The Audi A1 is a supermini sized launched by Audi at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show. Sales of the initial three door A1 model started in Germany in August 2010, with the United Kingdom following in November 2010. A five-door version, called Sportback, was launched in November 2011, with sales starting in export markets during spring 2012.
The Audi A2 is a compact MPV-styled supermini car, with a five-door hatchback body style and four or five seats, produced by the German manufacturer Audi from November 1999 to August 2005. Based on the Audi Al 2 concept car first shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1997, the A2 was notable for being constructed from aluminium, which in combination with its efficient engines, made it an extremely economical car on fuel. Packages available in Germany included Advance, Style, High Tech, and later S line; whereas in the United Kingdom, the A2 was available in various trim levels, including: S ...
The Audi A3 is a small family or subcompact executive car manufactured and marketed since the 1990s by the Audi subdivision of the Volkswagen Group, now in its 3rd generation. The first two generations of the Audi A3 were based on the Volkswagen Group A platform, which they share with the Audi TT, Volkswagen Golf, Volkswagen Caddy, and Volkswagen Touran, as well as SEAT Leon, SEAT Toledo, and Skoda Octavia. The third-generation A3 uses the Volkswagen Group MQB platform.
The Audi A4 is a line of compact executive cars produced since 1994 by the German car manufacturer Audi, a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group. The A4 has been built in five generations and is based on the Volkswagen Group B platform. The first generation A4 succeeded the Audi 80. The automakers internal numbering treats the A4 as a continuation of the Audi 80 lineage, with the initial A4 designated as the B5-series, followed by the B6, B7, B8 and the B9. The B8 and B9 versions of the A4 are built on the Volkswagen Group MLB platform shared with many other Audi models and potentially one Po ...
The Audi A5 is a series of compact executive coupe cars produced by the German automobile manufacturer Audi since March 2007. The A5 range additionally comprises the coupe, cabriolet, and "Sportback" version of the Audi A4 saloon and estate models. Under Audis internal platform numbering convention, the A5 is a member of the B-platform series of vehicles, sharing its platform designation with the A4 saloon and Avant. The first generation A5 Type 8T is therefore a member of the B8 family, whilst the second generation model Type 8W6 is based on the B9. Both are derived from the Volkswagen ML ...
The Audi A6 is an executive car made by the German automaker Audi. Now in its fifth generation, the successor to the Audi 100 is manufactured in Neckarsulm, Germany, and is available in saloon and estate configurations, the latter marketed by Audi as the Avant. Audis internal numbering treats the A6 as a continuation of the Audi 100 lineage, with the initial A6 designated as a member of the C4-series, followed by the C5, C6, C7 and the C8. The related Audi A7 is essentially a sportback version of the C7-series and C8-series A6, but is marketed under its own separate identity and model desi ...
The Audi A7 is an executive car produced by Audi since 2010. A five-door liftback, it features a sloping roofline with a steeply raked rear window and integrated boot lid, and four frameless doors.
The Audi A8 is a four-door, full-size, luxury sedan manufactured and marketed by the German automaker Audi since 1994. Succeeding the Audi V8, and now in its fourth generation, the A8 has been offered with both front- or permanent all-wheel drive - and in short- and long-wheelbase variants. The first two generations employed the Volkswagen Group D platform, with the current generation deriving from the MLB platform. After the original models 1994 release, Audi released the second generation in late 2002, the third in late 2009, and the fourth and current iteration in 2017. Notable for bein ...
The Audi TT is a 2-door sports car marketed by Volkswagen Group subsidiary Audi since 1998, and now in its third generation. The first two generations were assembled by the Audi subsidiary Audi Hungaria Motor Kft. in Gyor, Hungary, using bodyshells manufactured and painted at Audis Ingolstadt plant and parts made entirely by the Hungarian factory for the third generation. For each of its three generations, the TT has been available as a 2+2 coupe and as a two-seater roadster employing consecutive generations of the Volkswagen Group A platform, starting with the A4 PQ34. As a result of this ...
The Audi Q2 is a mini SUV developed and manufactured by Audi. It was first unveiled to the public on 1 March 2016, at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. The vehicle, which is being manufactured at the headquarters of Audi in Ingolstadt, Germany, is based on Volkswagens MQB platform. It has been sold since November 2016 in markets in Europe. Unlike Audis other crossovers, the Q2 is not sold in the United States or Canada. The Q2 was officially launched in Malaysia in March 2019, where a sole Sport trim line powered by the 1.4 TFSI engine was available.
It is a version of RS Q3 with increased engine power to 367 PS 270 kW; 362 hp and 465 N⋅m 342.97 lbf⋅ft, seven-speed S tronic transmission, matt titanium-look finish parts, Ascari blue metallic body colour, 20-inch wheels in a five twin-spoke V design in matt titanium, red brake calipers bearing the RS logo optional black calipers, dial instruments in gray faces, white dials and red needles; seats in the color combination black and blue with optional RS performance design package, blue contrast stitching at RS sport leather steering wheel, selector lever gaiter, center armrest and the floo ...
The Audi Q5 is a series of Compact luxury crossover SUVs produced by the German luxury car manufacturer Audi from 2008. The original first-generation model was the third member of the B8 family to be released after the Audi A5 and fourth-generation A4, all being based on the Audi MLB platform. The second generation Q5 debuted in 2016 and shares the Audi MLBevo platform with the corresponding B9 versions of the A4 and A5.
The Audi Q7 is a mid-size luxury SUV made by the German manufacturer Audi, unveiled in September 2005 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Production of this seven-seater SUV began in the autumn of 2005 at the Volkswagen Bratislava Plant in Bratislava, Slovakia. It was the first SUV offering from Audi and went on sale in 2006. Later, Audis second SUV, the Q5, was unveiled as a 2009 model. Audi has since unveiled a third SUV model, the Q3, which went on sale in the third quarter of 2011. The Q7 shares a Volkswagen Group MLB platform and chassis with the Bentley Bentayga, Lamborghini Urus, Porsche C ...
The Audi Q8 is a mid-size luxury crossover SUV coupe made by Audi that was launched in 2018. It is the flagship of the Audi SUV line, and is being produced at the Volkswagen Bratislava Plant.
The Audi 100 and Audi 200 are four-door, front-engine, front- or all-wheel drive full-size/executive sedans manufactured and marketed by the Audi division of the Volkswagen Group for model years 1968 through 1994 - across four generations, with a two-door model available in the first and second generation and a five-door wagon available in the third and fourth generation. The third generation Audi 100/5000 was widely noted for its advanced aerodynamic design, which included pin-located, flush side windows - and achieved a drag coefficient of 0.30. The C2 and C3 models of the Audi 100 were ...
The Audi 80 was a compact executive car produced by the Audi subdivision of the Volkswagen Group across four generations from 1966 to 1996. It shared its platform with the Volkswagen Passat from 1973 to 1986 and was available as a saloon, and station wagon) - the latter marketed by Audi as the Avant. The coupe and convertible models were not badged as members of the range but used a derivative of the same platforms. In North America and Australia, the 80 was marketed as the Audi Fox for model years 1973–79, and as the Audi 4000 for model years 1980–87 in the US. The Audi 90 was an upmarket ...
The Audi 50 is a supermini economy car produced by German automaker Audi from 1974 to 1978, and sold only in Europe. Introduced two or three years after the Italian Fiat 127 and the French Renault 5, the model was seen at the time as Germanys first home grown entrant in Europes emerging "supermini" class. The Audi 50 was built by Audi NSU Auto Union AG at the former NSU factory in Neckarsulm, Germany and at the giant Wolfsburg plant by Volkswagen. The car was rebadged six weeks later by Volkswagen as the Volkswagen Polo with a wider range of engine and other options. The Volkswagen Polo wa ...
The Audi e-tron is a fully-electric mid-size luxury crossover SUV produced by Audi, which was unveiled as a concept car at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. It is the companys first electric mass production car, and was first delivered in May 2019. It has an EPA range of 204 miles. A Sportback variant is scheduled for production in early 2020.
