Audi have been enjoying a steady increase in sales for quite some time, but what has created this upswing. What in their history makes them stand out, and what does the future hold? Here we look at some interesting facts about the luxury carmaker.
A new literary genre called ĎMommy Porní
The month after the release of E.L. James í50 Shades of Grayí Audi recorded their best Aprilís sales figures ever. The book, which Audiís feature heavily in, has sold more than 100 million copies worldwide. By July Audi saw an increase in sales of 28%. There was no commercial deal in place and neither E.L. James nor her husband drove an Audi.
Desirability isnít always good
Audi tops the FBIís list of most stolen manufacturers. The A8 model is the most stolen of all Audiís with a theft rate of 0.81 per 1000 cars sold.
Luxury gets quicker
The first RS model was created with a little help from Porsche. The RS2 from 1994 bares the Porsche logo on its brakes, boot lid and front grille. In addition to this the wheels and wing mirrors are also spookily similar to the ones belonging to the 911 turbo of the same time. Since this inception the RS badge has graced many models, and has always been a firm favourite amongst thrill seekers of all ages.
Popcorn and publicity
Audi has enjoyed a few star turns in recent years. The Transporter from the hit series staring Jason Statham hung up his BMW keys in favour of an Audi. Tony Stark races through mountains to get to the airfield in his R8, and lets face it, if itís good enough for Iron Man itís good enough for us. Then we have what could turn out to be Audiís biggest coup yet, the release of the 50 Shades of Gray movies. There is no official release date for these films yet, but we wouldnít bet against lots of dreamy shots showcasing the cars.
Audi conducted their first crash tests in 1938, long before they were a legal requirement. This set a future precedent for other manufacturers. Audi were once again ahead of their time, revolutionising safety without even realising it.
Is the future automated?
The Pikes Peak hill climb is one of the most challenging on the calendar. With 156 turns and challenging terrain the 12.42 mile course is world-renowned. So imagine the response when it was discovered an Audi TT had completed the course without a driver. The fully automated TT completed the climb in 27 minutes. Audi predict a piloted version would complete the course in 17 minutes. So it might not be the quickest, but at the current rate of progress it is definitely one to watch.
Audi has enjoyed remarkable success in the worldís most famous touring car series. They were the first manufacturer to achieve back-to-back titles in 1990 and 1991. They have won 8 titles in 17 years of competing; five of these in recent times between 2004 and 2011. With success becoming more consistent they are rapidly becoming the Manchester United of the DTM World.
A steep learning curve
The early Audi S1 group B rally car suffered from turbo lag. Because of time constraints the rally team solved the problem by fitting Porsche wastegates to the cars. The team was obviously not happy with the solution as they then proceeded to ground the Porsche logo of them so nobody would know.
Luxury from attention to detail
Every R8 has over 5000 unique parts fitted by hand. This is carried out in a special factory that cost Ä28 Million to redevelop. They use 95 lasers to ensure 220 measurements all fall within the 0.1mm tolerance. X-Rays are also used to check for internal defects on some parts.
The birth of Audi
Audi was founded in 1909 by August Horch after a disagreement with a family member. The 4-ringed logo didnít come into existence until 1932 when the Auto Union was formed. The Auto Union was made up of four companies; each band of the Audi logo represents one of these.