Belt up and enjoy this 365-day ride as you cruise past the most momentous motoring events in history. Packed with fascinating facts about races, motorists and the history of the mighty engine, this is a must-visit web site for any car enthusiast.
A chronological day-by-day history of Audi.
The first Monte Carlo Rally ended with Frenchman Henri Rougier, in a Turcat-Mery, declared the winner. The event, officially the Rallye Monte Carlo, was organized at the behest of Prince Albert I (great-grandfather of current Prince Albert II and grandfather of Prince Rainier III, who married American actress Grace Kelly). Like many motoring contests of the time, it was seen primarily as a way for auto manufacturers to test new cars and new technologies, much like the Indy 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.Results of the hybrid event depended not on driving time alone, but on judges’ assessment of the automobiles’ design and passenger comfort, as well as what condition the vehicles were in after covering 1,000 kilometers of roads not really made for the horseless carriage. The arbitrary system provoked a minor outrage, but the judges’ decision stood. Automobile dealer Henri Rougier won first place in a Turcat-Méry 45-horsepower model. Second place went to a driver named Aspaigu in a Gobron and third to Jules Beutler in a Martini. The rally was held again the following year, but then not again until 1924. World War II and its aftermath interrupted the annual event, with no rallies from 1940 through 1948.Winning the rally gave a car manufacturer a great deal of publicity and trustworthiness. Before Paddy Hopkirk won the rally in 1964, Mini was seen as being just a commuter car. After winning, the Mini Cooper was seen as a world-beater and a hot performance car — all thanks to the Rallye. The Monte Carlo Rally is a racing event unlike any other. Where most speed contests are held on specially prepared and scrupulously maintained race tracks, the Monte Carlo is held on the roads to the north of the principality (which has a total area of just 0.76 square mile). Unlike on a race track, where there are walls to keep the cars from flying off, and safety crews seemingly every 50 yards or so, the Monte Carlo Rally has distinguishing features like narrow mountain roads, cliffs with drop-offs measured in the hundreds of feet, snow and ice. About a quarter of its stages are run at night in pitch blackness. Since 1973, the race has been held in January as the first race of the FIA World Rally Championship season. Running under the WRC calendar, the Monte Carlo Rally has highlighted wins from some of the greatest rally drivers of all time. Sandro Munari won the Monte Carlo three times in a row. Walter Röhrl had four victories. The tragic Henri Toivonen blazed to victory in 1986. Finnish superstar Tommi Mäkinen won four times in a row. And all of them were eclipsed by the young French phenomenon Sébastien Loeb, who has won Monte Carlo a staggering five times. And the cars these drivers piloted to victory also rank as some of the all-time greats: the svelte and diminutive Alpine-Renault A110 1800, the sci-fi–looking Lancia Stratos, the brutal Audi Quattro A2, the suicidally fast Lancia Delta S4, Mitsubishi’s evergreen Lancer Evo and most recently the Citroën Xsara WRC.
Henri Rougier and the victorious 45Hp Turcat-Méry before the inaugural Monte Carlo rallyShow Article
The International Austrian Alpine Run was one of the most famous races of its time. August Horch took part in an Audi for the first time in 1911 and won first prize. This encouraged him to enter an Audi team in the challenge trophy in the years 1912 to 1914. Audi won the team prize in each of these three years. The Alpine Challenge Trophy was presented to the Audi drivers on this day.Show Article
The Rickenbacker Motor Company was incorporated in Lansing, Michigan by Barney Everitt, William E Metzger and Walter E Flanders, with its cars named after racer and World War I flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker, who had little actual input into the affairs of the business. Rickenbacker Motor Company made sporting coupés, touring cars, sedans, and roadsters. Four wheel inside brakes were introduced in 1923. Rickenbacker made an unsuccessful attempt to merge with Peerless around 1924.Early six-cylinder engines were joined in 1925 by an eight-cylinder engine. The model was named Vertical Eight Super Fine which referred to the advanced proprietary engine and the high quality of the cars. Although 1927 saw new models signed 6-70, 8-80 and 8-90, Rickenbacker cars were too expensive for the time and sales were poor. Before the company closed down in 1927, more than 35,000 cars had been built. The manufacturing equipment were sold to Audi and transported to Germany, somewhat ironic since Rickenbacker renounced his supposed German heritage (he was actually of Swiss ancestry) in light of World War I. This transaction was reflected in Audi Zwickau and Dresden models, using six- or eight-cylinder Rickenbacker engines.
1924 - Rickenbacker Automobile Advertisement by John MadisonShow Article
The 10,000th Rickenbacher automobile was produced. Rickenbacker Motor Company made sporting coupés, touring cars, sedans, and roadsters. Four wheel inside brakes were introduced in 1923. Rickenbacker made an unsuccessful attempt to merge with Peerless around 1924. Early six-cylinder engines were joined in 1925 by an eight-cylinder engine. The model was named Vertical Eight Super Fine which referred to the advanced proprietary engine and the high quality of the cars. Although 1927 saw new models signed 6-70, 8-80 and 8-90, Rickenbacker cars were too expensive for the time and sales were poor. Before the company closed down in 1927, more than 35,000 cars had been built. The manufacturing equipment were sold to Audi and transported to Germany, somewhat ironic since Rickenbacker renounced his supposed German heritage (he was actually of Swiss ancestry) in light of World War I. This transaction was reflected in Audi Zwickau and Dresden models, using six- or eight-cylinder Rickenbacker engines. Some Rickenbacker cars still survive.
