Audi design, engineer, manufacture and distribute automobiles and motorcycles. Audi oversees worldwide operations from its headquarters in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, Germany. Audi-branded vehicles are produced in seven production facilities worldwide.
Originally, in 1885, automobile company Wanderer was established, 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 Daimler’s four-wheeler.
On 14 November 1899, August Horch (1868–1951) established the company A. Horch & Cie. in the Ehrenfeld district of Cologne, but because of a dispute between him and the supervisory board, he had to leave the company. In 1909, he established a second company, Horch Automobil-Werke GmbH.
The first Audi automobile, the Audi Type A 10/22 hp (16 kW) Sport-Phaeton, was produced in 1910 in Zwickau.
AUDI AG has been a majority owned (99.55%) subsidiary of Volkswagen AG since 1966, following a phased purchase of AUDI AG‘s predecessor, Auto Union, from Daimler-Benz. Volkswagen relaunched the Audi brand with the 1965 introduction of the Audi F103 series.
The company name is based on the surname of the founder, August Horch. “Horch”, meaning “listen”, becomes “Audi” when translated into Latin. The four rings of the Audi logo each represent one of four car companies that banded together to create the company. Audi‘s slogan is Vorsprung durch Technik, meaning “Advancement through Technology”. Recently in the United States, Audi has updated the slogan to “Truth in Engineering”.
In the mid-to-late 1990s, Audi introduced new technologies including the use of aluminum 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 Mk4’s platform) was introduced to the range in 1996, and the radical Audi TT coupé 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.
A1 Supermini 3-door Hatchback Sportback (5-door Hatchback)
A3 Small Family Car 3-door Hatchback Sportback (5-door Hatchback) Cabriolet
A4 Compact Executive Car Saloon (Sedan) Avant (Estate/Wagon) Allroad (Crossover Estate/Wagon)
A5 Compact Executive Car Coupé Sportback (5-door Hatchback) Cabriolet (Convertible)
A6 Executive Car Saloon (Sedan) Avant (Estate/Wagon) Allroad (Crossover Estate/Wagon)
A7 Executive Car Sportback (5-door Hatchback)
A8 Full-size Luxury Car Saloon (Sedan)
Audi coupés and SUVs TT Compact Sports Car Coupé \ Roadster (Convertible)
R8 Super Car Coupé Spyder (Convertible)
Q3 Compact Crossover SUV
Q5 Compact Crossover SUV
Q7 Full-size Crossover SUV
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