Auto-Union to Audi

Audi, a simple luxury offshoot of the old auto-union group, has become at the start of the third millennium The specialist in sports station wagons.

Auto Union is often confused with Audi, and for good reason. In 1909, Dr. Horch left his own company in Zwickau following disagreements with the rest of the management. He founded on the same site of the factory but in other premises, "Audi", translation into Latin of "Horch". In addition to a first success in the Coupe des Alpes, his models show improvements over the vehicles he produced in his former firm. After the first war, it continued the production of the type C, then engaged that of more opulent sedans, with the idea of ​​competing on their ground Mercedes, Bentley and Maybach. the type K (1918), M (1924), then the type R Imperator, with engines ranging from 70 to 100hp. But demand was too low, and Audi was bought by the founder of DKW in 1928. If prices, with American engines, fell, the crisis was there and Audi soon found itself in the Auto Union group, also including Horch, DKW and Wanderer. From 1932 to 1939, it produced, in association with its partners, heavy and luxurious convertibles and sedans.

In 1939, competition machines bearing the four rings created with their rear engine a fine track record at the top of the competition. Auto Union will be bought by Daimler-Benz in 1958, then by the Volkswagen group in 1964. The following year, Audi comes out under its name. The first Audi of the new life of the brand are still only rebadged DKWs, and it was not until 1969 that an interesting coupe was presented, the Audi 100s, produced until 1976. Audi of the 1970s was produced. 'honest and sober sedans, but no sport model, or even coupe was in the catalog before the arrival of the first Quattro, developed at the very end of the 1970s. This permanent all-wheel drive system was not a recent invention, but it had mostly been reserved for special vehicles, the tough off-road children of the Jeep. Using it for cars designed for speed, for velocity purposes, was only of interest for rallying where good traction was a guarantee of speed on changing surfaces.

Audi intended to develop its media image and concretize its research on the transmission in the championship. The first Quattro will be a milestone in the history of rallies, just like the shortened and lightened version S2 carved out an impressive track record in international rallying: Between 1981 and 1985, 23 victories, plus two constructor world championship titles, in 1982 and 1984, and two world titles for Finnish drivers Blomqvist and Mikkola. We even saw special versions win the legendary American hill climb of Pikes Peake. By declining in road version the Quattro coupe, and an approved S2 version of its shortened alter ego, Audi created a sporting bestseller, a success which only began to falter in the 90s, when its angular line was beginning to date. Since then, the Audi 90 coupe S2 coupes took over, and closer to us, the sculptural TT.

The influence of the Quattro drivetrain was decisive in Audi's rise as a general manufacturer. This concept was offered as an option on its entire range, as a pledge of active safety and driving pleasure (that of pushing the limits of grip), but above all, now, Audi is creating a more flattering and serious image, integrating more rapidly technological advancements. It will continue to offer standard models that are more and more safe and efficient, adopting a reputedly expensive but light and high-tech material, aluminum, to the point of becoming part of the escalation of power of "wagons" in need of sportiness. in recent years.

The public authorities who see so many temptations to create unspeakable speeds, the brands offering this kind of services are trying to advance under the argument of safety, noting that the power delivered is only available here for the purpose to be able to overtake with an "appreciable safety margin" and justify a code of good conduct by restricting its engines at top speed, Audi adding for its part that control of driving is facilitated by the all-wheel drive of his models.

As we know, the target aimed especially across the Rhine, with in addition the facilities offered by special highways without limitations, is the generation of "bo-bo", of these good fathers approaching the radiant fifties having dreamed of being young people to drive racing cars and become legendary or to be part of the happy Gentlemen drivers possessing small sports cars of good birth (preferably a charming English roadster or an elegant and fiery Italian berlinetta which abounded in this automotive landscape of 'before the crisis').

Having now reached a status which allows them, they are however forced to choose, by convention and by reason, a sedan, "family", preferably notchback, ensuring comfort and safety to their offspring (or even often small-offspring) . However, the dream of youth can take shape because the financial means are now suitable. Sports sedans offered this ideal marriage: GT performance and the amenities of a sedan. It is therefore normal that the major brands from across the Rhine have launched fashion, until then reserved for limited series of prestige. Slowly, the contagion is spreading, and any general practitioner must now display a jogging sedan in his catalog.

