The Full Story of the Brand of the Four Rings: Audi

The Full Story of the Brand of the Four Rings: Audi

Does your heartbeat fast in awe every time an Audi R8 or Q5 rolls by? Has the thought of selling your car and getting the German luxury beast ever crossed your mind?

German cars are just like the German language, powerful, rough, creative, and precise.

Everyone knows Audi and its premium cars, but what about the history behind it? Let’s find out.

From Small to a World-Renowned Automobile Manufacturer

The Name

The story dates back to July 16, 1909, when August Horch couldn’t name his automobile company “Horch” because it’s already been used in Germany by another man with the same name.

In search of alternatives, he ended up using the Latin translation of his name: Audi, meaning "listen" and that’s how Audi Automobilwerke GmbH saw the first light.

Audi Logo

In 1932, the company went through financial difficulties which led it to merge with three other German automobile brands, DKW, HORCH, and WANDERER.

The new entity called "Auto Union" used the symbol of four interlocking rings to resemble the union of these 4 manufacturers. The visual identity of the 4 rings is still preserved by Audi today.

For more than 80 years, Audi has proudly displayed its logo, synonymous with quality, reliability, and performance in the eyes of the general public.

This interweaving of circles represents the history of the brand to the present day, from the merger that gave birth to Auto-Union to the second chance that Volkswagen gave it.

The first time the logo appeared was in 1928, and the second time in 1964 when Volkswagen brought Audi back to life.

The logo has hardly changed over the years, until 2009 all four rings were gray on a white background with “Audi” written underneath and in the middle. And since the summer of 2009, the rings have changed slightly and "Audi" appears below, aligned to the left


Reviving the Audi Name

In 1964, Volkswagen bought Auto Union and gave it back the name, Audi.

It was not until the 1970s, under the leadership of Ferdinand Piëch (grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, the founder of Volkswagen), that Audi met the boom that it is known for today.

It gives the initial impetus to the Audi brand with new engines, new bodies, and above all the Quattro transmission.

Audi became twice the world rally champion and Audi’s image became the hallmark of sportiness. Audi’s first real sports car was the Audi Quattro Coupe (1980).


Audi Models

Audi models are suitable for all tastes. Due to the popularity of the brand, the company released a service where you can get a free valuation of your car to know how much money you need to exchange it for one of Audi’s amazing models.

Did you know that Audi models weren't always made up of a letter and a number like they are today?

Between 1910 and 1931, the vehicles of the brand with the rings held the name "Type" followed by a letter of the alphabet. The founder, August Horch, named the first cars Type A and Type B (1909 - 1914).

Very quickly, the brand became well known, thanks to its numerous victories in the various races it took part in.

The Type model. C “Alpensieger” (1912 - 1921) which means “winner of the Alps”, was the most famous of the series. This name was a tribute to the Coupe des Alpes that the brand won three years in a row in 1912, 1913, and 1914.

After the First World War, Audi launched its high-end with 6 and 8 cylinder engines. But the post-war crisis caused cash flow problems for the company.

After a few takeovers and mergers, especially during the restructuring of industry in Germany linked to World War II, Audi began to manufacture mid-range vehicles and left Mercedes-Benz and two other competitors in the high-end market.

We will also find the names of the companies with which Audi merged in the names of models such as Audi DKW, Audi-Front, or Audi UW until 1960.

It was at the end of the 60s, that Audi would find success in luxury vehicles when Volkswagen resuscitated the brand, and Audi produced the first cars with four-stroke engines.

Until 1990, most vehicle names were a number, we find the Audi 60 (1968), the 80 (1972), the 50 (1974), the 100 (1976), and the 90 (until 1991).

At that time, we can note one of the flagship models of the brand: the Quattro. It is the first sports coupe with an all-wheel-drive to be sold in series.

     Over the past 20 years, Audi has separated its ranges with a letter and a number. The smaller the latter, the closer the vehicle is to a city car. In ascending order, we note:

-       A1 (premium city car)

-       A3 (sporty compact)

-       A4 (family)

-       A5 (coupe)

-       A6 (road)

-       A7 (luxury 4-door coupe)

-       Audi A8 sedan. (luxury sedan).

     There is also the TT range, which represents sports coupes and convertibles.

      At the SUV level, we find the Q2, Q3, Q5, and the Audi Q7.

     Finally, in prestige sports cars sold in series, Audi offers its customers the Audi R8 V8, V10, and V10 Spyder.

Audi, a Leading Brand

A brief look at Audi’s history will show us that this “lord of the rings” was and still is a leading brand in Europe and the whole world:

-       In 1976, Audi manufactured its first 5-cylinder engine.

-       In 1979, it developed a turbocharger technology.

-       At the 1980 Geneva Motor Show, Audi presented the Quattro coupe, a four-wheel-drive passenger car.

-       In 1989, Audi installed the Volkswagen Group's first direct-injection diesel engine in the Audi 100 2.5 TDI.

-       In 1997, Audi presented the first hybrid car in Europe: the Audi 100 Duo, based on the Avant Quattro model.

-       In 1998, Audi bought the Italian brand Lamborghini which was on the verge of bankruptcy.

The only downside to this honor roll is that in 2015 Audi was one of the group’s four brands involved in the DieselGate affair. The case was about the rigging of polluting emissions tests with nearly 2.1 million vehicles are concerned.

Audi always looks to the future and offers innovative ideas and technologies, as well as a progressive vision of mobility and sustainability. The brand with the four rings is a pioneer at heart and has its place in the hearts of its fans.

Author: Muhamad Omari

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