The first DKW production automobile was completed. The company and brand is one of the ancestor companies of the modern day Audi company as one of the four companies that formed Auto-Union. In 1916, Danish engineer Jørgen Skafte Rasmussen founded a factory in Zschopau, Saxony, Germany, to produce steam fittings. That year he attempted to produce a steam-driven car, called the DKW. Although unsuccessful, he made a two-stroke toy engine in 1919, called Des Knaben Wunsch – "the boy's wish". He put a slightly modified version of this engine into a motorcycle and called it Das Kleine Wunder – "the little wonder" the initials from this becoming the DKW brand: by the late 1920s, DKW was the world's largest motorcycle manufacturer. In 1932, DKW merged with Audi, Horch and Wanderer to form Auto Union. After World War II, DKW moved to West Germany, with the original factory becoming MZ. Auto Union came under Daimler-Benz ownership in 1957 and was purchased by the Volkswagen Group in 1964. The last German-built DKW car was the F102, which ceased production in 1966. Its successor, the four-stroke F103, was marketed under the Audi brand, another Auto Union marque. DKW-badged cars continued to be built under license in Brazil and Argentina until 1967 and 1969 respectively. The DKW trademark is currently owned by Auto Union GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Audi AG which also owns the rights to other historical trademarks and intellectual property of the Auto Union combine.
Auto Union AG presented the new Audi Front UW220, its first standard-size passenger car with front-wheel drive at the Berlin Motor Show. At launch the Front UW 220 featured a straight-six-cylinder ohv engine of 1,950 cc. Claimed maximum power output was 40 PS (29 kW; 39 hp) at 3,500 rpm. The two-litre engine was shared with the Auto Union group’s Wanderer W22 introduced at the same time. The letters "UW" in the car's name stood for "Umgekehrter Wanderer" and referred to the fact that it featured a Wanderer engine that had been "umgekehrt" (turned around) through 180 degrees in order to drive wheels which, on this application, were actually ahead of the engine. IAt launch the Front UW 220 featured a straight-six-cylinder ohv engine of 1,950 cc. Claimed maximum power output was 40 PS (29 kW; 39 hp) at 3,500 rpm. The two-litre engine was shared with the Auto Union group’s Wanderer W22 introduced at the same time. The letters "UW" in the car's name stood for "Umgekehrter Wanderer" and referred to the fact that it featured a Wanderer engine that had been "umgekehrt" (turned around) through 180 degrees in order to drive wheels which, on this application, were actually ahead of the engine. In common with many performance cars of the period, the Front UW 220 provided a claimed top speed of 100 km/h (62 mph): presumably actual performance data would have varied according to the weight and wind-cheating qualities of each individual car body. Various body styles were offered, including four-door sports limousines and two-door cabriolets / roadsters.
Audi Front UW 220Show Article
August Horch German engineer and automobile pioneer, the founder of the manufacturing firm that would become Audi, died aged 82 years. Horch was born in Winningen, Rhenish Prussia. His initial trade was as a blacksmith, and then was educated at Hochschule Mittweida (Mittweida Technical College). After receiving a degree in engineering, he worked in shipbuilding. Horch worked for Karl Benz from 1896, before founding A. Horch & Co. in November 1899, in Ehrenfeld, Cologne, Germany. The first Horch automobile was built in 1901. The company moved to Reichenbach in 1902 and Zwickau in 1904. Horch left the company in 1909 after a dispute, and set up in competition in Zwickau. His new firm was initially called Horch Automobil-Werke GmbH, but following a legal dispute over the Horch name, he decided to make another automobile company. (The court decided that Horch was a registered trademark on behalf of August Horch's former partners and August Horch was not entitled to use it any more). Consequently, Horch named his new company Audi Automobilwerke GmbH in 1910, Audi being the Latinization of Horch. Horch left Audi in 1920 and went to Berlin and took various jobs. He published his autobiography, I Built Cars (Ich Baute Autos) in 1937. He also served on the board of Auto Union, the successor to Audi Automobilwerke GmbH. He was an honorary citizen of Zwickau and had a street named for his Audi cars in both Zwickau and his birthplace Winningen. He was made an honorary professor at Braunschweig University of Technology. After the war, there were left-wing circles who vilified August Horch, claiming he was a Nazi, and argued that his honorary citizenship of the city of Zwickau should be withdrawn. Horch was not a member of the Nazi party, nor did he have influence on the production of armaments, so the City Council did not comply with the request. In early July 1945, Horch moved to Upper Franconia, where he and his housekeeper and foster daughter Else Kolmar first found an accommodation in Helmbrechts and three months later in Münchberg. The wife of Horch wife died on March 26, 1946, at a nursing home in Berlin, a few days later his son Eberhard. In the summer of 1948, Horch and Else Kolmar, who came from a Jewish family, married.