Audi's current financial health is most comfortable. In the bosom of Volkswagen, it has operated a spectacular media recovery via the rally, rather reserved for "popular" brands, while the latter readily gives itself a sophisticated image, the perfect executive car. The standing of these models make them one of the frames revered with as much deference in the upscale neighborhoods as luxury SUVs or Mercedes coupes. The Audi has become, by combining sleek Bauhaus-style design, high technology and noble materials, use of all-wheel drive, and top-level finish, the benchmark to follow for a "generalist" who wants to go upmarket. The latter is currently being modernized around its flagship models, the old A3 Audi 80, the old A4 Audi 90, the old A6 Audi 100, the old A8 V8. the Audi 90 coupe gives way to the sculptural TT. The sports models in the range were in the early 90s the 90 S2 coupe, the 80 S4 and the 200 S4. based on the 80 S2, the RS2 hunting station wagon was developed in 1993 jointly with Porsche.

It was a first, which Audi will repeat in 1999 with the RS4, from the new S4 sport sedan. the A4 (1995) had its S4 sport version in 1998. The S3 on the other hand will be the brand's first hatchback sedan. Unveiled in 1996, it will give birth to the S3 in 1999. The large A6, restyled in 1997, will also be entitled to its S6 version in 1999, and finally the A8, the flagship, (1994), will give an S8 in 1996 The real novelties will be the "Tourist Trophy", the Audi coupe launched on an A3 basis in 1998, was made of a plastic that will forge the visual identity of the brand for a long time. Its roadster version came in 2000, then their V6 version in 2002 made them authentic sports cars. Of reduced size, their competitors are called BMW Z3 (now Z4) and Mercedes SLK. An A4-based convertible made its debut in 2002. It succeeds the previous one, developed on the A80. In order to follow the example of a Mercedes with its A-class, Audi offered a compact MPV in 1999, the A3. However, the latter saw its sales trample.

As if that were not enough, the S6 will be available in a supercharged RS6 version in 2002. The whole range has been restyled, in a spirit that still remains of exemplary sobriety, all Protestant, but with more edgy lines and daring rims broad with five branches. Sportiness is expressed more and more. By diversifying, Audi is testing concept cars at shows prefiguring three enticing models which should normally appear soon in its catalog: A "real" 4x4, intended to face the sidewalks of beautiful neighborhoods (the Pikes Peak, the Steppenwolf), a large luxury coupe, based on the A6, the very beautiful Nuvolari, announcing grille retouching for the future range, detail announced by the Rosemeyer, drawn from Auto Union's sporting heritage, and confirmed by the recent Le Mans berlinette , a patronymic in accordance with the Triumph of the Untouchables R8.

Audis sportscars or Sporty models

Modèles proposés:
  • Audi 100s (1969)
  • Audi Quattro (1980)
  • Audi coupé GT (1980)
  • Audi sport quattro S2 (1982)
  • Audi 90 coupé S2 (1990)
  • Audi 80 Coupé S2
  • Audi 200 S4 (1991)
  • Audi 80 S2 (1992)
  • Audi RS.2 Avant
  • Audi S3
  • Audi S4
  • Audi S6
  • Audi S8
  • Audi TT coupé
  • Audi TT Roadster
  • Audi RS4 avant
  • Audi W12
  • Audi RS6
  • Audi A4 cabriolet 3L
  • Audi A3 V6 3.2L
  • Audi TT V6

Audi 100S (1969)

This first Audi with a sporty trend in a long time frees the brand from a certain boredom.

4-seater coupe. Front engine - front transmission. 4 cylinders in line, 2 Liters, 1 ACT, 115hp DIN @ 5500T/min. 0-100 Kph: 12 sec.; 1000 D.A. Max speed: 185 Kph. 1250 Kgs. Length: 4400 mm; Width: 1680 mm; Height: 1330 mm; Wheelbase: mm 30 687

The only coupe with a sporting tendency of the four rings, the 100s was developed as a fast 4-seater coupe, presented in Frankfurt in 1969. It should be noted that Audi had not resumed its activities until 1965. The basis of the latter is based on the shortened Audi 100 sedan. It keeps its rigidity but its 4-cylinder original Mercedes via DKW is increased to 115hp by the contribution of two carburettors. It is also the only Audi to have ventilated brake discs. It was, without being really worthy of being among the GTs, a pleasant coupe, widely sold for 6 years, before its withdrawal in 1976. A few years later, the legendary Quattro replaced it.

Audi Quattro (1980)

Although banal lines, the Quattro signs a real revolution in the field of handling.

