Audi: Advancing Technology for More Than a Century Now
After working for Karl Benz, one of the founders of Mercedes Benz, August Horch went on to establish an automotive company of his own, A. Horch & Cie. However, things didn't go exactly the way Horch planned. He eventually had to leave his own company due to a row with his supervisory board. In hindsight, that wasn't so bad though since it led Horch to start a new company-Audi. Using what he learned from Karl Benz and employing his own ideas for innovation, Horch launched the first Audi automobile in 1910.More than a hundred years after that, Audi continues the tradition of innovative vehicles that Horch started.
Vorsprung durch Technik-this German phrase that roughly translates to
advancement in technology was Audi's slogan in the 1980s up to the early 2000s. And if we're going to choose one innovation from Audi that best embodies that slogan, it's the quattro (which means
four in Italian). Quattro is Audi's patented all-wheel drive technology that boasts of superior grip and handling. It was introduced in the 1980 Audi Quattro, the first permanent all-wheel drive production car. Of course, the quattro technology has significantly evolved since then. Much like automotive models, the quattro has had several generations. The quattro technology's most recent installment is able to deliver a sporty driving experience as it normally sends 40% power to the front axle and 60% power to the rear axle. Simply put, Audi vehicles that are configured with the latest quattro technology have the stability /and traction that can deal with any road condition.
Automobiles usually get bigger and heavier with each new model year in order to fit in the necessary upgrades-this is a very common trend in the automotive industry. Audi, however, bucks that trend with the Audi ultra technology. The 2012 Audi A6-which is 80kg lighter than its predecessor-is one of the first recipients of this technology. It's composed of lightweight carbon fibre-reinforced material-a material that weighs 60% lighter than steel. Naturally, the weight loss has resulted in better fuel mileage for the A6. The ultra technology was able to accomplish that without having to downgrade the A6's performance.
Audi Quattro: A Car of Many Firsts
1910 was the year in which the first Audi automobile came out. Since then, the brand has manufactured numerous vehicles, and it doesn't look like it's going to slow down anytime soon. But out of all the vehicles that Audi produced, the Audi Quattro is arguably the most iconic. The Quattro, the first beneficiary of Audi's famous quattro all-wheel drive technology, is both a road and rally car. The world got its first glimpse of the iconic Quattro in the 1980 Geneva Motor Show. The Quattro immediately got a lot of buzz because after all, it was the very first permanent all-wheel drive production car. It was also the first car to combine a turbo engine with an all-wheel drive setup. The Quattro was released in Europe later that year.
Debut in North America
The Audi Quattro was introduced in North America three years after it began production in Europe. Save for a few minor aesthetic adjustments, the 1983 North American Quattro was basically the same as the 1982 European version. The Quattro sold approximately 800 units in both the US and Canada during its initial three-year run.
The Rally Car
As mentioned earlier, the Audi Quattro wasn't only an everyday vehicle-it also took on dirt roads as a rally car. The Quattro A1, the rallying alter-ego of the regular Quattro, debuted at the 1983 World Rally Championship. It had an impressive showing, to say the least, as it won the Rallye de Portugal and the Swedish Rally. Another Quattro rally car, the Quattro A2, had the same luck as the A1 as it also had a string of victories-eight world rally championships, in fact-throughout 1983 and 1984.
Despite the huge success both the A1 and A2, Audi didn't stop improving the Audi Quattro rally cars. In 1985, Audi came out with the Sport Quattro S1 E2, which is regarded by many as the most powerful car to participate in international rally racing.
The Audi Quattro Today
The Audi Quattro may be long gone but its achievements haven't been forgotten. Audi even came out with the Audi quattro concept car in 2010 to commemorate both the 30th anniversary of the original Audi Quattro and the quattro all-wheel drive technology. It's a great way to honor a car that has given the world many firsts.