The Audi Shooting Brake was a concept car developed by Audi and officially unveiled at the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show. It was a study of a sporty two-door compact shooting brake hatchback. The concept vehicle was based on the second-generation Audi TT and provided, to some extent, a preview of the new TT, which was yet to be launched. It was powered by a 3.2 litre VR6 engine, developing a maximum output of 250 PS 184 kW; 247 hp at 6200 rpm, with torque peaking at 35.0 kg⋅m 343 N⋅m; 253 lb⋅ft between 2500 and 3000 rpm. The engine, already in some of the Audis production models, such as the secon ...
The Audi Rosemeyer is a concept car built by Audi, shown initially at Autostadt and at various auto shows throughout Europe during 2000. Although it was never intended for production, its striking design and highly sporting nature drew considerable attention to the brand, and many potential buyers highly anticipated a production version, to no avail.
Audi S and RS models are a range of high performance versions of certain car models of the German automotive company AUDI AG. These cars primarily focus on enhanced "sport" performance. Production of Audi "S" cars began in 1990 with the S2 Coupe, whilst the first "RS" car appeared four years later with the Audi RS 2 Avant. Todays S and RS models are based on the A/TT/Q models with the same number e.g S4/RS 4 is based on the A4 or the TT RS based on the TT, but the "Ur-S4" from 1991 - 1994 was based on the Audi 100/200 later named A6 and the first S2/RS2 generation from 1990 - 1995 was base ...
The Audi Quattro is a road and rally car, produced by the German automobile manufacturer Audi, part of the Volkswagen Group. It was first shown at the 1980 Geneva Motor Show on 3 March. Production continued through 1991.
F103 is the internal designation for a series of car models produced by Auto Union GmbH in West Germany from 1965 to 1972, derived from the earlier DKW F102. To signify the change from a two-stroke to four-stroke engine, the DKW marque was dropped in favour of Audi, a name dormant since before the Second World War.
The Audi allroad quattro is a semi-offroad version of the Audi station wagon. It has been manufactured since 1999. The main differences between the allroad and the base model are a wider track, higher ground clearance and adjustable air suspension. Originally, the name "Audi allroad quattro" applied to a semi-offroad version of the Audi A6 Avant wagon in 1999. Audi retitled subsequent generations, as released in 2006 and 2012, as "Audi A6 allroad quattro". Since 2009, Audi has offered the "Audi A4 allroad quattro", based on the mainstream Audi A4 Avant wagon. Although the owners manual in ...
The Audi PB18 e-tron is a 2-door hatchback electric supercar concept developed by a division of the German automaker Audi AG, Audi Sport GmbH and introduced in 2018. The name "PB18" refers to the 2018 Pebble Beach Automotive Week in Monterey, California, where the PB18 e-tron debuted. In January 2019, Audi confirmed that 50 examples will make their way to production within the next two years.
The Audi Le Mans quattro is a concept car, developed by German automobile manufacturer Audi, for presentation at the 2003 Frankfurt Motor Show, in order to celebrate Audis three successive wins at the arduous 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race in 2000, 2001, and 2002. It was the third and final concept car designed by Audi in 2003, following the Pikes Peak quattro and the Nuvolari quattro. Audis subsidiary quattro GmbH subsequently decided to produce the Audi Le Mans quattro as a production road car, calling it the R8, naming it after their very successful R8 LMP race car, which won the 24 ...
The Audi V8 is a four-door, full-size luxury sedan, built by Audi in Germany from 1988 to 1993, as the companys flagship model. It was the first car from Audi to use a V8 engine, and also the first Audi to combine a quattro system with an automatic transmission. Early cars used 3.6-litre V8s, while later cars featured a 4.2-litre version of the engine. The Audi V8 was replaced by the Audi A8 in 1994, although the A8 was not sold in North America until 1996. The competition model of the Audi V8 won back-to-back Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft drivers titles in 1990 and 1991, with the cha ...
The Audi Prologue is a concept luxury Coupe and Estate unveiled by Audi at the 2014 LA Auto Show. It features 4.0 TFSI V8 engine with 445 kW and 700 Nm of torque in overboost mode, and 0 to 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds), an eight‑speed tiptronic, Quattro with torque vectoring and self-levelling air suspension with adaptive damping, dynamic all-wheel steering. It is equipped with Matrix laser headlamps, Audi virtual cockpit, 3 OLED tablet-like touchscreens and a next-generation Multi Media Interface. An innovative feature is the central driver assistance control unit zFAS, a main computer in the ...
The Audi Pop.Up Next is a conceptual unmanned flying electric vehicle that can move both on the ground and through the air of the joint development of the German automaker Audi AG, the Airbus company, and the company that designs Italdesign Giugiaro. It was first presented at the Geneva Motor Show in 2018.
The Audi Avus quattro was a concept supercar made by the German car manufacturer Audi. It was first introduced at the 1991 Tokyo Motor Show. The Avus quattro had an aluminium space frame, which made it a lightweight and safe automobile. This second showing of the new aluminium architecture paved the way for the mass-produced aluminium A8 in 1994.
The Audi Nuvolari quattro was a concept car created by German automobile maker Audi. The vehicle was introduced at the 2003 Geneva Motor Show, the second of three Audi concept cars shown in 2003, after the Pikes Peak quattro and ahead of the Le Mans quattro. The Nuvolari quattro had a 5.0 L twin-turbocharged V10 Fuel Stratified Injection FSI engine rated at 441 kW 600 PS; 591 bhp and 750 N⋅m 553 lbf⋅ft. The car used Audis Torsen-based quattro permanent four-wheel drive system. The Nuvolari quattro was named after Tazio Nuvolari. Audi subsequently developed the car quattro into the A5 range.
museum mobile is an automobile museum owned and operated by Audi AG in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, Germany. Opened in 2000, it is devoted to the history of Audi and its predecessors, and is the focal point of the Audi Forum Ingolstadt.
Audi Lunar Quattro is a small lunar rover created by a team of engineers from Germany, PTScientists, with the support of Audi and a number of scientists and companies from different countries in 2015. The flight to the Moon is planned for October 2021 onboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 two-stage rocket. The rover is made from magnesium-based alloys. The total mass of the lunar rover is 35 kg, and will be capable of a maximum speed of 3.6 km/h. Its four electric motors are powered by solar panels and lithium-ion batteries.
The Audi Cup is a biennial two-day pre-season friendly football tournament that features four teams, hosted by the German club Bayern Munich, and is staged at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany. It is held on odd years since 2009, opposite the FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro, before the start of the Bundesliga season as well.
Audi AG) is a German automobile manufacturer that designs, engineers, produces, markets and distributes luxury vehicles. Audi is a member of the Volkswagen Group and has its roots at Ingolstadt, Bavaria, Germany. Audi-branded vehicles are produced in nine production facilities worldwide.
The origins of the company are complex, going back to the early 20th century and the initial enterprises Horch and the Audiwerke founded by engineer August Horch; and two other manufacturers DKW and Wanderer, leading to the foundation of Auto Union in 1932. The modern era of Audi essentially began in the 1960s when Auto Union was acquired by Volkswagen from Daimler-Benz. After relaunching the Audi brand with the 1965 introduction of the Audi F103 series, Volkswagen merged Auto Union with NSU Motorenwerke in 1969, thus creating the present day form of the company.
The company name is based on the Latin translation of the surname of the founder, August Horch. "Horch", meaning "listen" in German, becomes "audi" in Latin. The four rings of the Audi logo each represent one of four car companies that banded together to create Audis predecessor company, Auto Union. Audis slogan is Vorsprung durch Technik, meaning "Being Ahead through Technology". However, Audi USA had used the slogan "Truth in Engineering" from 2007 to 2016, and have not used the slogan since 2016. Audi, along with fellow German marques BMW and Mercedes-Benz, is among the best-selling luxury automobile brands in the world.
1.1. History Birth of the company and its name
Automobile company Wanderer was originally established in 1885, later becoming a branch of Audi AG. Another company, NSU, which also later merged into Audi, was founded during this time, and later supplied the chassis for Gottlieb Daimlers four-wheeler.
On 14 November 1899, August Horch 1868–1951 established the company A. Horch & Cie. in the Ehrenfeld district of Cologne. In 1902, he moved with his company to Reichenbach im Vogtland. On 10 May 1904, he founded the August Horch & Cie. Motorwagenwerke AG, a joint-stock company in Zwickau State of Saxony.
