In our last blog, you learned all about how Audi vehicles get their names. This week, we will discuss the history of the Audi brand, from its earliest beginnings in 1899 to the legendary performance luxury brand it’s known to be today. Allow Audi of Asheville to take you on this journey. Buckle up, it’s going to be quite a ride!

A Brief Account of Audi’s History, With Audi Asheville

Founder August Horch established an automobile company known as August Horch & Cie. Motorwagenwerke. After a difference of opinion with his board, Horch left to form a new company in 1910. Unable to name it after himself again for copyright reasons, he translated his last name to Latin to get “Audi.” The equivalent English word is “Hark,” meaning “listen.”

The first car produced by the new company was the Type A, which won the Austrian Alpine Run race three years in a row, establishing Audi as a force to be reckoned with in motorsports. The company would later merge with the founder’s original brand, Horch, and two other companies named DKW ad Wanderer to form Auto Union AG. The four companies are represented today by Audi’s “four-ring” logo.

New Beginnings: Audi Enters the Modern Era

After World War II, Auto Union AG changed hands quite a few times. In 1969, they merged with NSU, then the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer, and formed Audi NSU Auto Union AG. The following year, Audi introduced their first vehicle to the United States, the Audi 100.

The Audi 100 and Audi 80 would go on to become best sellers throughout the world and are progenitors of today’s A6 and A4 models.

1980 would be an iconic year for Audi. Engineer Jörg Bensinger developed a performance car suitable for rally racing, dubbed the Audi Quattro. The all-wheel drive technology of the Quattro proved so popular that it became a mainstay of the entire brand, and the term “quattro® all-wheel drive” entering our lexicon.

Audi continues to make history with every innovation. From their turbocharged diesel engines in 1989 to the first model with an all-aluminum body in 1994, Audi is always striving to be the first and the best.

Visit Audi of Asheville today and see all the latest models, and test drive one of our Audi vehicles to be a part of over a century of innovation.