Audi Through The Years
The first Audi vehicle in production was the Type B 10/28PS, which was launched in early 1910. The earliest Audis were successful sporting cars.
A decade later, in 1920, August Horch left Audi though he stayed on as a member of the board of trustees. Soon after, the company became a pioneer in German driving safety when it introduced the country's first left-hand drive model. In the late 1930s the company was one of the first to carry out systematic rollover and crash tests.
The linked rings that make up the Audi logo were first used as the company's brand in the 1930s, although initially only racing cars bore the mark.
Audi's production capabilities were severely limited during World War II like many other German companies when factories were used for military production and then often suffered damage by bombing although some production did continue. Toward the end of the 1950s, Audi was briefly owned by Daimler-Benz. In 1964 Audi became part of the Volkswagen Group and by 1965 new models were again being branded as Audis.
Audi in America
During the 1980s, the first Audi began gaining popularity in America. The Audi 4000 sport sedan was first sold to American motorists in 1984. The following year, Audi started to work with the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa) and incorporated a greater quantity of aluminum in its manufacturing processes.
In 1993, Audi presented a lightweight aluminum production car after several years of work with Alcoa. The Audi Space Frame as it was known, used new design principles like connecting aluminum sections to form a frame into which load-bearing aluminum panels are then integrated. In 1995, the Audi A4 was named as the successor to the Audi 80 and was a huge success throughout the United States. In fact, following the launch of the new A4 sales of Audi vehicles saw a 44 percent improvement over sales of the previous year.
Then in 1997, Audi launched the world's first all-aluminum volume production car, the A8, to U.S. drivers. The Audi A8's aluminum body marked a new standard in car manufacturing, thanks to the light weight of the material allowing the frame to weigh as much as 40 percent less than a comparable design made in steel. (Aluminum is also easier to recycle.) During the new millennium, Audi also added an additional SUV option, as well as several higher performance cars, and sports cars. By the end of 1999, Audi had sold its one-millionth car in the United States.
Since 1985, Audi built a range of TDI Clean Diesel cars, which boast power and performance with low fuel consumption and reduced CO2 emissions (fuel consumption is said to be up to 40 percent lower than comparable cars using gasoline engines). A total of more than five million TDI Clean Diesel vehicles have been sold to date.
Today, Audi is a well-respected brand throughout the U.S. and the rest of the world, and its iconic "Progress through Technology," slogan is well known.
Today's Audi models are sold throughout the world, including China and countries in Eastern Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Current models include the supermini A1, the small family car A3, the compact executives A4 and A5, the executive A6 and A7, the full-size luxury A8, the compact sports car TT, the sports car R8, the compact crossover SUVs Q3, and Q5 and the full-size crossover SUV Q7.
Sport models include the small family car S3, the compact executives S4 and S5, the executives S6 and S7, the full-size luxury S8, and the compact sports car TTS. Current racing models include the RS3 small family car, the RS5 compact executive car, and the TTRS compact sports car.
Audi Products and Technologies
Today, Audi offers a wide range of vehicles, including both luxury and sports cars. One popular option recently made available by Audi is the Multi Media Interface computerized control system, which is designed to control a wide range of in-car entertainment devices as well as heating, ventilation, and satellite navigation provided through the Audi Navigation System. Another recent innovation is the white LED daytime running lights that were first introduced on the Audi S6 in 2006.
From SUVs to compact cars to full-size luxury vehicles, today Audi is maintaining a high level of success in the American market.