After troubles with Horch chief financial officer, August Horch left Motorwagenwerke and founded in Zwickau on 16 July 1909, his second company, the August Horch Automobilwerke GmbH. His former partners sued him for trademark infringement. The German Reichsgericht Supreme Court in Leipzig, eventually determined that the Horch brand belonged to his former company.
Since August Horch was prohibited from using "Horch" as a trade name in his new car business, he called a meeting with close business friends, Paul and Franz Fikentscher from Zwickau. At the apartment of Franz Fikentscher, they discussed how to come up with a new name for the company. During this meeting, Franzs son was quietly studying Latin in a corner of the room. Several times he looked like he was on the verge of saying something but would just swallow his words and continue working, until he finally blurted out, "Father – audiatur et altera pars. wouldnt it be a good idea to call it audi instead of horch?" "Horch!" in German means "Hark!" or "hear", which is "Audi" in the singular imperative form of "audire" – "to listen" – in Latin. The idea was enthusiastically accepted by everyone attending the meeting. On 25 April 1910 the Audi Automobilwerke GmbH Zwickau from 1915 on Audiwerke AG Zwickau was entered in the companys register of Zwickau registration court.
The first Audi automobile, the Audi Type A 10/22 hp 16 kW Sport-Phaeton, was produced in the same year, followed by the successor Type B 10/28PS in the same year.
Audi started with a 2.612 cc inline-four engine model Type A, followed by a 3.564 cc model, as well as 4.680 cc and 5.720 cc models. These cars were successful even in sporting events. The first six-cylinder model Type M, 4.655 cc appeared in 1924.
August Horch left the Audiwerke in 1920 for a high position at the ministry of transport, but he was still involved with Audi as a member of the board of trustees. In September 1921, Audi became the first German car manufacturer to present a production car, the Audi Type K, with left-handed drive. Left-hand drive spread and established dominance during the 1920s because it provided a better view of oncoming traffic, making overtaking safer when driving on the right.
1.2. History The merger of the four companies under the logo of four rings
In August 1928, Jorgen Rasmussen, the owner of Dampf-Kraft-Wagen DKW, acquired the majority of shares in Audiwerke AG. In the same year, Rasmussen bought the remains of the U.S. automobile manufacturer Rickenbacker, including the manufacturing equipment for 8-cylinder engines. These engines were used in Audi Zwickau and Audi Dresden models that were launched in 1929. At the same time, 6-cylinder and 4-cylinder the "four" with a Peugeot engine models were manufactured. Audi cars of that era were luxurious cars equipped with special bodywork.
In 1932, Audi merged with Horch, DKW, and Wanderer, to form Auto Union AG, Chemnitz. It was during this period that the company offered the Audi Front that became the first European car to combine a six-cylinder engine with front-wheel drive. It used a power train shared with the Wanderer, but turned 180 degrees, so that the drive shaft faced the front.
Before World War II, Auto Union used the four interlinked rings that make up the Audi badge today, representing these four brands. However, this badge was used only on Auto Union racing cars in that period while the member companies used their own names and emblems. The technological development became more and more concentrated and some Audi models were propelled by Horch or Wanderer built engines.
Reflecting the economic pressures of the time, Auto Union concentrated increasingly on smaller cars through the 1930s, so that by 1938 the companys DKW brand accounted for 17.9% of the German car market, while Audi held only 0.1%. After the final few Audis were delivered in 1939 the "Audi" name disappeared completely from the new car market for more than two decades.
1.3. History Post-World War II
Like most German manufacturing, at the onset of World War II the Auto Union plants were retooled for military production, and were a target for allied bombing during the war which left them damaged.
Overrun by the Soviet Army in 1945, on the orders of the Soviet Union military administration the factories were dismantled as part of war reparations. Following this, the companys entire assets were expropriated without compensation. On 17 August 1948, Auto Union AG of Chemnitz was deleted from the commercial register. These actions had the effect of liquidating Germanys Auto Union AG. The remains of the Audi plant of Zwickau became the VEB for "People Owned Enterprise" Automobilwerk Zwickau or AWZ in English: Automobile Works Zwickau.
With no prospect of continuing production in Soviet-controlled East Germany, Auto Union executives began the process of relocating what was left of the company to West Germany. A site was chosen in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, to start a spare parts operation in late 1945, which would eventually serve as the headquarters of the reformed Auto Union in 1949.
The former Audi factory in Zwickau restarted assembly of the pre-war-models in 1949. These DKW models were renamed to IFA F8 and IFA F9 and were similar to the West German versions. West and East German models were equipped with the traditional and renowned DKW two-stroke engines. The Zwickau plant manufactured the infamous Trabant until 1991, when it came under Volkswagen control - effectively bringing it under the same umbrella as Audi since 1945.
1.4. History New Auto Union unit
A new West German headquartered Auto Union was launched in Ingolstadt with loans from the Bavarian state government and Marshall Plan aid. The reformed company was launched 3 September 1949 and continued DKWs tradition of producing front-wheel drive vehicles with two-stroke engines. This included production of a small but sturdy 125 cc motorcycle and a DKW delivery van, the DKW F89 L at Ingolstadt. The Ingolstadt site was large, consisting of an extensive complex of formerly military buildings which was suitable for administration as well as vehicle warehousing and distribution, but at this stage there was at Ingolstadt no dedicated plant suitable for mass production of automobiles: for manufacturing the companys first post-war mass-market passenger car plant capacity in Dusseldorf was rented from Rheinmetall-Borsig. It was only ten years later, after the company had attracted an investor, when funds became available for construction of major car plant at the Ingolstadt head office site.
In 1958, in response to pressure from Friedrich Flick, then the companys largest single shareholder, Daimler-Benz took an 87% holding in the Auto Union company, and this was increased to a 100% holding in 1959. However, small two-stroke cars were not the focus of Daimler-Benzs interests, and while the early 1960s saw major investment in new Mercedes models and in a state of the art factory for Auto Unions, the companys aging model range at this time did not benefit from the economic boom of the early 1960s to the same extent as competitor manufacturers such as Volkswagen and Opel. The decision to dispose of the Auto Union business was based on its lack of profitability. Ironically, by the time they sold the business, it also included a large new factory and near production-ready modern four-stroke engine, which would enable the Auto Union business, under a new owner, to embark on a period of profitable growth, now producing not Auto Unions or DKWs, but using the "Audi" name, resurrected in 1965 after a 25-year gap.
In 1964, Volkswagen acquired a 50% holding in the business, which included the new factory in Ingolstadt, the DKW and Audi brands along with the rights to the new engine design which had been funded by Daimler-Benz, who in return retained the dormant Horch trademark and the Dusseldorf factory which became a Mercedes-Benz van assembly plant. Eighteen months later, Volkswagen bought complete control of Ingolstadt, and by 1966 were using the spare capacity of the Ingolstadt plant to assemble an additional 60.000 Volkswagen Beetles per year. Two-stroke engines became less popular during the 1960s as customers were more attracted to the smoother four-stroke engines. In September 1965, the DKW F102 was fitted with a four-stroke engine and a facelift for the cars front and rear. Volkswagen dumped the DKW brand because of its associations with two-stroke technology, and having classified the model internally as the F103, sold it simply as the "Audi". Later developments of the model were named after their horsepower ratings and sold as the Audi 60, 75, 80, and Super 90, selling until 1972. Initially, Volkswagen was hostile to the idea of Auto Union as a standalone entity producing its own models having acquired the company merely to boost its own production capacity through the Ingolstadt assembly plant – to the point where Volkswagen executives ordered that the Auto Union name and flags bearing the four rings were removed from the factory buildings. Then VW chief Heinz Nordhoff explicitly forbade Auto Union from any further product development. Fearing that the Volkswagen had no long-term ambition for the Audi brand, Auto Union engineers under the leadership of Ludwig Kraus developed the first Audi 100 in secret, without Nordhoffs knowledge. When presented with a finished prototype, Nordhoff was so impressed he authorised the car for production, which when launched in 1968, went on to be a huge success. With this, the resurrection of the Audi brand was now complete, this being followed by the first generation Audi 80 in 1972, which would in turn provide a template for VWs new front-wheel-drive water-cooled range which debuted from the mid-1970s onward.