4-seater coupe.
Front engine - all-wheel drive.
5 cylinders in line, 2.2 Liters, 2 ACT, 1 turbocharger, 200 hp DIN @ XT/min.
0-100 Kph: 6.7 sec.; 1000 D.A.; Max speed: 222 Kph.
1300 Kgs.
Length: 4404 mm; Width: 1722 mm; Height: 1344 mm; Wheelbase: 2524 mm
358 900 frs.

If there is one model that invigorates the Audi lineup so quickly, it is the Quattro. The result of extensive research by Ingolstadt engineers, the transmission of this car was revolutionary: The permanent all-wheel drive, heavy and technically complex, made it possible to obtain, with a torque distribution of 50/50 on each axle, a unsurpassed handling. This progress is to be compared especially with American cars, most of which at the time, although less torquey and gluttonous (crisis and antipollution standards require), still had for many, old rigid rear axles. with reactions taking the rodeo when the foot was heavy. The innovation therefore comes, after the four directional wheels, still from old Europe. All-wheel drive was not a pure invention, since it had already been tested on the Bugatti 53 from 1932, among others. But Audi is the first to offer this system as standard on its models. And what could be more promising than to offer it as an innovation on a coupe, which otherwise would have been a simple reissue of the 1969 100s model. The public, initially skeptical, is quickly converted thanks to the brand's harvest of success. in Rally. It has an impact on sales of this model, which continued unabated until 1991, when it was withdrawn. The spacious and relatively heavy Quattro coupe had impressive capabilities for the time. In 1987 he received a new, more powerful 2.2-liter turbo engine, and it was with this development that he ended his career.

Audi Quattro S2 (1985)

This shortened Group B Quattro carries with it Audi's rally triumph.

2 + 2-seater coupe.
Front engine - all-wheel drive.
4 cylinders in line, 16 valves 2 Liters, 2 ACT, 1 turbocharger, 230 hp DIN @ 6000RPM. and N / M
0-100 Km / h: 5.5 sec. ; 1000 D.A .:; Max speed: 240 Km / h.
980 Kgs.
Length: mm; Width: mm; Height: mm; Wheelbase: mm

Audi sport Gmbh is the sport-competition division of Ingolstadt. Its first mission was to test the capacities of their all-wheel drive in the championship. However, the standard quattro coupe was long and heavy compared to what the competition was deploying in rallying. For its agility as much as its lightness, the S2 coupe was presented as a shortened version of the 1980 model, but with an engine pushed to 230 hp.

Audi 80S2 (1988)

The rims shown here are not faithful to the original, but more in line with the choices of their current owners.

4-seater sedan.
Front Transversal Engine - all-wheel drive.
5 cylinders in line, 20 valves 2.2 Liters, 2 ACT, 1 turbo, 230 hp @ 5900 RPM. and 35.7 MKg @ 1950 T / Min.
0-100 Km / h: 5.9 sec. ; 1000 D.A .:; Max speed: 256 Km / h.
1550 Kgs.
Length: 4480 mm; Width: 1690 mm; Height: 1440 mm; Wheelbase: 2600 mm
320,000 Frs.

The Audi 80, the firm's entry-level sedan, launched in 1986, was restyled in 1991, and its range included, in addition to the inevitable Quattro, six engines. The gap separating the 1986 model from the 1991 model is striking, since we went from 4-cylinders developing 68, 80, 90 and 113 hp. (for 1030 to 1140 Kgs.) to 4-Cylinders and V6 developing 90, 101, 115, 133, 140, 150 and 174 hp. for a weight also in clear progression (between 1190 and 1430 Kgs.). Paradoxically, a rise in power with a moderate reduction in prices. The most efficient version was the V6 2.8 L. Quattro which, despite its weight, combined its 174 hp with exemplary handling. (top speed 220 km / h). But with the release of the 80 coupe, Ingolstadt was preparing a civilized version of its in-line 5-cylinder which had worked wonders on a descendant of the legendary Quattro, the shortened rally S2. This 5-cylinder turbo in its civilian version therefore developed, as for the approved model, 230 hp. at nearly 6000 laps. What allowed him performances of first order, accusing on the scale only 25 Kgs. more than the coupe. It should be noted that this 80 S2, today certainly a very good deal on occasion if its owner has spared it, was also available in Break, the traditional Avant.

Audi RS2 (1995)

4/5 seater station wagon.
Front Transversal Engine - all-wheel drive.
5 cylinders in line, 20 valves, 2.2 Liters, 2 ACT, 1 turbo, 315 hp @ 6500T / min. and 41.8 MKg / 3000 T / min.
0-100 Km / h: 5.2 sec. ; 1000 D.A .:; Max speed: 262 Km / h.
1595 Kgs.
Length: 4510 mm; Width: 1690 mm; Height: 1390 mm; Wheelbase: 2600 mm
394,000 Frs.