August HorchShow Article
The Audi 100 was shown to the press at the Ingolstadt City Theatre, Germany. Its name originally denoting a power output of 100 PS (74 kW), the Audi 100 was the company's largest car since the revival of the Audi brand by Volkswagen in 1965. The C1 platform spawned several variants: the Audi 100 two- and four-door saloons, and the Audi 100 Coupé S, a fastback coupé, which bore a resemblance to the Aston Martin DBS released a year earlier, especially at the rear end, including details such as the louvres behind the rear side windows and the shape of the rear light clusters. Audi followed up the introduction of the four-door saloon in November 1968 with a two-door saloon in October 1969 and the 100 Coupé S in autumn 1970. The cars' 1.8 litre four-cylinder engines originally came in base 100 (80 PS or 59 kW or 79 hp), 100 S (90 PS or 66 kW or 89 hp), and 100 LS (100 PS or 74 kW or 99 hp) versions, while the Coupé was driven by a bored-out 1.9 litre developing 115 PS (85 kW; 113 hp). From April 1970 the 100 LS could be ordered with a three-speed automatic transmission sourced from Volkswagen. The Audi 100 included a rough engine note that was described as unlikely to discourage buyers whose first car had been a Volkswagen and who aspired to drive a diesel powered (pre-turbo) Mercedes-Benz. The Ingolstadt production line was at full capacity, but supply fell short of demand that during the summer of 1970 an additional production line for Audi 100s was set up in Volkswagen's own Wolfsburg plant, which made it the first water-cooled car to be produced in Germany's (and by some criteria the world's) largest car plant. Starting with the 1972 model year, the 80 and 90 PS versions were replaced by a new regular-petrol-variant of the 1.8 litre engine developing 85 PS (84 hp/63 kW); at the same time, the 100 GL was introduced featuring the 1.9 liter engine formerly used only in the Coupé S. In March 1971 the 500,000th Audi was produced. By now the Audi 100 had become the most commercially successful model in the company's history. In 1976 the two millionth Audi was built, of which the 100 represented 800,000 cars. In September 1973 (for the 1974 model year) the 100 received a minor facelift with a somewhat smaller squared-off grille, with correspondingly more angular front fenders, and with reshuffled taillight lens patterns. The rear torsion bar was replaced by coil springs. For model year 1975 the base 100 was re-christened the 100 L and received a 1.6 litre four-cylinder engine (coming out of the Audi 80). A four-wheel drive prototype of the Audi 100 C1 was built in 1976, long before the appearance of the quattro. In South Africa, where the 100 was also assembled, the 100 was available as the L, LS, GL, and S Coupé. Local production began towards the end of 1972; by October 1976 33,000 units had been built in South Africa. The GL received a vinyl roof and "GL" lettering on the C-pillar. The LS was dropped for 1976, but returned for 1977 along with the new GLS saloon. The Coupé was discontinued. The LS and GLS were special versions of the L and GL, with silver paintjobs, automatic transmissions, and special red interiors. L and LS have a 1760 cc engine with 75 kW (102 PS; 101 hp) DIN, while the GL and GLS have the larger 1871 cc engine producing 84 kW (114 PS; 113 hp). In the United States the Audi 100 appeared in 1970 in LS guise, with a 115 hp (86 kW) SAE 1.8 liter engine and with either two or four doors.For 1972 the engine was enlarged to 1.9 litres, but the SAE net claimed power was down to 91 hp (68 kW). A base and a GL model were added, as was an automatic transmission. For 1974 the lineup was again restricted to the 100 LS, while the larger safety bumpers were now fitted. Power increased to 95 hp (71 kW) for 1975, by changing to fuel injection. Standard equipment was improved accompanied by an increase in prices. In August 1977 the new Audi 5000 replaced the 100, although another 537 leftover cars were sold in 1978. The Coupé was not available in the United States.
Audi 100 brochure - 1969Show Article
The Audi 80, Ford Capri II, and Lamborghini Countach made their world premiers at the Geneva Motor Show.
Audi 80 brochure - 1973Show Article
The Audi Fox was introduced. In Europe the car was marketed as the '80'. It shared its platform with the Volkswagen Passat from 1973 to 1986 and was available as a sedan, and an Avant (Audi's name for a station wagon). The coupé and convertible models were not badged as members of the range but shared the same platform and many parts.
The Audi Quattro coupe was launched to a stunned reception at the 1980 Geneva Motor Show. Until then, the all-wheel-drive principle had been restricted to relatively clumsy off-road vehicles, but the Audi Quattro was a genuine high performance car. A red 1983 Quattro was driven by DCI Gene ‘fire up the Quattro’ Hunt, (played by Philip Glenister) in the television drama Ashes to Ashes (aired on BBC1 from 2008 to 2010).
