When it comes to premium car marquees, few can hold a candle up to Audi. A strong design identity, an impeccable racing pedigree and use of cutting edge technology in its cars set it apart in the automobile industry. These people take their cars very, very seriously. And if you do too, then here are 8 facts about Audi you probably didn't know;
1. The word Audi in Latin means "Hear"
August Horch founded his first ever car company called A. Horch and Cie. in 1899, but due to differences with his partner he left and started another company named Agust Horch Automobilwerke GmbH. Due to copyright infringement issues he had to remove the word Horch from his own company. He ultimately used his surname which in German means "hear" and in Latin means "Audi".
2. Audi has been conducting crash tests for over 75 years now.
Before you start thinking about the technology available during those times, let us just explain the process to you. They didn't have dummies, or slow-motion camera or advanced impact sensors. Instead, they'd roll down an Audi F7 from a hill in front of a group of people and demonstrate the safety of their cars.
3. The four rings in the logo represent the four companies of the Auto Union.
In 1932, after the name fiasco between Horch the man and Horch the company ended, Horch (the company) and Audi decided to form the Auto Union with two other German car manufacturers, DKW and Wanderer. Each company was allocated a different market segment. Horch was to make high-end luxury cars, Audi focussed on deluxe mid-size cars, Wanderer was tasked with making standard mid-size cars and TSK with small cars and motorcycles.
4. The Auto Union also produced a race car that went over 268 mph way back in 1938!
Just before WW II, Mercedes and the Auto Union were entangled in an epic rivalry on track. The Auto Union with the help of Ferdinand Porsche designed a beast of a car, a V16, 560 horsepower monster, called the Auto Union Type C. They placed the engine at the back, which not only improved the weight distribution but also enhanced the handling of the car. The Type C clocked a mammoth 268.4 mph on the Autobahn.
5. Audi's Quattro four-wheel-drive cars revolutionised rallying.
Just when Audi was releasing Quattro into the wild, the World Rally Championship was tweaking its rules to allow four-wheel-drive cars. While the competition pondered over this, Audi sneaked in their beast and went on rampage mode and won numerous rallies between 1981 and 1986 and drivers championship between 1983 and 1984. It also won the Pikes Peak Hill Climb a stunning 6 times between 1982 and 1987.
6. Audi was the first car manufacturer to win Le Mans with both Diesel and Hybrid powered cars.
By 2005, Audi had used its R8 racer to defeat every competitor that showed up at the 24 hours Le Mans. Wanting to prove themselves as thoroughbred racers and car maniacs, Audi forced its engineers to build a diesel-powered car capable of winning the Le Mans. Exactly one year later, the R10 TDI turbocharged with a V10 engine won at Le Mans on its first time out. Amazingly, in 2012, Audi went on to win the Le Mans with the R 18 e-tron Quattro. Audi has won the Le Mans an incredible 13 times.
7. An Audi named "Shelly" scaled Pikes Peak with no driver!
Although this car was 19 minutes off the world record currently held by Sebastian Loeb, but an autonomously driven Audi TTS climbed the top of the Pikes Peak in 2010 without becoming a pile of scrap metal at the bottom of a mountain. This car was named after Audi's rally driver Michele Mouton, who was the first woman to win a WRC round and the Pikes Peak Hill Climb. The high-tech GPS system of this car was able to track the position of the car to within less than an inch.
8. Only the very best and most experienced factory workers get to build their halo car, the Audi R8 V10 Plus.
These lucky few are called the "Silverliners" because of the streaks of grey hair on their heads. Building an R8 is serious business and Audi trusts only the most qualified engineers to build these mean machines. Only twenty R8s roll out on an average workday. This beast goes from 0-100 kmph in just 3.2 seconds and has a top speed of a mind-boggling 330 kmph. It's not for nothing that Audi puts its best people to work on the #FastestAudi