Beginning. Audi's history started in 1899. This is when August Horch started the Horch company in Cologne. Its founder left the company in 1909. However, he marked his presence for ever — the name Audi is the Latin translation of the name Horch (i.e. to listen). The company's logo—four linked rings—symbolised four companies, and it was created in 1932 when Horch, Wender and DKW entered into the Auto Union company.
Development. Auto Union AG found itself in the German Democratic Republic after World War II. After transformations which took place in 1958, the company traded as VEB Sachsenring Automobilwerke. The Trabant was its most famous product. It was manufactured in Zwickau until 1991. On the other side of the Iron Curtain, in the Federal Republic of Germany, the company was reactivated under its old name in the city of Ingolstadt. Since 1964, Audi has belonged to the Volkswagen Group. Four years later, the plant's director approved the design of the Audi 100 car, which entered serial production. The 100 started the marking of Audi cars — the digits indicated the horsepower (the Audi 60 engine had 60 HP).
Contribution to the automotive industry. Audi is mostly famous for its Quattro drive systems. It is a permanent drive system used in sports-focused cars since 1980. Eight years later, this drive system was used in the A8 luxury sedan. In 1985, the company manufactured its first model with a fully zinc-coated body shell — the 100 model. Nine years later, the A8 body was made of aluminium. This model, manufactured in 2001, comes equipped with a W12 cylinder petrol engine that generates a peak power of 420 HP. The FSI engine, created by Audi, is also quite popular today. It can be often found in Volkswagens. This engine runs on petrol and has a direct injection system. The Ingolstadt group is also well known for installing excellent audio systems in their cars. This equipment is made by the Danish company Bang & Olufsen, a manufacturer of high-end audio systems.
Present. Today, Audi cars are manufactured in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm in Germany, Gyor in Hungary and Sao Jose dos Campos in Brazil. Apart from Audi, the Audi-Gruppe has included Seat and Lamborghini since 2000. The most popular Audi models include: Audi A3, S3,RS3, Audi A4, allroad Quattro, S4, RS4, Audi A5,S5, RS5, Audi A6, S6, RS6, Audi A6 allroad Quattro, Audi Q7, Audi TT, Audi R8.
Trivia. The group sponsors several football clubs, such as Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, AC Milan, Bayern Munich and Manchester United. In the year 2000, the Audi team won the Le Mans 24 Hours. The winning car, Audi R15 TDI, used 11 sets of Michelin tyres during the 397 laps it made.
Tyres. Audi is a well-known and valued make. Audi often cooperates with tyre manufacturers, including the Bridgestone company. Bridgestone RE040 tyres are used in the Audi A3, A8 and TT models. The Audi A4 is often equipped with Bridgestone ER300 tyres, while the Audi A6 is sold with Bridgestone RE050 tyres. The Audi Q7, on the other hand, is equipped with Bridgestone Dueler HP Sport tyres. The Audi TT (and in particular the TTS) can be also equipped with Toyo Proxes T1 Sport tyres. The Toyo Proxes T1 model was also used for the Audi S6 and Audi RS 5. In the years 2007–2009, the serial equipment of S8 models included Yokohama ADVAN Sport V103 tyres. In addition to the aforementioned brands, the standard equipment of Audi cars often includes Dunlop tyres. The Audi A4 uses Dunlop SP Sport 8000E tyres. The A4 Sport and A6 (2.7 Turbo) use SP Sport 9090 tyres. The A8 Sport version, on the other hand, was equipped with Dunlop SP Sport 9000 tyres. At present, Audi often uses Goodyear tyres. Until 2012, the A2 series equipment includes Goodyear Excellence tyres, A3 cars use Goodyear EfficientGrip, Eagle Vector 2+ or UltraGrip Performance 2 tyres. Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric or Wrangler AT/R are standard equipment in Audi Q7 cars.