Hannu Mikkola and Arne Hertz won the Lombard RAC Rally with an Audi Quattro. Mikkola's rally career spanned 31 years, starting with a Volvo PV544 in 1963, but his most successful period was during the 1970s and 1980s. The 1970s saw Mikkola a frontrunner in many international events, usually in a Ford Escort. He became the first overseas driver to win the East African Safari Rally in 1972, partnered by Gunnar Palm and again in a Ford Escort. In 1979 he made a serious challenge at the World Rally Championship title, ultimately finishing runner-up, only one point behind champion Björn Waldegård. Mikkola was joined by Swedish co-driver Arne Hertz in 1977 and the pair were very quickly a force to be reckoned with, winning the British Rally Championship in 1978 in an Escort. The Mikkola/Hertz partnership lasted for thirteen years, through to the end of the 1990 season. He was partnered by Johnny Johansson for the 1991 season. Mikkola was runner-up again in the 1980 season with Ford, but switched to the new Audi factory team for the 1981 season, to drive the revolutionary four wheel drive Audi Quattro. The partnership was successful from the outset: Mikkola led the 1981 Monte Carlo Rally, the Audi's first event, until an accident put him out of the event. He convincingly won the next WRC event, the Swedish Rally, but the Quattro had problems with reliability, and despite another win on the RAC Rally, Mikkola only managed third in the driver's championship. He won the 1000 Lakes and RAC rallies the following year, but did not improve on third position in the championship, ultimately finishing behind Opel's Walter Röhrl and teammate Michèle Mouton. 1983 was to be Mikkola's year. Four wins and three second places saw him and co-driver Arne Hertz finally take the World Championship title. A second place in the championship followed in 1984, behind his teammate Stig Blomqvist, but 1985 saw him compete in only four world rallies, with three retirements and a fourth place, and slip to 22nd in the final standings after the Audi team was overwhelmed by new Group B competition from Peugeot and Lancia. Mikkola remained with Audi until the 1987 season, winning the Safari Rally in a Group A Audi 200 that year, before switching to Mazda. He remained with Mazda until entering semi-retirement in 1991, although he continued to make sporadic appearances on international rallies until retiring completely from motorsport in 1993. Mikkola has made brief appearances since then, including re-uniting with his co-driver Gunnar Palm for the 25th anniversary run of the 1970 London to Mexico World Cup Rally (Mikkola won the original 1970 event and the 1995 re-run) and competing in the London-Sydney Marathon 2000 Rally, re-united with his 1968 1000 Lakes Rally winning Ford Escort RS1600 and co-driven by his oldest son, Juha Mikkola, founder of Canada Cup (floorball). In September 2008, Mikkola took part in the Colin McRae Forest Stages Rally, a round of the Scottish Rally Championship. He was one of a number of former world champions to take part in the event in memory of McRae, who died in 2007. In 2011, Mikkola was inducted into the Rally Hall of Fame along with Röhrl.
Hannu Mikkola and Arne Hertz - 1981 RAC RallyShow Article
Hannu Mikkola and Arne Hertz won the RAC Rally with an Audi Quattro. Hertz first became prominent when co-driving for Stig Blomqvist (Saab 96 V4), with whom he first won the RAC Rally, in 1971. With Blomqvist, in the same year, he also won the Hankiralli, the Swedish Rally and the 1000 Lakes Rally. This same partnership won the Swedish Rally, in 1972 and 1973, also in a Saab 96 V4.His most successful period was from 1977 till 1990 when he partnered Finnish driver Hannu Mikkola, first in the Ford Escort RS1600, later moving on to the RS1800. He won the RAC Rally for a second time with Mikkola, in 1978 in the Escort. The pair left Ford in 1980 to join the Audi team, using the 4 wheel drive Quattro and won the RAC Rally again in 1981 for the German team. He also navigated Mikkola to his world title in 1983, again in the venerable Quattro. The pair were always contenders on any event they entered during their thirteen years together. In 1988 when Mikkola switched to the Mazda team, Hertz stayed with Audi, teaming up with German driver Armin Schwarz.
Hannu Mikkola and Arne Hertz - 1982 Lombard RAC RallyShow Article
Stig Blomqvixt and Bjorn Cederberg won the RAC Rally with an Audi Quattro A2.Show Article
The Austin and MG Montego’s were showcased to the press in the South of France. It was initially available as a four-door saloon only, filling the gap in the range left by the discontinuation of the Morris Ital saloon two months earlier. However, it would be produced alongside the Ital estate until that model was axed in August 1984. The estate variant was launched at the British International Motor Show in October of that year. The 150 bhp (112 kW) MG turbocharged variant was released in early 1985 as the fastest production MG ever with a 0–60 mph time of 7.3 seconds, and a top speed of 126 mph (203 km/h). The Vanden Plas version, and featured leather seats, walnut veneer and features such as electric windows, central locking and power door mirrors. Like the Maestro, the Montego suffered from its overly long development phase, which had been begun in 1975 and which was hampered throughout by the industrial turmoil that plagued both British Leyland and Austin Rover Group during this period. The Ryder Report had recommended the costly modernization of both the Longbridge and Cowley factories, and since Longbridge was to come on stream first - the Austin Metro was put in production first, even though its design had been started after the Maestro/Montego. As a direct result of this delay, the two cars were now stylistically out of step, having been styled by several different designers - Ian Beech, David Bache, Roger Tucker and finally, Roy Axe, had all contributed to the Montego's styling. Arguably, both the Maestro and Montego had been compromised by the re-use of a single platform, doors and wheelbase to bridge two size classes - a mistake that BMC/BL had made before with the Austin 1800 and the Austin Maxi in the 1960s. Indeed, Roy Axe, when installed as Austin Rover's director of design in 1982 was so horrified by the design of the Maestro and Montego when he first viewed them in prototype form recommended that they be scrapped and the whole design exercise restarted. Like many BL cars before it, early Montegos suffered from build quality and reliability problems which badly damaged the car's reputation amongst the public. In some ways, the technology was ahead of its time, notably the solid-state instrumentation and engine management systems, but