In 1969, Auto Union merged with NSU, based in Neckarsulm, near Stuttgart. In the 1950s, NSU had been the worlds largest manufacturer of motorcycles, but had moved on to produce small cars like the NSU Prinz, the TT and TTS versions of which are still popular as vintage race cars. NSU then focused on new rotary engines based on the ideas of Felix Wankel. In 1967, the new NSU Ro 80 was a car well ahead of its time in technical details such as aerodynamics, light weight, and safety. However, teething problems with the rotary engines put an end to the independence of NSU. The Neckarsulm plant is now used to produce the larger Audi models A6 and A8. The Neckarsulm factory is also home of the "quattro GmbH" from November 2016 "Audi Sport GmbH", a subsidiary responsible for development and production of Audi high-performance models: the R8 and the RS model range.
1.5. History Modern era
The new merged company was incorporated on 1 January 1969 and was known as Audi NSU Auto Union AG, with its headquarters at NSUs Neckarsulm plant, and saw the emergence of Audi as a separate brand for the first time since the pre-war era. Volkswagen introduced the Audi brand to the United States for the 1970 model year. That same year, the mid-sized car that NSU had been working on, the K70, originally intended to slot between the rear-engined Prinz models and the futuristic NSU Ro 80, was instead launched as a Volkswagen.
After the launch of the Audi 100 of 1968, the Audi 80/Fox which formed the basis for the 1973 Volkswagen Passat followed in 1972 and the Audi 50 later rebadged as the Volkswagen Polo in 1974. The Audi 50 was a seminal design because it was the first incarnation of the Golf/Polo concept, one that led to a hugely successful world car. Ultimately, the Audi 80 and 100 progenitors of the A4 and A6, respectively became the companys biggest sellers, whilst little investment was made in the fading NSU range; the Prinz models were dropped in 1973 whilst the fatally flawed NSU Ro80 went out of production in 1977, spelling the effective end of the NSU brand. Production of the Audi 100 had been steadily moved from Ingolstadt to Neckarsulm as the 1970s had progressed, and by the appearance of the second generation C2 version in 1976, all production was now at the former NSU plant. Neckarsulm from that point onward would produce Audis higher end models.
The Audi image at this time was a conservative one, and so, a proposal from chassis engineer Jorg Bensinger was accepted to develop the four-wheel drive technology in Volkswagens Iltis military vehicle for an Audi performance car and rally racing car. The performance car, introduced in 1980, was named the "Audi Quattro", a turbocharged coupe which was also the first German large-scale production vehicle to feature permanent all-wheel drive through a centre differential. Commonly referred to as the "Ur-Quattro", few of these vehicles were produced all hand-built by a single team, but the model was a great success in rallying. Prominent wins proved the viability of all-wheel-drive racecars, and the Audi name became associated with advances in automotive technology.
In 1985, with the Auto Union and NSU brands effectively dead, the companys official name was now shortened to simply Audi AG. At the same time the companys headquarters moved back to Ingolstadt and two new wholly owned subsidiaries; Auto Union GmbH and NSU GmbH, were formed to own and manage the historical trademarks and intellectual property of the original constituent companies the exception being Horch, which had been retained by Daimler-Benz after the VW takeover, and to operate Audis heritage operations.
In 1986, as the Passat-based Audi 80 was beginning to develop a kind of "grandfathers car" image, the type 89 was introduced. This completely new development sold extremely well. However, its modern and dynamic exterior belied the low performance of its base engine, and its base package was quite spartan even the passenger-side mirror was an option. In 1987, Audi put forward a new and very elegant Audi 90, which had a much superior set of standard features. In the early 1990s, sales began to slump for the Audi 80 series, and some basic construction problems started to surface.
In the early part of the 21st century, Audi set forth on a German racetrack to claim and maintain several world records, such as top speed endurance. This effort was in-line with the companys heritage from the 1930s racing era Silver Arrows.
Through the early 1990s, Audi began to shift its target market upscale to compete against German automakers Mercedes-Benz and BMW. This began with the release of the Audi V8 in 1990. It was essentially a new engine fitted to the Audi 100/200, but with noticeable bodywork differences. Most obvious was the new grille that was now incorporated in the bonnet.
By 1991, Audi had the four-cylinder Audi 80, the 5-cylinder Audi 90 and Audi 100, the turbocharged Audi 200 and the Audi V8. There was also a coupe version of the 80/90 with both four- and five-cylinder engines.
Although the five-cylinder engine was a successful and robust powerplant, it was still a little too different for the target market. With the introduction of an all-new Audi 100 in 1992, Audi introduced a 2.8L V6 engine. This engine was also fitted to a face-lifted Audi 80 all 80 and 90 models were now badged 80 except for the USA, giving this model a choice of four-, five-, and six-cylinder engines, in saloon, coupe and convertible body styles.
The five-cylinder was soon dropped as a major engine choice; however, a turbocharged 220 PS 160 kW; 220 hp version remained. The engine, initially fitted to the 200 quattro 20V of 1991, was a derivative of the engine fitted to the Sport Quattro. It was fitted to the Audi Coupe, named the S2, and also to the Audi 100 body, and named the S4. These two models were the beginning of the mass-produced S series of performance cars.
1.6. History Audi 5000 unintended acceleration allegations
Sales in the United States fell after a series of recalls from 1982 to 1987 of Audi 5000 models associated with reported incidents of sudden unintended acceleration linked to six deaths and 700 accidents. At the time, NHTSA was investigating 50 car models from 20 manufacturers for sudden surges of power.
A 60 Minutes report aired 23 November 1986, featuring interviews with six people who had sued Audi after reporting unintended acceleration, showing an Audi 5000 ostensibly suffering a problem when the brake pedal was pushed. Subsequent investigation revealed that 60 Minutes had engineered the failure – fitting a canister of compressed air on the passenger-side floor, linked via a hose to a hole drilled into the transmission.
Audi contended, prior to findings by outside investigators, that the problems were caused by driver error, specifically pedal misapplication. Subsequently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NHTSA concluded that the majority of unintended acceleration cases, including all the ones that prompted the 60 Minutes report, were caused by driver error such as confusion of pedals. CBS did not acknowledge the test results of involved government agencies, but did acknowledge the similar results of another study.
In a review study published in 2012, NHTSA summarized its past findings about the Audi unintended acceleration problems: "Once an unintended acceleration had begun, in the Audi 5000, due to a failure in the idle-stabilizer system producing an initial acceleration of 0.3g, pedal misapplication resulting from panic, confusion, or unfamiliarity with the Audi 5000 contributed to the severity of the incident."
This summary is consistent with the conclusions of NHTSAs most technical analysis at the time: "Audi idle-stabilization systems were prone to defects which resulted in excessive idle speeds and brief unanticipated accelerations of up to 0.3g reported by Transport Canada."
With a series of recall campaigns, Audi made several modifications; the first adjusted the distance between the brake and accelerator pedal on automatic-transmission models. Later repairs, of 250.000 cars dating back to 1978, added a device requiring the driver to press the brake pedal before shifting out of park. A legacy of the Audi 5000 and other reported cases of sudden unintended acceleration are intricate gear stick patterns and brake interlock mechanisms to prevent inadvertent shifting into forward or reverse. It is unclear how the defects in the idle-stabilization system were addressed.
Audis U.S. sales, which had reached 74.061 in 1985, dropped to 12.283 in 1991 and remained level for three years. – with resale values falling dramatically. Audi subsequently offered increased warranty protection and renamed the affected models – with the 5000 becoming the 100 and 200 in 1989 – and reached the same sales levels again only by model year 2000.
A 2010 BusinessWeek article – outlining possible parallels between Audis experience and 2009–2010 Toyota vehicle recalls – noted a class-action lawsuit filed in 1987 by about 7.500 Audi 5000-model owners remains unsettled and remains contested in Chicagos Cook County after appeals at the Illinois state and U.S. federal levels.
1.7. History Model introductions
In the mid-to-late 1990s, Audi introduced new technologies including the use of aluminium construction. Produced from 1999 to 2005, the Audi A2 was a futuristic super mini, born from the Al2 concept, with many features that helped regain consumer confidence, like the aluminium space frame, which was a first in production car design. In the A2 Audi further expanded their TDI technology through the use of frugal three-cylinder engines. The A2 was extremely aerodynamic and was designed around a wind tunnel. The Audi A2 was criticised for its high price and was never really a sales success but it planted Audi as a cutting-edge manufacturer. The model, a Mercedes-Benz A-Class competitor, sold relatively well in Europe. However, the A2 was discontinued in 2005 and Audi decided not to develop an immediate replacement.
