Audi's first car was built in 1910 and they merged with three other companies (DKW, Horch, and Wanderer) in 1932 to form Auto Union. The four rings on the badge represents the four founder companies, and it was this car built by Auto Union that later went on to become Audi. Since then Audi has become one of the most iconic and popular brands within the motor industry. In this piece, we will focus on the brand's journey throughout the years.
Designed as a prototype by engineer Paul Jaray as an aerodynamic exercise, the car was way ahead of its time, but its unconventional styling, deemed it unsuitable (too ugly) for production and that it simply would not sell. Emphasised by its high stature and narrow wheels, sharply sloping lines, and shark fin spoiler reminiscent of the much larger Tatra. designed under Hans Ledwinka, It’s a shame that no originals have survived, but this reconstruction shows a vehicle that was ahead of its time.
In the 1930s the Horch 930 S belongs to a new era of cars. For several reasons, one of them being the wind tunnel tests that the Horch 930 S underwent. It’s also worth noting that the car was manufactured with the utmost precision, and the parts used in the car were only of the highest quality. For example, the crankshafts were polished to the thousandth of a millimetre. To reduce the cost of producing the car, Horch abandoned the warehousing that was eating up the company’s profit. According to the initial plan, new cars were only supposed to be made to order, planning production capacity. In this way, the Horch assembly line would operate without loss-making breaks.
The Horch 930 S was also unique due to one accessory that was hidden in the right fender. If you went up to the car and opened the special opening, you would see... a tap and – if you could call it that – an extremely compact sink. This unusual accessory was installed in the car so that the driver could wash his hands after changing a flat tyre or doing something else on the car. The company had also installed a similar accessory in the Horch 10/35 HP, which was manufactured in 1923 for the Swedish royal family.
The Audi 100 was an executive car which was made from 1968 to 1997 across four generations, with a two-door model available in the first and second-generation and a five-door model available in the last three generations In 1982, the third generation Audi 100 achieved a remarkably low drag coefficient of 0.30 featuring flush greenhouse sides with unique sliding window mountings. In 1994, the models were mildly restyled, and renamed the Audi A6 series in conjunction with a general new Audi naming scheme, until they were relieved by a new generation of A6.
In the 90s, Audi had a decision to make. It was time to retire the Audi 80, so work began on a new model as its successor. The new compact executive vehicle that would take its place was finally presented in 1994, it would be the first of at least five generations that are still in production today. It was a long process that began with sketches and development plans in 1988. Imre Hasanic was chosen to provide the exterior design in 1992 and the interior had been finalised and approved by 1992.
Currently in its fifth generation, the Audi A4 received a pretty large mid-cycle facelift, including a revamped exterior and interior design, not to mention technical upgrades as well. The exterior design became more integrated with the latest evolution. The face-lifted fifth-generation A4 feature three choices that include a mild-hybrid system based on 12 volts.
In total, six engine options are available with either a front-wheel-drive or Quattro all-wheel-drive, of which some are paired with a manual transmission, a seven-speed S Tronic, or an eight-speed Tiptronic. This model is one of the most iconic within the Audi range of vehicles .
Throughout the years Audi has adapted and changed with the times and this year they enter into a new era as the range of fully electric and hybrid vehicles expands. In 2019 Audi launched the first of its fully electric vehicles in the form of the Audi e-tron which not only embraces the new era of vehicles but it also packs a serious performance punch with 402bhp in the 55 model. This year marks the launch of the 469bhp Audi e-tron, RS e-tron GT the latest and most visionary yet across the Audi electric range.
One things for sure, is that Audi, just like its vehicles are built to stand the test of time.
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