the "talking" dashboard fitted to high-end models (and initially used to promote the Montego as an advanced high-tech offering) was prone to irritating faults and came to be regarded as something of an embarrassment by BL and the British press. This feature was discontinued after a short period. There were also problems with the early sets of body-coloured bumpers which tended to crack in cold weather at the slightest impact. Development on the Montego continued. A replacement was proposed by Roy Axe in 1986, which would have been the existing Montego core structure clothed with new outer panels to mimic the design language set by the recently launched Rover 800-series, and would have been designated the Rover 400-series. This concept, designated AR16, would have also spawned a five-door hatchback version (designated AR17) to better compete with the Ford Sierra and Vauxhall Cavalier. The AR16/17 concepts were however abandoned due to lack of funds, and a facelift to the existing car (designated AR9) released in 1988 enhanced its appeal, which was buoyed up by both the Perkins-engined Diesel model, and the seven-seater version of the "Countryman" estate. The 2-litre turbodiesel (often known by its Perkins designation 'Prima') was a development of the O-Series petrol engine already used in the range. The diesel saloon won a CAR magazine 'giant test' against the Citroën BX (1.8 XUDT), the then new Peugeot 405 (1.8 XUDT) and Audi 80 (1.6) turbo diesels. They rated the 405 the best car, followed by the BX and then the Montego, with the Audi coming in last. "But if people buy diesels, and turbo diesel for their economy, the winner has to be the Montego. ...its engine is - even when roundly thrashed - more than 10% more economical than the rest. For those isolated moments when cost control is not of the essence, the Montego is a car you can enjoy too. The steering and driving position are quite excellent. ...the suspension as 'impressively refined'. It is silent over rough bumps, poised and well damped." The turbo diesel became a favourite of the RAF for officer transport. Car Mechanics Magazine ran an RAF officer transport de-mobbed Montego bought from a Ministry of Defence auction in 1996.The facelift also saw the phasing out of the Austin name. These late-1980s models had a badge resembling the Rover Viking longship, but it was not identical, nor did the word "Rover" ever appear on the cars.Though the car failed to match its rivals, such as the Volkswagen Passat, the car sold well[clarification needed] to the likes of the Ford Sierra and Vauxhall Cavalier. By the early 1990s, the Montego was terminally aged, and production effectively ceased when the replacement car, the Rover 600, was launched in 1993 (special fleet orders were hand-built until 1994, while estates continued until 1995). In its final year, What Car? magazine said "Austin Rover's once 'great white hope', Montego matured into a very decent car — but nobody noticed". The chassis development for the Montego and Maestro's rear suspension was used as a basis for later Rover cars, and was well regarded. Montegos continued to be built in small numbers in CKD form at the Cowley plant in Oxford until 1994, when production finally ended. The last car was signed by all those that worked on it, and is now on display at the British Heritage Motor Centre in Gaydon, Warwickshire. A total of 546,000 Austin/Rover Montegos and 23,000 MG Montegos were produced, with Britain by far being the biggest market for the car. In all, 436,000 Montegos were sold in the UK between 1984 and 1995. In August 2006, a survey by Auto Express revealed that the Montego was Britain's eighth-most scrapped car, with just 8,988 still in working order. Contributing to this, areas of the bodywork that were to be covered by plastic trim (such as the front and rear bumpers) were left unpainted and thus unprotected. In addition, pre-1989 models fitted with the A and S-series engines cannot run on unleaded petrol without the cylinder head being converted or needing fuel additives. This led to many owners simply scrapping the cars, as leaded petrol was removed from sale in Britain after 1999, and by 2003 most petrol stations had stopped selling LRP (lead replacement petrol) due to the falling demand for it. The Austin Montego, like many other Austin Rover cars at the time, offered a high luxury model. Sold opposite the MG, the Montego Vanden Plas was the luxury alternative. The Vanden Plas featured leather seats and door cards (velour in the estate version), powered windows, mirrors, door locks and sunroof. Alloy wheels were offered and later became standard on all cars. An automatic gearbox was also offered. It was available in both saloon and estate bodystyles. All Vanden Plas Montegos were 2.0 litres, either EFi (electronic fuel injection) or standard carburettor engines.
MG MontegoShow Article
Audi NSU Auto Union AG was renamed AUDI AG.Show Article
Bobby Unser set a closed-course speed record for four-wheel drive vehicles with an Audi 5000CS Turbo Quattro at 206.825 mph. The car was compliant with NASCAR rules.Show Article
Although the terms of the deal were not disclosed, the media reported that Chrysler had paid $25 million for Lamborghini, which at the time was experiencing financial difficulties. Lamborghini was established in 1963 by Ferruccio Lamborghini (1916-1993), a wealthy Italian industrialist who made his fortune building tractors and air-conditioning systems, among other ventures. Lamborghini owned a variety of sports cars, including Ferraris. According to legend, after experiencing mechanical problems with his Ferraris, he tried to meet with Enzo Ferrari, the carmaker´s founder. When Enzo Ferrari turned him down, Ferruccio Lamborghini decided to build cars that would be even better than Ferrari´s. Lamborghini´s first car, the 350 GTV, a two-seat coupe with a V12 engine, launched in 1963. Chrysler eventually sold it to a Malaysian investment group Mycom Setdco and Indonesian group V'Power Corporation in 1994. In 1998, Mycom Setdco and V'Power sold Lamborghini to the Volkswagen Group where it was placed under the control of the group's Audi division.
Lamborghini 400GT (1964)Show Article
Dr Ferdinand Piech, grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, was named Chairman of Audi NSU Auto Union AG.Show Article
The first Frankfurt International Automobile Exhibition to focus solely on "passenger cars", opened its doors. With more than 935,000 visitors, and 1,271 exhibitors from 43 countries displaying their new products and innovations, it was a huge success. Citroen unveiled two world firsts: the Citroën ZX Diesel and the Citroën XM Estate,whilst Audi presented the Audi Quattro Spyder.
