Automotive Intelligence - the web for automotive professionals and car enthusiasts
April 01, 2009
Visitors to the Essen show can look forward to seeing the following Audi vehicles: the oldest is the Type C “Alpine Champion” with which company founder August Horch won the Austrian Alpine Rally in 1912, 1913 and 1914 – the Audi brand’s first motor-sport successes. The Type C was an open tourer with a 35-horsepower engine and a top speed of 80 km/h. Possibly an even greater eye-catcher on the Audi stand is another highlight in the brand’s history: the Audi 225 Front Roadster dating from 1935. Reconstructed on an original chassis frame, this new addition to Audi Tradition’s historic collection is also one of its most spectacular cars. It was first exhibited with a gleaming white paint finish at the 1935 International Motor Show in Berlin. Only two prototypes were built; although the car created a sensation and was greatly admired, it would have been too expensive for successful series production. Both prototypes have disappeared, and it was therefore decided to build a replica of the Audi 225 Front Roadster by working from photographs.
The Audi 72 played an important role in the brand’s history. Introduced on August 13, 1965 as the Auto Union’s first post-war car with a four-stroke engine, it ushered in a new era for the Ingolstadt-based manufacturer and the abandonment of the two-stroke engine. Between 1965 and 1968 85,000 units of this model, which revived the distinguished Audi name, were sold. A further step back into the premium car class was taken in 1982, when the third-generation (C3) Audi 100 set new standards for aerodynamic efficiency and in many other areas too. The C3 pioneered new design principles and had the outstandingly low drag coefficient of cD = 0.30 – a new world record for a series-production saloon car.
AUDI AG had a high reputation for concept cars to maintain. At the 1991 International Motor Show in Frankfurt, the Audi quattro Spyder caused a sensation. It was the most dramatic sports car concept study so far seen from Audi. Powered by a 174 bhp four-stroke engine and with an aluminium body, it could reach a top speed of 250 km/h, but was destined to remain a prototype although Audi dealers received hundreds of purchase options from intending customers. It proved impossible to put the car into production without exceeding the target price of 100,000 Deutschmarks.
Audi Tradition is illustrating the company’s position in motor sport at the 2009 Techno Classica in a truly impressive way by displaying the Audi Sport quattro S1 “Pikes Peak” and the Audi R10 TDI. For motor sport fans, the Audi Sport quattro S1 “Pikes Peak” has long since achieved the status of a legend. Also nicknamed “The Monster”, the S1 triumphed three times in succession at this hillclimb, held on the slopes of a 4,301 metre high mountain in Colorado, USA. Few people will ever forget the way that Walter Röhrl stormed to the top in under eleven minutes, the first driver to achieve this sensational time. This was the last of a series of successes for the Audi Sport quattro S1, since Audi had withdrawn from rallying two years earlier.
The Audi R10 TDI is the first sports car to have won the Le Mans 24-hour race with diesel fuel in its tank – and has now pulled off this feat three times in succession. The breathtaking finish in 2008 will not be forgotten: the Audi R10 TDI, which scored its first victory in this event in 2006, fought off the challenge from Peugeot’s faster, more recently developed car. Motor sport fans will be able to see the 2006 version of the Audi R10 TDI at the Techno Classica in Essen.
In 2009, the Audi brand established by August Horch on July 16, 1909 celebrates its centenary. The four rings of the Audi badge symbolise the brands Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer, which were combined to form Auto Union in 1932. Auto Union and NSU, which merged in 1969, both made many significant contributions towards the development of the car. AUDI AG was formed from Audi NSU Auto Union AG in 1985. Together with the two traditional companies Auto Union GmbH and NSU GmbH, Audi Tradition has nurtured the extensive, diverse history of Audi for many years and presented it to the public. The Audi museum mobile at the Audi Forum Ingolstadt is open daily from Monday to Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The August Horch Museum in Zwickau is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9.30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
(March 25, 2009)