition ” World Car of the Year Awards ”. The model with the largest number of WCYear titles is the undisputed leader of the Audi A3, which has been awarded twice as World Car Design of the Year and three times as World Performance Car. In the following 2005, the Audi A6 again reached the main title of World Car of the year, and in 2014 the A3 model returned to the top. In addition, Audi won the ” International Engine of the Year ” competition 10 times between 2005 and 2009 due to a 2-liter TFSI drive (category 1.8-2.0 liters) and five times winning the title in categories 1.8-2 liters in this 2014. In addition, the Audi brand has won many awards in smaller categories, including Auto Leader, Best Cars, Golden Steering Wheel or Fleet Award.
Audi – motor sports
Audi, along with its fastest Auto Union models, began to participate in rallies in the 1930s. In 1981, Audi Quattro was introduced to motor sports, which as the first model had four-wheel drive and a turbo engine. This translated into a series of victories and making Audi a leading brand in car rallies until 1984. Further successes appeared in 2000. when the brand dominated the 24-hour rally at Le Mans, and in 2006. The Audi R10 Tdi proved to be the first diesel engine to win the race. As a result, the car was improved and its second version, i.e. the Audi R15 TDI plus, was issued in the 2010 edition. A year later in 2011. Audi R18 drivers again managed to win the competition with an advantage of over 13 seconds over the second position. The next wins were also in 2012, 2013 and 2014, when the same model won – Audi R18 e-tron quattro.