Audi Quattro Spyder 1991Show Article
The 1993 Chicago Motor Show opened to the public. Almost two years before an Oldsmobile Aurora would go on sale, a concept sedan by that name debuted at the show. A Cadillac Aurora concept was "a vision of an international high performance sedan." Audi exhibited its sleek new Cabriolet, based on the Series 90 platform, to be introduced as a 1994 model. Auto show visitors also got to see a prototype of the reworked Toyota Supra, which went on sale in summer 1993, much more costly than before, with a turbocharged engine available. Cevrolet gave Chicago a hint of the fore coming 1994 S-10 extended cab pickup truck with its Highlander concept. Painted in chartreuse and purple, the two-tone exterior featured custom removable roll bar, a sliding driver side second door, rollbar with driving lights, and a tool compartment on the left side of the bed. Power train consisted of a 4.6-liter V-6 with an automatic transmission.
For some years AUDI AG had been working together with the Aluminium Company of America on the development of a lightweight aluminium production car. The result was presented at the 1993 Frankfurt Motor Show: the aluminium study known as the Audi Space Frame. The body used new design principles: extruded aluminium sections connected together by diecast nodes formed a frame structure into which aluminium panels were integrated, where they had a load-bearing function. Just one year later the Company went to market with the first world's volume-production car with unitary aluminum body, the Audi A8. Panels accounted for most of its 336 individual components, followed by the sections and cast nodes. Assembly was performed roughly 75 percent by hand.
Audi Space FrameShow Article
The Citroën Evasion was presented at the Geneva Motor Show. The fruit of a detailed study of customer expectations, the new people-carrier offered all the qualities of a top-range saloon in terms of driving pleasure, comfort, roadholding and safety. The range comprised two petrol engines: 2.0i (1,998 cm3 developing 123 bhp) and the 2.0i Turbo CT (1,998 cm3 developing 150 bhp); and three levels of trim: X, SX and VSX. AUDI AG unveiled the Audi A8, the first production model with all-aluminum body. At the same time a new naming process was introduced for the Audi models. From then on the Audi 80 was known as the A4, the Audi 100 was called the A6. They were followed in 1996 by the Audi A3, and the Audi A2 in June 2000.
Citroën EvasionShow Article
British racer Keith Odor was killed during the Super Touring Car race at the Avus track in Germany when his disabled Nissan was broadsided by an Audi driven by Frank Biela.Show Article
The Audi TT was first shown as a concept car at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The model took its name from the successful motor-racing tradition of NSU in the British Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) motorcycle race since 1911. The Citroen Xantia Estate was also unveiled at the show.
Audi TT concept - 1995Show Article
Volkswagen subsidiary Audi had announced it was selling Cosworth Racing to US car giant Ford only hours after sealing a deal to buy it from Vickers. The German car group paid £117m ($190.8m) for the Cosworth engine-making group as part of the deal to buy Rolls Royce Motor Cars from Vickers.Show Article
An agreement between the shareholders of Lamborghini and Audi was signed in London for the complete take-over of the Company.Show Article
The world’s first volume production line for aluminium cars opened in Neckarsulm, Germany. The facility costing over DM 300 million could produce 60,000 Audi A2 cars annually.
Audi A2Show Article
The Ford Motor Company was awarded Car of the Century (COTC) for its Ford Motor Company and creator of the Model T, was named Automotive Entrepreneur of the Century. The Car Designer of the Century award was given to Italian Giorgetto Giugiaro (Maserati Bora, BMW Z1, Ferrai GG50), whilst Austrian Ferdinand Piëch (Chairman of VW who influenced the development of numerous significant cars including the Audi Quattro, Volkswagen New Beetle, Audi R8, Lamborghini Gallardo, Volkswagen Phaeton, and notably, the Bugatti Veyron) won the Car Executive of the Century award. The election process was overseen by the Global Automotive Elections Foundation.Show Article
Michele Alboreto (44) died in a testing crash. Michele Alboreto first got noted by winning the European and Italian Formula 3 championships as well as a works-driver for the Lancia works-team in the WSC. While racing in Formula 2, scoring Minardiís only F2 victory, Michele got a three-years-deal from Ken Tyrrell to drive for his team and made his Formula 1 debut at the 1981 San Marino GP. His first win came in 1982 in the Las Vegas GP and the following year in Detroit in 1983. Then Ferrari signed him for 1984 and Michele became the first Italian to race for Ferrari for over 10 years. He won the Belgian Grand Prix that year and in the 1985 season Michele scored wins in Canada and Germany but his World Championship challenge was beaten off by Alain Prost. In his three remaining seasons at Ferrari he failed to win another race. Out of a seat for 1988 he returned to Tyrrell but fell out with Ken in midseason. He took a drive with Larrousse at the end of the year but for 1990 he joined Arrows and stayed with the newly-named Footwork operation in 1991, hoping his career would be revived with Porsche V12 engines. They were a disaster and in 1993 he switched to Scuderia Italia which was using Lola cars and Ferrari engines. Another disaster. Then Scuderia Italia merged with Minardi in 1994, which was to be Alboretoís last year in F1. The Italian entered the history books by delivering the last victory to the good old Ford Cosworth DFV noraly aspirated V8 engine at the 1993 Detroit Grand Prix in a time when the dominant Formula 1 teams were all equipped with powerful turbocharged engines. After leaving F1 he resumed the side of his career that had brought success in sports cars in the early 80s and in 1997 won the Le Mans 24 Hours with his former Ferrari team mate Stefan Johansson and Tom Kristensen in a TWR-run Porsche. He went on to become an important member of the emerging Audi works-team and it was testing an R8 at the Lausitzring when he got killed when a high-speed tire failure sent the car airborne and landing upside down. He was 44 at the time of his demise.