The next major model change came in 1995 when the Audi A4 replaced the Audi 80. The new nomenclature scheme was applied to the Audi 100 to become the Audi A6 with a minor facelift. This also meant the S4 became the S6 and a new S4 was introduced in the A4 body. The S2 was discontinued. The Audi Cabriolet continued on based on the Audi 80 platform until 1999, gaining the engine upgrades along the way. A new A3 hatchback model sharing the Volkswagen Golf Mk4s platform was introduced to the range in 1996, and the radical Audi TT coupe and roadster were debuted in 1998 based on the same underpinnings.
The engines available throughout the range were now a 1.4 L, 1.6 L and 1.8 L four-cylinder, 1.8 L four-cylinder turbo, 2.6 L and 2.8 L V6, 2.2 L turbo-charged five-cylinder and the 4.2 L V8 engine. The V6s were replaced by new 2.4 L and 2.8 L 30V V6s in 1998, with marked improvement in power, torque and smoothness. Further engines were added along the way, including a 3.7 L V8 and 6.0 L W12 engine for the A8.
1.8. History Audi AG today
Audis sales grew strongly in the 2000s, with deliveries to customers increasing from 653.000 in 2000 to 1.003.000 in 2008. The largest sales increases came from Eastern Europe +19.3%, Africa +17.2% and the Middle East +58.5%. China in particular has become a key market, representing 108.000 out of 705.000 cars delivered in the first three quarters of 2009. One factor for its popularity in China is that Audis have become the car of choice for purchase by the Chinese government for officials, and purchases by the government are responsible for 20% of its sales in China. As of late 2009, Audis operating profit of €1.17 billion $1.85 billion made it the biggest contributor to parent Volkswagen Groups nine-month operating profit of €1.5 billion, while the other marques in Group such as Bentley and SEAT had suffered considerable losses. May 2011 saw record sales for Audi of America with the new Audi A7 and Audi A3 TDI Clean Diesel. In May 2012, Audi reported a 10% increase in its sales - from 408 units to 480 in the last year alone.
Audi manufactures vehicles in seven plants around the world, some of which are shared with other VW Group marques although many sub-assemblies such as engines and transmissions are manufactured within other Volkswagen Group plants.
Audis two principal assembly plants are:
- Ingolstadt, opened by Auto Union in 1964 A3, A4, A5, Q5
- Neckarsulm, acquired from NSU in 1969 A4, A6, A7, A8, R8, and all RS variants
Outside of Germany, Audi produces vehicles at:
- Changchun, China, since 1995
- Aurangabad, India, since 2006
- Gyor, Hungary TT and some A3 variants
- San Jose Chiapa, Mexico 2nd gen Q5
- Jakarta, Indonesia, since 2011
- Brussels, Belgium, acquired from Volkswagen in 2007 e-tron
- Martorell, Spain, shared with SEAT and Volkswagen A1
- Bratislava, Slovakia, shared with Volkswagen, SEAT, Skoda and Porsche Q7 and Q8
In September 2012, Audi announced the construction of its first North American manufacturing plant in Puebla, Mexico. This plant became operative in 2016 and produces the second generation Q5.
From 2002 up to 2003, Audi headed the Audi Brand Group, a subdivision of the Volkswagen Groups Automotive Division consisting of Audi, Lamborghini and SEAT, that was focused on sporty values, with the marques product vehicles and performance being under the higher responsibility of the Audi brand.
On January 2014, Audi, along with the Wireless Power Consortium, operated a booth which demonstrated a phone compartment using the Qi open interface standard at the Consumer Electronics Show CES. In May, most of the Audi dealers in the UK falsely claimed that the Audi A7, A8, and R8 were Euro NCAP safety tested, all achieving five out of five stars. In fact none were tested.
In 2015, Audi admitted that at least 2.1 million Audi cars had been involved in the Volkswagen emissions testing scandal in which software installed in the cars manipulated emissions data to fool regulators and allow the cars to pollute at higher than government-mandated levels. The A1, A3, A4, A5, A6, TT, Q3 and Q5 models were implicated in the scandal. Audi promised to quickly find a technical solution and upgrade the cars so they can function within emissions regulations. Ulrich Hackenberg, the head of research and development at Audi, was suspended in relation to the scandal. Despite widespread media coverage about the scandal through the month of September, Audi reported that U.S. sales for the month had increased by 16.2%. Audis parent company Volkswagen announced on 18 June 2018 that Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler had been arrested.
In November 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency implicated the 3-liter diesel engine versions of the 2016 Audi A6 Quattro, A7 Quattro, A8, A8L and the Q5 as further models that had emissions regulation defeat-device software installed. Thus, these models emitted nitrogen oxide at up to nine times the legal limit when the car detected that it was not hooked up to emissions testing equipment.
In November 2016, Audi expressed an intention to establish an assembly factory in Pakistan, with the companys local partner acquiring land for a plant in Korangi Creek Industrial Park in Karachi. Approval of the plan would lead to an investment of $30 million in the new plant. Audi planned to cut 9.500 jobs in Germany starting from 2020 till 2025 to fund electric vehicles and digital working.
In February 2020, Volkswagen AG announced that it plans to take over all Audi shares it does not own totalling 0.36% via a squeeze-out according to German stock corporation law, thus making Audi a fully owned subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group.
2.1. Technology Audi AI
Audi AI is a driver assist feature offered by Audi. The companys stated intent is to offer fully autonomous driving at a future time, acknowledging that legal, regulatory and technical hurdles must be overcome to achieve this goal. On June 4, 2017, Audi stated that its new A8 will be fully self-driving for speeds up to 60 km/h using its Audi AI. Contrary to other cars, the driver will not have to do safety checks such as touching the steering wheel every 15 seconds to use this feature. The Audi A8 will therefore be the first production car to reach level 3 autonomous driving, meaning that the driver can safely turn their attention away from driving tasks, e.g. the driver can text or watch a movie. Audi will also be the first manufacturer to use a 3D LIDAR system in addition to cameras and ultrasonic sensors for their AI.
2.2. Technology Space frame
Audi introduced a new series of vehicles in the mid-1990s and continues to pursue new technology and high performance. An all-aluminium car was brought forward by Audi, and in 1994 the Audi A8 was launched, which introduced aluminium space frame technology called Audi Space Frame or ASF which saves weight and improves torsion rigidity compared to a conventional steel frame. Prior to that effort, Audi used examples of the Type 44 chassis fabricated out of aluminium as test-beds for the technique. The disadvantage of the aluminium frame is that it is very expensive to repair and requires a specialized aluminium bodyshop. The weight reduction is somewhat offset by the quattro four-wheel drive system which is standard in most markets. Nonetheless, the A8 is usually the lightest all-wheel drive car in the full-size luxury segment, also having best-in-class fuel economy. The Audi A2, Audi TT and Audi R8 also use Audi Space Frame designs.
2.3. Technology Layout
For most of its lineup excluding the A3, A1, and TT models, Audi has not adopted the transverse engine layout which is typically found in economy cars such as Peugeot and Citroen, since that would limit the type and power of engines that can be installed. To be able to mount powerful engines such as a V8 engine in the Audi S4 and Audi RS4, as well as the W12 engine in the Audi A8L W12, Audi has usually engineered its more expensive cars with a longitudinally front-mounted engine, in an "overhung" position, over the front wheels in front of the axle line - this layout dates back to the DKW and Auto Union saloons from the 1950s. But while this allows for the easy adoption of all-wheel drive, it goes against the ideal 50:50 weight distribution.
In all its post Volkswagen-era models, Audi has firmly refused to adopt the traditional rear-wheel drive layout favored by its two archrivals Mercedes-Benz and BMW, favoring either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The majority of Audis lineup in the United States features all-wheel drive standard on most of its expensive vehicles only the entry-level trims of the A4 and A6 are available with front-wheel drive, in contrast to Mercedes-Benz and BMW whose lineup treats all-wheel drive as an option. BMW did not offer all-wheel drive on its V8-powered cars as opposed to crossover SUVs until the 2010 BMW 7 Series and 2011 BMW 5 Series, while the Audi A8 has had all-wheel drive available/standard since the 1990s. Regarding high-performance variants, Audi S and RS models have always had all-wheel drive, unlike their direct rivals from BMW M and Mercedes-AMG whose cars are rear-wheel drive only although their performance crossover SUVs are all-wheel drive.
