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Headquartered in Germany, Audi AG is one of best-selling luxury automobile manufacturers in the world. Founded by August Horsch (whose name means “listen” in German), the company began in the early 1900s. A few decades later Horsch merged with three other manufacturers and created Auto Union. These four original companies are memorialized in the 4 rings of the Audi logo. Auto Union was eventually acquired by Volkwagon in the 1960s, and was relaunched as Audi (the Latin derivation of “listen”).
With it’s past slogan “Advancement through Technology” and its current Audi USA slogan “Truth in Engineering” the company philosophy of clear. Always pressing further, this luxury line of autos is known for elegant, stylish, and high-quality cabins contained in a technologically advanced auto which combines luxury and sport.
Through the 1990s, Audi began to shift its focus to competing against upscale German automotive companies such as Mercedes Benz and BMW. Manufacturing in nine plants around the world, Audi introduced new technologies, including the aluminum space-frame construction and
Staying true to the use of technology to improve their autos, Audi continues to innovate. They introduced the use of aluminum construction throughout their line, and were first to mass-market produce 100% galvanized cars to prevent corrosion. The majority of Audi’s lineup in the United States feature all-wheel drive standard on most of its expensive vehicles (only the entry-level trims of the A4 and A6 are available with front-wheel drive), in contrast to its competitors who offer this only as an option.
Technologically, Audi is advancing the auto industry and the way drivers use and interact with their cars. From engines that use FSI technology to LED day time run lights, Audi has lead the way in integrating new developments. Most recently, the use of Multi-Media Interface (MMI) which controls all in-car entertainment (radio, CD changer, Ipod, TV tuner), along with navigation and temperature controls. They have also come out with technology to produce synthetic diesel from a combination of water and carbon dioxide. Audi is also developing e-tron, an electric drive powertrain system
In addition to their success in the luxury automotive segment, Audi has also competed in various forms of motor sports. In the 1990s, they found success in the Touring and Super Touring categories of motor racing. Since 1999, Audi has had 13 wins in the Le Mans 24 hour, and are major players numerous other races.
Audi’s line of luxury cars are known world-wide and have won dozens of awards. Multiple lines have World or International Car of the Year awards. Other awards such as Coupe of the Year, Best Car of the Year, Automobile of the Year, World Design Car of the Year, and World Performance Car of the Year are just a few of the accolades Audi has won in the past 20 years.
Produced in Belgium beginning in 2010, the Audi A1 appeals to young, urban buyers with its three trim kits and 20 limited edition models. Titled a “supermini” this car is available in either a 3-door hatchback or a Sportback (5-door hatchback). While the car is based on a McPherson strut front and torsion beam suspension in the rear, its safety features include front and side air bags. A British car magazine declared it the “Car of the Year” in 2011.
World Car of the Year (2014), this Audi was initially available in a 3-door hatchback and the 5-door Sportback configurations. Additional editions came to include the 4-door sedan and 2-door Cabriolet. Using a Volkswagon platform, the Audi A3 began production in 1996 as a small family car ideal for those looking for a compact car with many standard features. In 2012 it received a 5-star safety rating from the Euro NCAP.
Four generations of the Audi A4 have developed this car into the Entry Level Luxury Car of choice. Offered in a sedan, wagon (Allroad), and a cross-over edition (S4), the compact A4 has a beautiful interior and is available with Quattro all-wheel drive. Considered a sportier alternative to traditional luxury cars, a Turbocharged four-cylinder is available in either a manual or automatic transmission.
Known for its aesthetic looks and quick handling, the A5 comes in both a convertible or hardtop form and is loaded with features. 3G connectivity, a navigation system that renders maps with Google Earth and Google Street View, and a choice of transmissions, the A5 is a compact executive car which continues to impresses with its enduring design.
World Car of the Year in 2005, this mid-sized 5-passenger sedan offers either front- or four-wheel drive on all models. Current models have a range of top features including in-car wireless internet search. Competing with top brands such as Cadillac, Mercedes and BMW, the Audi A6 enjoys a “light” driving feel, dynamic exterior shape, and advanced safety features.
Here it is: a coupe-styled luxury sedan. The Audi A7 brings superb materials and quality inside the cabin, while creating a four-door fastback (sharply angled hatchback) coupe. Ready to accommodate everything you do, the rear seats fold to reveal more cargo space. The extra wide opening make loading large or bulky items easy. Although it takes cues from Audi’s A6, the A7 sports frameless doors, and a lower, wider stance elevates the A7 to premium levels. With two trim levels, drivers chose a 3.0-liter V6 or a turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel V6. Either way, the transmission is an eight-speed automatic that sends power to all four wheels. Sensational styling inside, outside and under the hood, the A7 was named the International Car of the Year (2012), Best Car of the Year (AutoWeek 2012), Automobile of the Year (Automobile Magazine 2012), and Esquire Magazine Car of the Year (2012).
Audi’s flagship full size 4-door luxury sedan is designed with a generous interior offering four- and five-seat configurations, plus amenities such as reclining rear seats, LCD screens, built-in wi-fi and 3-D navigation. Audi’s first car to offer six airbags and -60mph time of 5.7 seconds, and the first mass-market car with aluminum chassis and side panels, this all-wheel drive is available in standard and long (L) wheel base options.
Named after the Tourist Trophy race, this Audi is a bit sports car, a bit roadster, and a bit sedan. Built in Hungary, the TTs unique styling draws attention to its two offered body styles (coupe or convertible) and is offered with front- or all-wheel drive. The Audi TT has been recognized as Car of the Year by Top Gear (2006), Fifth Gear (2006), World Design Car of the Year (2007) and What Car?’s best coupe of the year for six years running.
A true compact luxury SUV crossover, the Audi Q3 showcases LED headlamps and a sedan-like interior with standard front-wheel drive. Smaller than the Q5, this urban run-around SUV comes with an optional sport package and cargo space that ranges from 16.2 to 48.2 cubic feet of cargo space depending on rear seat position. Options include Audi’s MMI technology, wi-fi, power hatch, Bose sound system, and Google Earth mapping.
Audi hits the mark with this compact luxury cross-over. With more cargo space than the sedan, this 4-door , 5-seat utility vehicle has Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive system for great all-weather traction. Extensive safety features, combined with your choice of three powertrains make this a cross over that gets it right. Add to that a high quality interior with luxury features such as Bluetooth, leather and satellite radio. The newest models also showcase Audi’s MMI technology and USB media storage. Audi also offers a performance version, the SQ5 with upgraded chassis and suspensions.
Audi’s largest luxury cross-over, the Q7 seats seven in a roomy three-row cabin making it perfect for families. The new interior is the Audi’s most luxurious in their crossover line, with features such as very-high-speed optical fiber data bus technology, which interconnects all electrical/electronic systems, particularly the latest generation Multi Media Interface, Adaptive Air Suspension, and the multitude of new driver assistance systems. As for safety, the Q7 rates highly for front and side airbags and rollover resistance.
Audi R8 – World Performance Car of the year (2008/2010)
A mid-engine, two-seater supercar, the Audi R8 is all sports car, with an impressive ability to navigate the real world as well. With it’s stiff and lightweight all-aluminum space frame chassis, the R8 also features all-wheel drive and is available in multiple trims (coupe or convertible). Performance-inspired, the R8 coupe is styled with “sideblades” (color-keyed or contrasting) which emphasize the mid-mounted engine. The glass engine cover shows off your choice of V8 or V10 powerplant. As Audi’s highest-performing production vehicle ever, the R8 has excellent electric power steering and strong brakes. On the safety side, it offers side-impact and curtain airbags, as well as a very rigid body structure.