Michele AlboretoShow Article
The Audi R8 of Frank Biela, Tom Kristianson, and Emanuele Pirro won the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Corvette C5Rs finish 1-2 in the GTS class with the Ron Fellows/Johnny O'Connell/Scott Pruett car beating the Andy Pilgrim/Frank Freon/Kelly Collins car.
Audi R8Show Article
The Frankfurt Motor Show opened to international media, with a series of concept and production vehicle debuts kicking off in the early morning. First news of terrorist attacks in the US came in the early afternoon. Large display screens were switched over to news coverage, opening celebrations were cancelled, and the usual upbeat presentations were absent for the rest of the show. MG Rover Group unveiled its stunning new luxury high performance sports coupe - the MG X80. Styled by MG Rover's world renowned design director Peter Stevens, the £55,000 MG X80 had a high-technology super-formed aluminum body, mounted to a steel box section chassis. Skoda revealed its new model, the Superb. There was a large number of concept vehicles, including the Citroën C-Crosser, SEAT Tango, Renault Talisman, Jaguar R Coupe, Ford Fusion and Audi Avantissimo. Top production car debuts included the BMW 7 Series, Ford Fiesta, Citroën C3, Honda Jazz, Volkswagen Polo and Lamborghini Murcielago.
MG X80Show Article
Bernd Pischetsrieder succeeded Piëch as chairman of Volkswagen AG. At Volkswagen, he directed Bugatti Automobiles SAS to reengineer the Bugatti Veyron 16.4, delaying an expected launch. He continued moving the Audi and Volkswagen marques upmarket to some controversy.Show Article
Automobili Lamborghini launched its new 520bhp Gallardo. at the Geneva Motor Show. Powered by a 5.0-litre V10 engine, with four-wheel-drive, 376 torques, it could accelerate from a 0-62mph in four seconds and had a top speed of 195mph. The Gallardo's a landmark Lamborghini: the first genuinely all-new car to be made by Sant'Agata under Audi ownership. It also marked a return for the firm to making a more affordable, usable super sports car than its legendary dynasty of V12s - something it hadn't done since the Jalpa went out of production in 1988. This was Sant’Agata’s first serious crack at the bottom end of the traditional supercar market and was conceived as a direct competitor for the 360 Modena and Porsche 911 Turbo. It went on sale to critical acclaim in 2003. In Lamborghini’s 50 years of existence, it has built around 30,000 cars. Of these 30,000 cars, nearly half of them - half - are Gallardos.
Lamborghini GallardoShow Article
Acknowledged as the first car to bring premium brand qualities to the compact hatchback sector, the Audi A3 went on sale in the UK. OTR prices ranged from £15,190 to £23,665.
Audi A3 - 2003Show Article
Bentley, with an Audi engine and support from Audi works team Joest Racing, won its first Le Mans title since 1930, in the Bentley Speed 8, driven by Italian Rinaldo Capello, Britain’s Guy Smith and the Dane Tom Kristensen, who set a personal record with his fourth straight victory. Another Bentley team consisting of Australian David Brabham and Brits Mark Blundell and Johnny Herbert finished second.
Bentley Speed 8Show Article
MG Rover Group announced a bold new extension to its small car range - the Streetwise. Based on the Rover 25, it had an increased ride height, chunkier bumpers and was aimed at a younger audience as an ‘urban on-roader'. The Rover Streetwise was an attempt by Rover to appeal to younger drivers. Rover had modernised the existing models in 1999 with a facelift for the 25, 45 and the Rover-designed 75 models but Rover was suffering falling sales and a tarnished brand after the sale of Rover to the Phoenix consortium in 2000 by BMW. Although new models were in the planning stages, the 25 and 45 models would be at least 10 years old before the new models were launched. Phoenix owned the rights to the MG brand, and had marketed the ZR, ZS & ZT with reasonable success, restyling the existing 25, 45 and 75 models. This included tweaked suspension, new wheels, altered dashboard inserts, different seats, and bodykits. With the MG brand proving popular, MG Rover Group turned their attention to the Rover brand. The Rover-badged cars had a rather staid image, and were commonly associated with elderly motorists. Thus, MG Rover attempted to appeal to a younger market. MG Rover decided to design a car for a niche market, and chose the ‘Urban on-roader’ look, similar to the Audi A6 Allroad, Škoda Octavia Scout, Volvo XC70 & Volkswagen Polo Fun/CrossPolo. The Streetwise ceased production in April 2005, when Rover ceased trading and went into administration.
Rover StreetwiseShow Article
Rudolf Leiding (88), the third postwar chairman of the Volkswagen automobile company, died. Under Leiding's leadership, the Volkswagen Golf was completed and went on sale in Europe in June 1974, introduced in North America as the Rabbit seven months later. The Golf was credited with saving VW from possible bankruptcy after the company had relied on the Beetle too long. Leiding left the company in 1975 and was replaced by Toni Schmücker. Leiding was the first director of the VW works in Kassel and was also CEO of Audi NSU as well as Volkswagen of Brazil.Show Article
The Paris Mondial de l’Automobile (Paris Motor Show) opened its doors to the press and featured a wealth of new concept and production cars. There were a number of major releases from Ford, BMW and Mercedes and, naturally, the French makers Peugeot, Citroën and Renault featured strongly as well. World debuts included the Alfa 147, Aston Martin DBR9, Audi A4, BMW 1 Series, BMW M5, Citroën C4, Ferrari F430, Ford Focus, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Sportage, Mazda 5, Mercedes A-Class, Mitsubishi Colt CZ3, Opel Astra GTC, Peugeot 1007, Porsche Boxster, Renault Mégane Trophy, Škoda Octavia Estate, Suzuki Swift and Toyota Prius GT.