Audi has recently applied the quattro badge to models such as the A3 and TT which do not use the Torsen-based system as in prior years with a mechanical center differential, but with the Haldex Traction electro-mechanical clutch AWD system.
2.4. Technology Engines
Prior to the introduction of the Audi 80 and Audi 50 in 1972 and 1974, respectively, Audi had led the development of the EA111 and EA827 inline-four engine families. These new power units underpinned the water-cooled revival of parent company Volkswagen, whilst the many derivatives and descendants of these two basic engine designs have appeared in every generation of VW Group vehicles right up to the present day.
In the 1980s, Audi, along with Volvo, was the champion of the inline-five cylinder, 2.1/2.2 L engine as a longer-lasting alternative to more traditional six-cylinder engines. This engine was used not only in production cars but also in their race cars. The 2.1 L inline five-cylinder engine was used as a base for the rally cars in the 1980s, providing well over 400 horsepower 300 kilowatts after modification. Before 1990, there were engines produced with a displacement between 2.0 L and 2.3 L. This range of engine capacity allowed for both fuel economy and power.
For the ultra-luxury version of its Audi A8 fullsize luxury flagship sedan, the Audi A8L W12, Audi uses the Volkswagen Group W12 engine instead of the conventional V12 engine favored by rivals Mercedes-Benz and BMW. The W12 engine configuration also known as a "WR12" is created by forming two imaginary narrow-angle 15° VR6 engines at an angle of 72°, and the narrow angle of each set of cylinders allows just two overhead camshafts to drive each pair of banks, so just four are needed in total. The advantage of the W12 engine is its compact packaging, allowing Audi to build a 12-cylinder sedan with all-wheel drive, whereas a conventional V12 engine could have only a rear-wheel drive configuration as it would have no space in the engine bay for a differential and other components required to power the front wheels. In fact, the 6.0 L W12 in the Audi A8L W12 is smaller in overall dimensions than the 4.2 L V8 that powers the Audi A8 4.2 variants. The 2011 Audi A8 debuted a revised 6.3-litre version of the W12 WR12 engine with 500 PS 370 kW; 490 hp.
2.5. Technology Fuel Stratified Injection
New models of the A3, A4, A6 and A8 have been introduced, with the ageing 1.8-litre engine now having been replaced by new Fuel Stratified Injection FSI engines. Nearly every petroleum burning model in the range now incorporates this fuel-saving technology.
2.6. Technology Direct-Shift Gearbox
In 2003 Volkswagen introduced the Direct-Shift Gearbox DSG, a type of dual clutch transmission. It is a semi-automatic transmission, drivable like a conventional automatic transmission. Based on the gearbox found in the Group B S1, the system includes dual electro hydraulically controlled clutches instead of a torque converter. This is implemented in some VW Golfs, Audi A3, Audi A4 and TT models where DSG is called S-tronic.
2.7. Technology LED daytime running lights
Beginning in 2005, Audi has implemented white LED technology as daytime running lights DRL in their products. The distinctive shape of the DRLs has become a trademark of sorts. LEDs were first introduced on the Audi A8 W12, the worlds first production car to have LED DRLs, and have since spread throughout the entire model range. The LEDs are present on some Audi billboards.
Since 2010, Audi has also offered the LED technology in low- and high-beam headlights.
2.8. Technology Multi Media Interface
Starting with the 2003 Audi A8, Audi has used a centralised control interface for its on-board infotainment systems, called Multi Media Interface MMI. It is essentially a rotating control knob and segment buttons – designed to control all in-car entertainment devices, satellite navigation, heating and ventilation, and other car controls with a screen.
The availability of MMI has gradually filtered down the Audi lineup, and following its introduction on the third generation A3 in 2011, MMI is now available across the entire range. It has been generally well received, as it requires less menu-surfing with its segment buttons around a central knob, along with main function direct access buttons – with shortcuts to the radio or phone functions. The colour screen is mounted on the upright dashboard, and on the A4 new, A5, A6, A8, and Q7, the controls are mounted horizontally.
2.9. Technology Synthetic fuels
Audi has assisted with technology to produce synthetic diesel from water and carbon dioxide. Audi calls the synthetic diesel E-diesel. It is also working on synthetic gasoline which it calls E-gasoline.
2.10. Technology Logistics
Audi uses scanning gloves for parts registration during assembly, and automatic robots to transfer cars from factory to rail cars.
Current model range
The following tables list Audi production vehicles that are sold as of 2018:
Audi is planning an alliance with the Japanese electronics giant Sanyo to develop a pilot hybrid electric project for the Volkswagen Group. The alliance could result in Sanyo batteries and other electronic components being used in future models of the Volkswagen Group. Concept electric vehicles unveiled to date include the Audi A1 Sportback Concept, Audi A4 TDI Concept E, and the fully electric Audi e-tron Concept Supercar.
In December 2018, Audi announced to invest 14 billion Euro $15.9 billion in e-mobility, self-driving cars.
Audi has competed in various forms of motorsports. Audis tradition in motorsport began with their former company Auto Union in the 1930s. In the 1990s, Audi found success in the Touring and Super Touring categories of motor racing after success in circuit racing in North America.
4.1. Motorsport Rallying
In 1980, Audi released the Quattro, a four-wheel drive 4WD turbocharged car that went on to win rallies and races worldwide. It is considered one of the most significant rally cars of all time, because it was one of the first to take advantage of the then-recently changed rules which allowed the use of four-wheel drive in competition racing. Many critics doubted the viability of four-wheel drive racers, thinking them to be too heavy and complex, yet the Quattro was to become a successful car. Leading its first rally it went off the road, however the rally world had been served notice 4WD was the future. The Quattro went on to achieve much success in the World Rally Championship. It won the 1983 Hannu Mikkola and the 1984 Stig Blomqvist drivers titles, and brought Audi the manufacturers title in 1982 and 1984.
In 1984, Audi launched the short-wheelbase Sport Quattro which dominated rally races in Monte Carlo and Sweden, with Audi taking all podium places, but succumbed to problems further into WRC contention. In 1985, after another season mired in mediocre finishes, Walter Rohrl finished the season in his Sport Quattro S1, and helped place Audi second in the manufacturers points. Audi also received rally honours in the Hong Kong to Beijing rally in that same year. Michele Mouton, the only female driver to win a round of the World Rally Championship and a driver for Audi, took the Sport Quattro S1, now simply called the "S1", and raced in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The 1.439-metre 4.721 ft climb race pits a driver and car to drive to the summit of the 4.302-metre 14.114 ft Pikes Peak mountain in Colorado, and in 1985, Michele Mouton set a new record of 11:25.39, and being the first woman to set a Pikes Peak record. In 1986, Audi formally left international rally racing following an accident in Portugal involving driver Joaquim Santos in his Ford RS200. Santos swerved to avoid hitting spectators in the road, and left the track into the crowd of spectators on the side, killing three and injuring 30. Bobby Unser used an Audi in that same year to claim a new record for the Pikes Peak Hill Climb at 11:09.22.
In 1987, Walter Rohrl claimed the title for Audi setting a new Pikes Peak International Hill Climb record of 10:47.85 in his Audi S1, which he had retired from the WRC two years earlier. The Audi S1 employed Audis time-tested inline-five-cylinder turbocharged engine, with the final version generating 441 kW 600 PS; 591 bhp. The engine was mated to a six-speed gearbox and ran on Audis famous four-wheel drive system. All of Audis top drivers drove this car; Hannu Mikkola, Stig Blomqvist, Walter Rohrl and Michele Mouton. This Audi S1 started the range of Audi S cars, which now represents an increased level of sports-performance equipment within the mainstream Audi model range.
4.2. Motorsport In the United States
As Audi moved away from rallying and into circuit racing, they chose to move first into America with the Trans-Am in 1988.
In 1989, Audi moved to International Motor Sports Association IMSA GTO with the Audi 90, however as they avoided the two major endurance events Daytona and Sebring despite winning on a regular basis, they would lose out on the title.
