The car brand with the iconic four-ringed logo has some of the most interesting facts in the automotive industry. Check them out to find more!
That’s why words such as “audio,” “audience” and “auditorium” are related to hearing. The German word for “hear” is horch. The more amazing thing is that the founder of Audi is August Horch — isn’t that a coincidence or what?
Like many auto companies, the Auto Union turned its focus on military production at the onset of the World War II. After the war, almost all of the company’s assets were seized by the Soviets who went on to control East Germany.
In 1948, Auto Union’s factory in Chemnitz was dismantled. The following year the company founded its West German headquarters in Ingolstadt, Bavaria called Auto Union GmbH.
With Germany’s post-war economy beginning to improve, the re-formed Auto Union started to manufacture motorcycles and delivery vans under the DKW name. In 1958 Daimler-Benz took over Auto Union as a wholly-owned subsidiary.
The four-wheel drive design of the Volkswagen military vehicle, the Volkswagen Type 183 aka Iltis, provided the basis of the Audi Quattro all-wheel drive.
It’s all about the right timing for Audi. Just as it released its Quattro All-Wheel Drive, the World Rally Championship was tweaking its rules to allow four-wheel drive cars to enter into the competition.
The adjustment of the rules proved to be a huge advantage for Audi Quattros. They went on to win several rallies from 1981 to 1986, the drivers championship in 1983 and 1984, and the Pikes Peak Hill Climb six times from 1982 to 1987.
When it comes to rotary engines, Mazda is what first comes to mind. But the truth is that the world’s first-ever rotary engine was created by NSU Motorenwerke.
NSU was a German automaker which was later acquired by Volkswagen in 1969. VW merged NSU with Auto Union, thus giving birth to Audi NSU Auto Union AG, and then finally Audi.
Porsche was largely responsible for the high performance of the Audi RS models. Porsche tuned Audi’s turbocharged 2.2 liter 5-cylinder a 311 horsepower, as well as provided its the braking and suspension system. Porsche also made some radical changes to the Audi 80’s body.
In 1938, legendary car racer Bernd Rosemeyer drove a streamlined V16 Auto Union Type C car and sped up to 268.4 mph at a top speed racing competition. However, he was overtaken by another racing legend and Rosemeyer’s bitter rival Rudolf Caracciola, who drove a Mercedes.
Rosemeyer went back out later in the day to surpass Caracciola’s record, but his car got caught by the gust of wind, lost control, and flipped. He was instantly killed.
Audi claims to be the first to conduct crash tests. In comparison with the modern crash tests with dummies and slow-motion cameras, back in the day Audi’s engineers simply rolled the car down the hill to demonstrate how safe it could be. Spectators who watched the demonstration were surprised to find its engine, which was virtually intact and still running.
The four rings in the Audi logo represent the four companies that make up the Auto Union (Audi Company) — Audi, DKW, Horsch and Wanderer.
A self-driving Audi car named Shelley climbed the 147-bend Pikes Peak in 2010. It was named after Michèle Mouton who was the first woman to win the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, as well as the World Rally Championship. It was the car’s GPS which enabled the vehicle to track its position.
It’s not easy to build an R8, as it takes about 5000 different components and 70 hours to complete one! As a result, the factory rolls out only 20 R8’s every day. That’s why Audi only selects the best and most experienced factory employees for the job. Usually most of these employees have been with Audi for many years.