One can always wonder about the merits of offering such services on a type of vehicle that has the grace of a utility. But it is precisely because all the "attraction" for this type of model results from a certain sense of functionality - not to mention originality. Whether we like the concept or not, Audi achieved a world first. Before this manufacturer, the only one who had dared the formula of the sporty 4-door station wagon was indirectly Aston-Martin for Lagonda, until now familiar with "Shooting brakes" in the great tradition of gentlemen-farmers Golfers, in the form of coupes. But the Audi offered above all a power/efficiency ratio all Germanic and the safe handling of its Quattro transmission. The difference between this model and the Audi S2 Avant, released in 1992, was its stint at Porsche. Technically far superior, it was also the best equipped and most expensive Audi of its time. Produced for a single year, it was not until 1999 that it found a worthy succession, in the form of the RS4.

Audi S3 (1996)

4-seater sedan.
Front engine - all-wheel drive.
4 cylinders in line, 1.8 Liters, 1 ACT, 225 hp DIN @ 5900T / min. and 280 N / M
0-100 Km / h: 6.6 sec. ; 1000 D.A .:; Max speed: 243 Km / h.
1420 Kgs.
Length: 4160 mm; Width: 1760 mm; Height: 1420 mm; Wheelbase: 2520 mm
€ 330,110

The A3 was unveiled in 1996 as a competitor of choice for the compact BMW 3 series, and VW Golf, and the muscular version, the 1.8-liter A3 Turbo quattro giving 180hp enough to make it a "sporty" (0- 100 in 7.5 sec .; 230 km / h), was eclipsed by an Audi sport derivation, just as the 80, 100 and A4 had been. First provided with 210hp, it was grafted onto the engine block of the TT Quattro coupe, of which it already shared the essentials. As you would expect, it is a step back from what the TT offers, but these are vehicles that are different in functionality. It had an antagonist with the Golf Four-motion of the same group, but the new R54 will literally atomize it, which the AMG C-Class sports coupes had already managed to do.

Audi S4 (1998)

4/5 seater sedan.
Front engine - all-wheel drive.
6 cylinders in V, 30 valves 2.7 Liters, 2x2 ACT, 2 turbos, 265 hp @ 5800 RPM. and 400 N / M @ 1850 RPM.
Performance: 0-100 Km / h: 5.6 sec. ; 1000 D.A .:; Max speed: 250 Km / h.
1510 Kgs.
Length: 4480 mm; Width: 1730 mm; Height: 1400 mm; Wheelbase: 2610 mm
Price: 330,000 Frs. - 50,300 Euros

Formidable, the basic three-box sport sedan, which naturally succeeds the 80 S2, has the advantage of its two turbos on a light basis, with the key to better results as a sprinter, and impeccable road holding in addition optimum traction provided by the now traditional Quattro transmission. It is one of the most affordable sports sedans in the segment. Apart from this formidable S4, the only A4 capable of receiving the designation of "sport" was the V6 2.8 liters of 193hp (0-100 in 7.3 sec .; 240 km / h.)

Audi S6 (1999)

4-seater sedan.
Front engine - all-wheel drive.
8 cylinders in V, 40 valves 4 Liters, 2 ACT, 340 hp DIN @ 7000RPM. and 420 N / M
0-100 Km / h: 6.8 sec.; 1000 D.A .:; Max speed: 250 Km / h (clamping).
1750 Kgs.
Length: 4800 mm; Width: 1990 mm; Height: 1450 mm; Wheelbase: 2760 mm
78,800 Euros.

As the millennium dies, a new asphalt terror arises, in the guise of an honest bourgeois sedan. With 340hp under his feet, the good father of a family no longer feels joy. Admittedly, this does not prevent the brand with the rings from offering here the rival of the Mercedes E-class AMG and other BMW M.5, with an advantage for the latter, which will be filled by the appearance of the Monstrous RS6 in 2002, developing this times 450hp, smashing its own records.

