100 years of Audi
As Audi celebrates its centenary, we thought we’d have a dig through their archives to conjure up a collection of our favourite production models, concepts and racing cars from their illustrious past.
As one of Germany’s preeminent early car makers, the original Audi company was to merge with several competitors - Horsch, DKW and Wanderer - to form Auto Union in 1932. Following the war, Auto Union found its industrial assets bisected by the Iron Curtain, leading to the creation of a new HQ at Ingolstadt (where the company is still based today).
Here’s our selection of some of the finest designs
The company focused on small cars until it was acquired by VW in 1964, eventually dedicating itself to larger saloons that didn’t compete with VW’s products. Along the way Audi acquired the quirkily innovative manufacturer NSU but it wasn’t until the late 70s that the company found its technological niche and started to shake off a rather staid image.
The development of the quattro four-wheel-drive system in the early 80s both revolutionised motorsport and gave the brand a mighty shove - helped by some well-conceived marketing.
By the 90s, Audi had become synonymous with quiet, modernist innovation, characteristics that continue to shape the brand’s image in the modern era, despite a notable lurch toward hard-edged styling and even more raucous performance.