May 4, 2015 By Mike Lee
Last updated on June 4, 2021

Audi LogoBrief History About Audi

Audi is a German automotive manufacturer with origins that go back as far as 1899 with the amalgamation of several companies. The Audi name first appeared in the early 1920’s, however, in 1932 with the merger of Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer, a new company was formed and named ‘Union AG’ and we then see the use of the familiar 4 rings symbolising that merger.

As with many car manufacturers, WW2 signalled the end of production and it wasn’t until 1949 that Auto Union made a comeback with basic cars running 2 stroke engines, followed by Daimler-Benz AG acquiring 88% of Auto Union in 1958.

It wasn’t until 1965 that an effort was made to return to 4 stroke engined cars and become part of the VW Group (who initially took a 50% stake in the company, followed by complete control in 1966), with a name change to Auto Union ‘Audi’.

Despite Audi not being allowed to build their own cars, as VW wanted them to build the VW Beetle, Audi secretly designed, developed and built the Audi 100 in 1968, which was then accepted for production, paving the way for the Audi brand.

In 1969 VW merged Auto Union ‘Audi’ with NSU Motorworks AG (now calling it Audi NSU Auto Union AG), which lasted until 1977, when Audi returned to building Audi cars.

Just before this in 1976, the 5 cylinder engines were built and other highlights included the application of turbocharging in 1979 and the development of the Quattro system in 1980.

In 1985 the group was renamed Audi AG and as the 90’s emerged and with successful sales and motorsport endeavours, together with bigger and more powerful engines, Audi’s cars started to compete with Mercedes and BMW. Since then Audi has been at the forefront of modern car design and technology and has seen increased sales and growth throughout the world.

Quattro 1980-1991

A1 Quattro
A1 Quattro 2012

S1 2014 on

S2 Coupe 1990-1996

S3 1999 on

S4 1991 on

S5 2007 on

S6 1994 on

S7 2012 on

S8 1997 on

TT Mk1
TT Mk1 1999-2006

TT Mk2
TT Mk2 2006-2014

TT Mk3
TT Mk3 2014 on

TTS 2008 on

TT RS 2009 on

RS2 Avant
RS2 Avant 1993-1996

RS3 2011-2012 and 2015 on

RS4 2000-2001 (B5) & 2006-2008 (B7) & 2012-2018 (B8) & 2018 on (B9)

RS5 2010 on

RS6 2002-2004 (C5) & 2008-2010 (C6) & 2012-2018 (C7) & 2018 on (C8)

RS7 2013 on

R8 2007-2014

2016 Audi R8 V10 Plus
R8 2015 on