Founded by German engineer August Horch, Audi was officially established in April 1910. Although not the first choice of name due to a legal dispute with August Horch & Cie, a company he originally founded, ‘Horch’ was no longer an option.
A meeting with trusted business friends proved very fruitful, resulting in an agreement on the new brand name, Audi. Thanks to his friend’s son and Latin studies, Horch realised that his name, meaning ‘hark’ or ‘hear’ in German, translated as ‘audi’ in Latin.
That same year Audi produced its first vehicle, the Audi Type A Sport-Phaeton. This was shortly followed by the Audi Type B, released a few months later. Twelve years on, the Audi Type K - the first German-manufactured vehicle to feature left-handed drive – was released to market.
Audi was known for its luxurious cars equipped with specialist bodywork. However, in 1939, due to the economic challenges of the time, financial pressures on the brand resulted in it disappearing completely from the new car market for over 20 years.
It wasn’t until the late 1960s that the Audi name was revived for the production of a modern four-stroke engine. Originally sold as ‘Audi’ under the Volkswagen umbrella, later models were named after functional developments, such as improvements in horsepower rating. These models included the Audi 60, 75 and Super 90, as well as the Audi 80 and 100, which became the starting template for the Audi A4 and A6 that we know today.
In the 1980s Audi launched the first ever large-scale production of an all-wheel drive vehicle. This car was developed using Volkswagen’s four-wheel drive technology combined with the performance of a rally racing car. It was introduced to the market as the now famous ‘Audi Quattro'- a turbo charged coupé.
Audi have since focused on innovative design with a vision of constant progress. Audi’s philosophy is that what they create today won’t just lead to better cars, but to a better tomorrow. This can be seen in their continued advances in motor technology and car design with every new Audi launch.