As one of the globes most iconic car brands; Audi has bags of history. A list of classic Audi models is a long one, so many have rolled off its production line over the years. The actual cars aside however, there are lots of fascinating things you probably didn’t know about Audi. Next time you’re down the pub with your friends, fascinate/bore them in equal measure with these interesting Audi facts we’ve compiled into a handy list.
Audi means “hear”
The founder of Audi, German engineer August Horch, founded his first car company in 1899, but after he fell out with his Chief Financial Officer, he left and started a rival car manufacturer: August Horch Automobilwerke GmbH.
Unfortunately, it was soon after this that August realised his surname – which he’d used to name his first company, legally belonged to them, so craftily, to avoid infringement he renamed his new company via the Latin translation of his name – audi. It’s the word the English and German languages derive ‘audio’ from.
Audi pioneered the dual-clutch gearbox
Nowadays, most high performing Audi cars are fitted with quick-shifting dual-clutch automatic gearboxes, but well before this was standard practise it was Audi’s rally cars that pioneered the dual-clutch, in particular the famous Audi racer the Quattro S1 E2, which was fitted with a prototype Porsche-engineered gearbox to utilise the most of its potent 600bhp power output. These days, dual-clutches are available on pretty much everything from the Audi R8 to the Renault Twingo.
Only Audi employees get to build the R8
Only Audi’s longest serving and best performing employees are permitted to build Audi’s supercar – the R8 – which is carefully put together at the firm’s Neckarsulm facility, the HQ of Quattro GmbH.
Much in the same way as Nissan’s team of master-builders who work on the GT-R, Audi’s supercar boffins are the cream of the crop and are known affectionately within the company as ‘silverliners’ – most of them have been with Audi for a long time and are now sporting grey hair.
Audi was the first company to crash its cars on purpose
Volvo is probably the brand that springs to mind when the words ‘automotive safety’ crop up, but Audi can claim to be the real pioneers within this field. Of all the major players, The Germans were the first to deliberately crash their vehicles.
If truth be told, the early testing was not the sophisticated slow motion, crash test dummy affairs we’re used to seeing today. Instead, the early Audi engineers merely rolled their cars down a hill towards a tree watched by a gaggle of spectators to demonstrate vehicle safety.