Audi: Did you know?
Audi have a long history of excellence, and the name will bring different associations to everyone, so to celebrate the wonderful diversity of the company, here are a few little-known facts you may not have known:
- The first company to crash-test their cars.
While you may think of Volvo when it comes to automotive safety, Audi were actually the first to use crash tests on their vehicles.
Very different from the sophisticated tests you’ll see today, engineers simply rolled the cars down a hill in front of a group of spectators – we hope they stood back!
- Latin for ‘hear’.
Audi’s founder, German engineer August Horch, left his first car company after a falling out with his CFO, starting a rival company which he called August Horch Automobilwerke GmbH.
The Horch name however belonged to his former company, so he renamed the company with the Latin translation of Horch; Audi. It means ‘hear’, and is the same word we get ‘audio’ from.
- They were ahead of the climb for driverless cars.
Before the race for autonomous cars truly got underway, Audi had already built one for the famous Pikes Peak hill climb, where they set consecutive speed records in the 1980s in one of their famous Quattros.
In 2010, a driverless TTS developed by Stanford University completed the climb with no human assistance. It may not have been ahead of the likes of Michele Mouton, but it was certainly ahead of its time.
- The first to use a dual-clutch gearbox.
Many modern high-performance cars, including most from Audi, offer quick-shifting dual-clutch automatic gearboxes, but it was actually Audi that were the first to include one in their cars.
The famous Quattro S1 E2 was given the prototype dual-clutch gearbox to make the most of its fierce 600bhp output long before it was a familiar sight in the cockpit.
- The R8 is built for the elite, by the elite.
Only the best of the best get the chance to build the famous R8, which is assembled at the Neckarsulm facility; the headquarters of Audi Sport.
Similar to the team of master-builders who work on the GT-R for Nissan, these experts are the longest-serving and best-performing of the company’s employees, and are nicknamed ‘silver liners’ because most of them have been with the company for decades and now have grey hair.
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