Audi S8 (1995)

Limousine / Sedan 4/5 seats.
Front engine - all-wheel drive.
8 cylinders in V, 40 valves 4.2 Liters, 2 ACT, 360 hp DIN @ 7000RPM. and 430 N / M
0-100 Km / h: 5.4 sec.; 1000 D.A .:; Max speed: 250 Km / h.
1730 Kgs.
Length: 5030 mm; Width: 1880 mm; Height: 1440 mm; Wheelbase: 2880 mm

Taking over from the Audi 200, and the A8 and its different generations, the S.8 is the first version by Audi sport of that of 1994. The A8, flagship of the brand offered in 2001 a panel impressive 10 engines available in all-wheel drive for the majority, and equipped with V6 and V8 capable of already giving it convincing sporting claims: the 4.2-liter V8 of 310 hp allowing it to go to 100 km / h in 6, 9 seconds, the others around 8 seconds, and for four of them, reaching 250 km / h. But the two most powerful are undoubtedly the S.8, which uses a self-supporting aluminum body, as well as its engine, claims a moderate weight on the scale, with a comfortable size: For 20 hp more than the S.6, the S.8 accelerates much harder (5.4 sec. against 6.7 sec. for the 0 -100 Km / h.). But in 2002, when the A.8 was about to retire, the most impressive of its models appeared, the A.8 W12 and its 420 hp, a heavier limousine and therefore conceding 4 tenths of acceleration time to the model. Audi sport

Audi TT Coupe (1998)

2 + 2-seater coupe. Front Transversal Engine - all-wheel drive.
4 cylinders in line, 20 valves 1.8 Liters, 2 ACT, 1 turbo, 225 hp DIN @ 5900RPM. and 280 N / M.
0-100 Km / h: 6.4 sec. ; 1000 D.A .:; Max speed: 243 Km / h.
1395 kgs.
Length: 4040 mm; Width: 1760 mm; Height: 1350 mm; Wheelbase: 2420 mm
€ 36,700.

When the TT Coupe appeared on the Audi stand at the 1996 World Cup, nobody thought that it would one day be marketed alongside the brand's wise sedans, so much its very high-tech style clashed with the ambient classicism. Audi Design Director since 1994, Peter Schreyer has contributed to creating the brand's image, and by presenting the TT, marketed a pure design object, a Bauhaus product, reducing its silhouette to a symbol, a concept. To be commercially viable, the TT was based on the mechanical basis of its A3, and was immediately available in two versions with the same displacement, and boosted by a turbo, that of 180cv, and that of 225cv, which for a ton four with all-wheel drive, allows it to impose itself fully in the field of the best-selling sports. In 2002, with an additional version of 150hp, the TT remained the best-selling sports car in Europe, far ahead of the Opel Speedster, which was no doubt less welcoming.

Audi TT roadster (1999)

2-seater convertible.
Front Transversal Engine - all-wheel drive.
4 cylinders in line, 20 valves 1.8 Liters, 2 ACT, 1 turbocharger, 225 hp DIN @ 5900RPM. and 280 N / M.
0-100 Km / h: 6.8 sec. ; 1000 D.A .:; Max speed: 237 Km / h.
1395 Kgs.
Length: 4040 mm; Width: 1760 mm; Height: 1350 mm; Wheelbase: 2420 mm
€ 39,100.

The TT roadster followed the coupe barely a year ago. Losing its rear seats in favor of the hood housing and its kinematics system, the convertible retains its sleek body style with extremely simple volume, but by losing the roof of the coupe, a convertible top has been added that unfolds forming also an arch. Weighted down by the reinforcements, the 180hp version struggles of course more, approaching an MG-F. However, the 225 hp quattro version still does well. The TT roadsters sell better than their competitors, and are adorned as standard with a leather finish with large stitching called "baseball glove", including the originality pleases.

Audi RS4 Avant (1999)

5-seater station wagon.
Front transverse engine - all-wheel drive.
0-100 Km / h: 4.9; 1000 D.A .:; Max speed: 250 Km / h.
6 cylinders in V 90 °, 30 valves, 2.6 Liters, 2 ACT, 2 turbos, 380 hp DIN @ 6100 RPM, 440 N / M / 2500 RPM.
1620 Kgs.

Length: 4530 mm; Width: 1800 mm; Height: 1390 mm; Wheelbase: 2610 mm The S.4 Avant station wagon already showed remarkable driving pleasure, offering 265 hp. thanks to its twin-turbo V6, but the Ingolstadt engineers wanted to push the plug even further with the worthy heir to the Break RS.2 developed in 1992 with Porsche. The result was one of the wildest station wagons in history, removing it as much as possible from its utility vocation. Also developed with Porsche, it was significantly heavier than its ancestor (35 Kgs.), But the approval of its engine gave it the possibility - a first for a station wagon - to compete in terms of numbers with a Ferrari 360 Modena. Finally, the good fathers of families could make their dreams come true, without displeasing some.