| Since 1969
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Audi AG is a German automaker in the Volkswagen Group. It can trace its historic roots to several automakers from the early 20th century, though Audi's present-day form is created by Volkswagen in 1969.
The surname of Audi's original founder, August Horch, means 'listen' in German, and 'audi' is the Latin word bearing the same meaning. The four rings of the Audi logo each represent one of the four companies that merged into Audi's predecessor, Auto Union, which formed in 1932.
Before WWII, economic pressure of the time led Auto Union to focus on economy cars, and the Audi brand disappeared in 1939.
In the 1960s, Volkswagen acquired a 50% holding in Auto Union, including the DKW and Audi brands with the rights to the new engine design funded by Mercedes-Benz. In 1968, VW relaunched the Audi brand with the Audi 100.
- Galvanization: Audi was the first mass-market automaker to produce 100% galvanized cars to prevent corrosion.
- Aluminium Space Frame: Audi introduced the aluminium space frame (ASF) that is lightweight and that improves torsion rigidity compared to a conventional steel frame with the D2 A8. Currently, A8, R8, and TT use the ASF.
- Drivetrain Layout: While Audi vehicles are frequently equipped with quattro all-wheel drive, many are available with front-wheel drive. However, unlike most manufacturers, Audi equips its larger vehicles with longitudinal engines that stick in front of the front axle, producing the characteristic front overhang.
- Engines: To accommodate longitudinally-mounted engine in front of the front axle, Audi has used a couple of rare engine configurations: It is one of two (alongside Volvo) to have used the inline-5 engine, which is still available today. It was also the first to use a W12 engine that is now exclusive to Bentley.
Audi's current vehicle lineup consists of hatchbacks, sedans, wagons, and crossovers:
- Hatchback: A1, A3, S3, RS3
- Sedan: A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, S3, S4, S5, S6, S8, RS3, RS5, RS7
- Wagon: A4, A6, S4, RS4, RS6
- Crossover: Q2, Q3, Q5, Q7, Q8, e-tron, SQ2, SQ5, SQ7, SQ8, RS Q3, RS Q5, RS Q8
- Convertible: A3, A5, TT, R8, S3, S5
- Coupe: A5, TT, S5, TTS, RS5, TTRS
- Sports Car: R8
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