Audi has always been the forerunner when it comes to luxury car manufacturing and only a few can match the sheer brilliance with which Audi cars are built. Been here for more than 100 years, the German car manufacturer knows a thing or two about using cutting edge technology, strong design language and luxury at its best. What's more, Audi has been successful in racing front too, and has an impeccable racing heritage.
Here are 7 interesting facts about Audi you might not be aware of!
1. Audi founder trained under Karl Benz
August Horch, the founder of Audi was a young German engineer who started working as a blacksmith. After receiving his degree in engineering, he worked in shipbuilding before working under Karl Benz, founder of Mercedes-Benz car manufacturing company. Horch worked under Benz for 3 years before starting his own venture.
2. Audi founder started 'Horch' automobile before moving to Audi
No, Audi was not the first car manufacturing company that August Horch started. In fact, Horch founded a car manufacturing company called A. Horch and Cie. in 1899. The Horch car company was pretty successful and even won many accolades in Europe. But in 1909, after some difference with investors, Horch decided to start a new company and hence Audi was born.
3. Audi in Latin means "Listen"
After parting ways with A. Horch and Cie. in 1899, Horch decided to form another company and named it August Horch Automobilwerke GmbH. But dues to legal issues and copyright infringement issues, Horch was asked to drop 'Horch' from the company name. He ultimately used 'Audi' as the final name, which is Latinization of Horch and means 'listen' in Latin.
4. The four rings in the Audi logo represent the four companies of the Auto Union
While the Horch automobile company and Horch himself, started on a wrong note, they decided to mend ways sometime in 1932. Audi decided to form the Auto Union with Horch company, DKW and Wandered. Each company got their own market segment, Horch for high-end luxury cars, Audi for deluxe cars, Wanderer stuck with standard mid-size cars and DKW decided to go with small cars and motorcycles. And hence four rings depicts the Auto Union of 4 companies.
5. Audi has been conducting crash tests for over 75 years now
You might be thinking that crash testing is a relatively new development with all the dummies, cameras and sensors in place. But that's not true! Audi has been doing crash testing for ages now, precisely 75 years and used to demonstrate the safety by rolling down an Audi F7 from a hill.
6. Auto Union produced a 430 kmph going race car back in 1938
As mentioned above, Mercedes and Audi have always entangled in rivalry on and off the track. Back in 1938, just before WW II, the Auto Union took the help of Ferdinand Porsche to design the fastest track car. The alliance came up with a 560 horsepower producing V16 beast called the Auto Union Type C. Thanks to the rear mounted engine and enhanced handling, Type C managed to clock 430 kmph on the Autobahn. In your face Bugatti!
7. Modern rallying was revolutionized by the Audi's Quattro four-wheel system
Back in 1980's, when the World Rally Championship was contemplating options to integrate four-wheel-drive system into race cars, Audi was releasing Quattro. Today we all know how Quattro changed the image of Audi as a capable SUV, but it was the numerous rally wins between 1981 to 1986 that actually pushed Quattro to an extent that WRC took a note of it and allowed all-wheel drive cars into racing. Audi went on to win the driver's championship in 1983 and 84 and also won the tough Pikes Peak Hill Climb from 1982-87.
8. Audi is the master of Le Mans and won 24-hours with both Diesel and Hybrid powered cars
Audi is the master of Le Mans and has won the championship an incredible 13 times. Audi was so strong in this form of racing that hardly any other manufacturer could challenge the supremacy of the German manufacturer, thanks to the gasoline R8 racer. As if it was not enough, Audi decided to prove their diesel prowess by winning the 2006 Le Mans in a turbocharged V10 R10 TDI. And then Audi went one step ahead to win the Le Mans 2012 in an R18 e-tron Quattro. Insane!
9. "Shelly", the fully autonomous Audi has scaled Pikes Peak with no driver
All those who don't know, Pikes Peak is an immensely tough and dangerous place to do racing and many race cars are now just a pile of scrap at the bottom of the mountain. While the autonomous technology is still in its nascent stage, Audi decided to climb the Pikes Peak in their fully autonomous car named "Shelly". As impossible as it may sound, the high-tech GPC enabled Audi TTS scaled the mountain without any trouble and without any driver, just 19 minutes short of the world record set by the ace rally driver Sebastian Loeb. Audi named this car after the first woman WRC champion and Audi's rally driver Michele Mouton.
10. Audi is planning to send a Quattro powered Lunar Rover on Moon
Google is conducting a competition called Lunar XPRIZE with a prize money of $30 million. The competition invites scientists to build a Lunar Rover that can run on the surface of the moon for 500 meters and broadcast high-definition live feed from its surface. Audi has partnered with a team of scientists in Germany to build a Lunar Rover powered by Quattro and named it the 'Audi Lunar Quattro'. We hope Audi wins the competition!