4.3. Motorsport Touring cars
In 1990, having completed their objective to market cars in North America, Audi returned to Europe, turning first to the Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft DTM series with the Audi V8, and then in 1993, being unwilling to build cars for the new formula, they turned their attention to the fast-growing Super Touring series, which are a series of national championships. Audi first entered in the French Supertourisme and Italian Superturismo. In the following year, Audi would switch to the German Super Tourenwagen Cup known as STW, and then to British Touring Car Championship BTCC the year after that.
The Federation Internationale de lAutomobile FIA, having difficulty regulating the quattro four-wheel drive system, and the impact it had on the competitors, would eventually ban all four-wheel drive cars from competing in 1998, but by then, Audi switched all their works efforts to sports car racing.
By 2000, Audi would still compete in the US with their RS4 for the SCCA Speed World GT Challenge, through dealer/team Champion Racing competing against Corvettes, Vipers, and smaller BMWs where it is one of the few series to permit 4WD cars. In 2003, Champion Racing entered an RS6. Once again, the quattro four-wheel drive was superior, and Champion Audi won the championship. They returned in 2004 to defend their title, but a newcomer, Cadillac with the new Omega Chassis CTS-V, gave them a run for their money. After four victories in a row, the Audis were sanctioned with several negative changes that deeply affected the cars performance. Namely, added ballast weights, and Champion Audi deciding to go with different tyres, and reducing the boost pressure of the turbocharger.
In 2004, after years of competing with the TT-R in the revitalised DTM series, with privateer team Abt Racing/Christian Abt taking the 2002 title with Laurent Aïello, Audi returned as a full factory effort to touring car racing by entering two factory supported Joest Racing A4 DTM cars.
4.4. Motorsport 24 Hours of Le Mans
Audi began racing prototype sportscars in 1999, debuting at the Le Mans 24 hour. Two car concepts were developed and raced in their first season - the Audi R8R open-cockpit roadster prototype and the Audi R8C closed-cockpit coupe GT-prototype. The R8R scored a credible podium on its racing debut at Le Mans and was the concept which Audi continued to develop into the 2000 season due to favourable rules for open-cockpit prototypes.
However, most of the competitors retired at the end of 1999. The factory-supported Joest Racing team won at Le Mans three times in a row with the Audi R8 2000–2002, as well as winning every race in the American Le Mans Series in its first year. Audi also sold the car to customer teams such as Champion Racing.
In 2003, two Bentley Speed 8s, with engines designed by Audi, and driven by Joest drivers loaned to the fellow Volkswagen Group company, competed in the GTP class, and finished the race in the top two positions, while the Champion Racing R8 finished third overall, and first in the LMP900 class. Audi returned to the winners podium at the 2004 race, with the top three finishers all driving R8s: Audi Sport Japan Team Goh finished first, Audi Sport UK Veloqx second, and Champion Racing third.
At the 2005 24 Hours of Le Mans, Champion Racing entered two R8s, along with an R8 from the Audi PlayStation Team Oreca. The R8s which were built to old LMP900 regulations received a narrower air inlet restrictor, reducing power, and an additional 50 kg 110 lb of weight compared to the newer LMP1 chassis. On average, the R8s were about 2–3 seconds off pace compared to the Pescarolo–Judd. But with a team of excellent drivers and experience, both Champion R8s were able to take first and third, while the Oreca team took fourth. The Champion team was also the first American team to win Le Mans since the Gulf Ford GTs in 1967. This also ends the long era of the R8; however, its replacement for 2006, called the Audi R10 TDI, was unveiled on 13 December 2005.
The R10 TDI employed many new and innovative features, the most notable being the twin-turbocharged direct injection diesel engine. It was first raced in the 2006 12 Hours of Sebring as a race-test in preparation for the 2006 24 Hours of Le Mans, which it later went on to win. Audi had a win in the first diesel sports car at 12 Hours of Sebring the car was developed with a Diesel engine due to ACO regulations that favor diesel engines. As well as winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2006, the R10 TDI beat the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP in 2007, and in 2008, however Peugeot won the 24h in 2009 with a podium clean-sweep all four 908 entries retired while breaking a distance record set by the Porsche 917K of Martini Racing in 1971, in 2010 with the R15 TDI Plus.
Audis sports car racing success would continue with the Audi R18s victory at the 2011 24 Hours of Le Mans. Audi Sport Team Joests Benoit Treluyer earned Audi their first pole position in five years while the teams sister car locked out the front row. Early accidents eliminated two of Audis three entries, but the sole remaining Audi R18 TDI of Treluyer, Marcel Fassler, and Andre Lotterer held off the trio of Peugeot 908s to claim victory by a margin of 13.8 seconds.
4.5. Motorsport American Le Mans Series
Audi entered a factory racing team run by Joest Racing into the American Le Mans Series under the Audi Sport North America name in 2000. This was a successful operation with the team winning on its debut in the series at the 2000 12 Hours of Sebring. Factory backed Audi R8s were the dominant car in ALMS taking 25 victories between 2000 and the end of the 2002 season. In 2003 Audi sold customer cars to Champion Racing as well as continuing to race the factory Audi Sport North America team. Champion Racing won many races as a private team running Audi R8s and eventually replaced Team Joest as the Audi Sport North America between 2006 and 2008. Since 2009 Audi has not taken part in full American Le Mans Series Championships, but has competed in the series opening races at Sebring, using the 12-hour race as a test for Le Mans, and also as part of the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship season calendar.
4.6. Motorsport European Le Mans Series
Audi participated in the 2003 1000km of Le Mans which was a one-off sports car race in preparation for the 2004 European Le Mans Series. The factory team Audi Sport UK won races and the championship in the 2004 season but Audi was unable to match their sweeping success of Audi Sport North America in the American Le Mans Series, partly due to the arrival of a factory competitor in LMP1, Peugeot. The French manufacturers 908 HDi FAP became the car to beat in the series from 2008 onwards with 20 LMP wins. However, Audi were able to secure the championship in 2008 even though Peugeot scored more race victories in the season.
4.7. Motorsport 2012
In 2012, the FIA sanctioned a World Endurance Championship which would be organised by the ACO as a continuation of the ILMC. Audi competed won the first WEC race at Sebring and followed this up with a further three successive wins, including the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans. Audi scored a final 5th victory in the 2012 WEC in Bahrain and were able to win the inaugural WEC Manufacturers Championship.
4.8. Motorsport 2013
As defending champions, Audi once again entered the Audi R18 e-tron quattro chassis into the 2013 WEC and the team won the first five consecutive races, including the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans. The victory at Round 5, Circuit of the Americas, was of particular significance as it marked the 100th win for Audi in Le Mans prototypes. Audi secured their second consecutive WEC Manufacturers Championship at Round 6 after taking second place and half points in the red-flagged Fuji race.
4.9. Motorsport 2014
For the 2014 season Audi entered a redesigned and upgraded R18 e-tron quattro which featured a 2 MJ energy recovery system. As defending champions, Audi would once again face a challenge in LMP1 from Toyota, and additionally from Porsche who returned to endurance racing after a 16-year absence. The season opening 6hrs of Silverstone was a disaster for Audi who saw both cars retire from the race, marking the first time that an Audi car has failed to score a podium in a World Endurance Championship race.
4.10. Motorsport Formula E
Audi provide factory support to Abt Sportsline in the FIA Formula E Championship, The team competed under the title of Audi Sport Abt Formula E Team in the inaugural 2014-15 Formula E season. On 13 February 2014 the team announced its driver line up as Daniel Abt and World Endurance Championship driver Lucas di Grassi.
4.11. Motorsport Formula One
Audi has been linked to Formula One in recent years but has always resisted due to the companys opinion that it is not relevant to road cars, but hybrid power unit technology has been adopted into the sport, swaying the companys view and encouraging research into the program by former Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali.
5.1. Marketing Branding
The Audi emblem is four overlapping rings that represent the four marques of Auto Union. The Audi emblem symbolises the amalgamation of Audi with DKW, Horch and Wanderer: the first ring from the left represents Audi, the second represents DKW, third is Horch, and the fourth and last ring Wanderer. The design is popularly believed to have been the idea of Klaus von Oertzen, the director of sales at Wanderer – when Berlin was chosen as the host city for the 1936 Summer Olympics and that a form of the Olympic logo symbolized the newly established Auto Unions desire to succeed. Somewhat ironically, the International Olympic Committee later sued Audi in the International Trademark Court in 1995, where they lost.
