The Audi brand now forms part of the Volkswagen Group, with headquarters based in Ingolstadt, Germany. It became a fully owned subsidiary in 1966.
It’s four interlinked, ringed badge symbolizes a merger between Audi, Horch, DKW and Wanderer in 1932 to form Auto Union AG.
Volkswagenwerk AG acquired its majority shareholding in Auto Union AG from the Stuttgart-based Daimler Group. In the spring on 1969, VW merged it’s recent acquisitions of NSU Motorenwerke AG and Auto Union GmbH to form Audi NSU Auto Union AG.
In 1972 my grandfather traded in his old Singer Vogue and bought a brand new Audi 100GL. Metallic brown with beige, cloth interior trim it was his pride and joy. As an impressionable eight year old, raised on a diet of Morris 1100’s, and Ford Cortinas, I was an eager passenger when driven at speeds well into three figures on the newly constructed Arundel bypass. This impression of power was only reinforced by the odd school run in a bright orange 100GL (with dark green interior).
The Geneva Motorshow of 1980 proved a major springboard for both Audis commercial and sporting success. The newly refined four-wheel-drive Audi Quattro was the latest version of the Coupe, which greatly improved on the concept Jensen launched in the ‘60s. Audi reduced the noise, weight and improved fuel consumption. Audi packed a central differential, the size of a grapefruit and ran shafts within shafts to save space. The quattro torsen differential. Torsen is short for ‘torque sensing’ and capable of determining the axle with the greatest grip and directs the engine’s torque accordingly. A real advantage under hard acceleration.
The early five cylinder SOHC engine displaced 2,144cc and was fuel injected with turbocharger and intercooler to produce 197 bhp. This propelled the car from 0-62mph in 7.1 seconds with a top speed of 137mph. For the last couple of years of production, from 1989, displacement grew to 2,226 cc DOHC with 20 valves, 217 bhp and revised top speed of 143mph.
Audi had produced a game-changing masterpiece, which had almost won the Monte Carlo rally on its first outing.
Audi’s brand values are synonymous with style, quality and desirability.