BMW 1-SeriesShow Article
The five millionth Audi A6 model - an A6 Avant 2.7 TDI - left the production line at the company’s manufacturing facility in Neckarsulm, Germany.
Audi A6Show Article
A panel of judges made up of 48 renowned motoring journalists voted the Audi A6 as the first "World Car of the Year".
First broadcast of the spectacular 1980s television commercial showing a gravity-defying Audi Quattro saloon climbing 47 metres of treacherously steep, snow-covered ski jump, remade using a new A6 saloon to mark the 25th Anniversary of Quattro. Fourteen years after rally ace Harald Demuth drove up Finland’s Pitkävuori ski jump in a red Audi 100 CS quattro, setting a new record in the process, Audi engineer Uwe Bleck has just followed suit in the 335PS V8-powered A6 4.2 quattro. Like its predecessor, the A6 highlighted the exceptional traction advantages of the quattro system by reaching a height of 47 metres on a gradient of around 80 per cent or 37.5 degrees, and parking on the slope.
Audi Quattro Ski Jump commercial 2005Show Article
Audi became the first car manufacturer in the world to transmit its own dedicated digital television channel and hold the first-ever self-promotional licence granted by Ofcom. The Audi Channel was broadcast 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on the Sky Digital platform and was also the first brand-specific entertainment channel in Europe. The channel closed at midnight on 1 August 2009.Show Article
Citroen’s elegant and sophisticated C6 made its very first public appearance in the UK at the MPH ’05 show, at London’s Earls Court. The C6 was aimed as a stylish alternative to executive cars, like the BMW 5 Series and the Audi A6, and it has been described as "spaceship that rides on air", "charmingly idiosyncratic" and "refreshingly different". Innovative technology incorporated into the C6 included a head-up display, a lane departure warning system, xenon directional headlamps, Hydractive 3+ suspension with electronically controlled springing and damping, and a rear spoiler which automatically adjusts to speed and braking. The C6 was the first car to obtain four stars in the pedestrian test rating of EuroNCAP, due to the inventive design, where the bonnet pops up a little if a person/animal is hit, thus increasing the gap between the deformable bonnet and the non-deformable engine components below.
Citroen C6 (2005-2012)Show Article
The production line Audi Q7, a full-size luxury crossover SUV, which shared its platform with the Volkswagen Touareg and Porsche Cayenne, was unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Audi Q7Show Article
The Audi A5 was unveiled simultaneously at the Geneva Motor Show and the Melbourne International Motor Show.
Audi A5Show Article
The Lexus LS 460 was named World Car of the Year at the New York Auto Show. Other winners selected by the jury of 48 international motoring journalists from 22 countries were the Audi RS4 (World Performance Car) and Mercedes-Benz E320 Bluetec (World Green Car).
Lexus LS 460Show Article
The 2011 Chicago Auto Show celebrated its 103rd edition with rave reviews and a 10 percent increase in attendance over the 10-day run when compared to the 2010 show. Two new vehicles, a 2011 Honda CR-Z and a 2011 Hyundai Sonata turbo, were awarded to the fortunate ticket holders during the First Look for Charity event held the evening before the show opened to the public. Eighteen area charities shared in the $1,905,060 raised from the tickets sold for the black-tie fund-raiser. Four brands rolled out ride and drive tracks, including Jeep, Ford, Toyota and Chevrolet. Among brands unveiled at the 2011 show included the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, Volkswagen GLI, Hyundai’s Genisis 5.0 R-spec and Veloster Rally Car, the 2012 2Acura TL with Acura Vice President of Sales Jeff Conrad. The 012 Shelby GT350 convertible, Toyota Matrix and Chrysler 200 convertible were seen for the first time at this show, and Audi presented the TT RS for the first time anywhere in North America. Ram Truck announced a new trim package for the Ram Tradesman, and Dodge unleashed five new performance models. A bold experiment premiered on the second media day that proved auto shows and social media are a match made in marketing heaven.
The 84th Geneva Auto Show opened its doors to the public. Cars premiered included Audi S1, Bentley Flying Spur V8, Citroen C1, Cireon C4 Cactus, Ferrari California, Nissan Juke, Renault Twingo, Toyota Aygo and the VW Golf GTE plug-in hybrid.Show Article
An Audi A8 L Security transporting Polish prime minister Beata Szydło hit a tree in Oświęcim at approx. 50 km/h. PM suffered minor injuries, but spent following week in a military hospital in Warsaw Her security guard suffered leg bone fracture, while driver was also injured. The accident occurred when the government car moving in the three cars motorcade with piloting Audi A6 and closing Audi Q7 using red and blue beacons was overtaking a group of cars on a three-way junction. The Audi driver swerved left to avoid collision with a Fiat Seicento, but still hit the Fiat's bumper, that cut them off while turning left from the priority road, but without using indicator.Show Article
Car factories across Germany were at a standstill as industrial workers staged a third day of 24-hour strikes, focusing on plants owned by Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Audi and BMW.Show Article