The original "Audi" script, with the distinctive slanted tails on the "A" and "d" was created for the historic Audi company in 1920 by the famous graphic designer Lucian Bernhard, and was resurrected when Volkswagen revived the brand in 1965. Following the demise of NSU in 1977, less prominence was given to the four rings, in preference to the "Audi" script encased within a black later red ellipse, and was commonly displayed next to the Volkswagen roundel when the two brands shared a dealer network under the V.A.G banner. The ellipse known as the Audi Oval was phased out after 1994, when Audi formed its own independent dealer network, and prominence was given back to the four rings – at the same time Audi Sans a derivative of Univers was adopted as the font for all marketing materials, corporate communications and was also used in the vehicles themselves.
As part of Audis centennial celebration in 2009, the company updated the logo, changing the font to left-aligned Audi Type, and altering the shading for the overlapping rings. The revised logo was designed by Rayan Abdullah.
Audi developed a Corporate Sound concept, with Audi Sound Studio designed for producing the Corporate Sound. The Corporate Sound project began with sound agency Klangerfinder GmbH & Co KG and s12 GmbH. Audio samples were created in Klangerfinders sound studio in Stuttgart, becoming part of Audi Sound Studio collection. Other Audi Sound Studio components include The Brand Music Pool, The Brand Voice. Audi also developed Sound Branding Toolkit including certain instruments, sound themes, rhythm and car sounds which all are supposed to reflect the AUDI sound character.
Audi started using a beating heart sound trademark beginning in 1996. An updated heartbeat sound logo, developed by agencies KLANGERFINDER GmbH & Co KG of Stuttgart and S12 GmbH of Munich, was first used in 2010 in an Audi A8 commercial with the slogan "The Art of Progress."
5.2. Marketing Slogans
Audis corporate tagline is Vorsprung durch Technik, meaning "Progress through Technology". The German-language tagline is used in many European countries, including the United Kingdom, and in other markets, such as Latin America, Oceania, Africa and parts of Asia including Japan. A few years ago, the North American tagline was "Innovation through technology", but in Canada the German tagline Vorsprung durch Technik was used in advertising. Since 2007, Audi has used the slogan "Truth in Engineering" in the U.S. However, since the Audi emissions testing scandal came to light in September 2015, this slogan was lambasted for being discordant with reality. In fact, just hours after disgraced Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn admitted to cheating on emissions data, an advertisement during the 2015 Primetime Emmy Awards promoted Audis latest advances in low emissions technology with Kermit the Frog stating, "Its not that easy being green."
It was first used in English-language advertising after Sir John Hegarty of the Bartle Bogle Hegarty advertising agency visited the Audi factory in 1982. In the original British television commercials, the phrase was voiced by Geoffrey Palmer. After its repeated use in advertising campaigns, the phrase found its way into popular culture, including the British comedy Only Fools and Horses, the U2 song "Zooropa" and the Blur song "Parklife". Similar-sounding phrases have also been used, including as the punchline for a joke in the movie Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and in the British TV series Peep Show.
5.3. Marketing Typography
Audi Sans based on Univers Extended was originally created in 1997 by Ole Schafer for MetaDesign. MetaDesign was later commissioned for a new corporate typeface called Audi Type, designed by Paul van der Laan and Pieter van Rosmalen of Bold Monday. The font began to appear in Audis 2009 products and marketing materials.
5.4. Marketing Sponsorships
Audi is a strong partner of different kinds of sports. In football, long partnerships exist between Audi and domestic clubs including Bayern Munich, Hamburger SV, 1. FC Nurnberg, Hertha BSC, and Borussia Monchengladbach and international clubs including Chelsea, Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, A.C. Milan, AFC Ajax and Perspolis. Audi also sponsors winter sports: The Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup is named after the company. Additionally, Audi supports the German Ski Association DSV as well as the alpine skiing national teams of Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, France, Liechtenstein, Italy, Austria and the U.S. For almost two decades, Audi fosters golf sport: for example with the Audi quattro Cup and the HypoVereinsbank Ladies German Open presented by Audi. In sailing, Audi is engaged in the Medcup regatta and supports the team Luna Rossa during the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series and also is the primary sponsor of the Melges 20 sailboat. Further, Audi sponsors the regional teams ERC Ingolstadt hockey and FC Ingolstadt 04 soccer. In 2009, the year of Audis 100th anniversary, the company organized the Audi Cup for the first time. Audi also sponsor the New York Yankees as well. In October 2010 they agreed to a three sponsorship year-deal with Everton. Audi also sponsors the England Polo Team and holds the Audi Polo Awards.
5.5. Marketing Marvel Cinematic Universe
Since the start of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Audi signed a deal to sponsor, promote and provide vehicles for several films. So far these have been, Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home. The R8 supercar became the personal vehicle for Tony Stark played by Robert Downey Jr. for six of these films. The e-tron vehicles were promoted in Endgame and Far From Home. Several commercials were co-produced by Marvel and Audi to promote several new concepts and some of the latest vehicles such as the A8, SQ7 and the e-Tron fleet.
5.6. Marketing Multitronic campaign
In 2001, Audi promoted the new multitronic continuously variable transmission with television commercials throughout Europe, featuring an impersonator of musician and actor Elvis Presley. A prototypical dashboard figure – later named "Wackel-Elvis" "Wobble Elvis" or "Wobbly Elvis" – appeared in the commercials to demonstrate the smooth ride in an Audi equipped with the multitronic transmission. The dashboard figure was originally intended for use in the commercials only, but after they aired the demand for Wackel-Elvis fans grew among fans and the figure was mass-produced in China and marketed by Audi in their factory outlet store.
5.7. Marketing Audi TDI
As part of Audis attempt to promote its Diesel technology in 2009, the company began Audi Mileage Marathon. The driving tour featured a fleet of 23 Audi TDI vehicles from 4 models travelling across the American continent from New York to Los Angeles, passing major cities like Chicago, Dallas and Las Vegas during the 13 daily stages, as well as natural wonders including the Rocky Mountains, Death Valley and the Grand Canyon.
5.8. Marketing Audi e-tron
The next phase of technology Audi is developing is the e-tron electric drive powertrain system. They have shown several concept cars as of March 2010, each with different levels of size and performance. The original e-tron concept shown at the 2009 Frankfurt motor show is based on the platform of the R8 and has been scheduled for limited production. Power is provided by electric motors at all four wheels. The second concept was shown at the 2010 Detroit Motor Show. Power is provided by two electric motors at the rear axle. This concept is also considered to be the direction for a future mid-engined gas-powered 2-seat performance coupe. The Audi A1 e-tron concept, based on the Audi A1 production model, is a hybrid vehicle with a range extending Wankel rotary engine to provide power after the initial charge of the battery is depleted. It is the only concept of the three to have range extending capability. The car is powered through the front wheels, always using electric power.
It is all set to be displayed at the Auto Expo 2012 in New Delhi, India, from 5 January. Powered by a 1.4 litre engine, and can cover a distance up to 54 km s on a single charge. The e-tron was also shown in the 2013 blockbuster film Iron Man 3 and was driven by Tony Stark Iron Man.
5.9. Marketing In video games
Audi has supported the European version of PlayStation Home, the PlayStation 3s online community-based service, by releasing a dedicated Home space. Audi is the first carmaker to develop a such a space for Home. On 17 December 2009, Audi released two spaces; the Audi Home Terminal and the Audi Vertical Run. The Audi Home Terminal features an Audi TV channel delivering video content, an Internet Browser feature, and a view of a city. The Audi Vertical Run is where users can access the mini-game Vertical Run, a futuristic mini-game featuring Audis e-tron concept. Players collect energy and race for the highest possible speeds and the fastest players earn a place in the Audi apartments located in a large tower in the centre of the Audi Space. In both the Home Terminal and Vertical Run spaces, there are teleports where users can teleport back and forth between the two spaces. Audi had stated that additional content would be added in 2010. On 31 March 2015 Sony shutdown the PlayStation Home service rendering all content for it inaccessible.
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