Audi has always been on the cutting edge of technology. From the brands' inception in 1899 through the entire twentieth century, Audi has strived to deliver a continued advancement through technology. With a new decade upon us, we must look at progress.  We must keep moving forward, but sustainably. That is the way. Progress through technology. This advertising slogan was introduced in 1971 that has since become the key message underlining the expertise of the company: "Vorsprung durch Technik". 

Embracing the future starts with letting go of the past.  Join Audi as we drive to a more sustainable tomorrow.

A look at the beginning

At the end of the 19th century, there were already a number of car manufacturers in Germany. One of them was August Horch & Cie., founded on November 14, 1899 in Cologne. August Horch was one of the pioneering figures in automobile engineering. Before setting up in business on his own, his professional experience had included three years in charge of automobile production at Carl Benz in Mannheim. In 1904, August Horch moved his business to Zwickau and transformed it into a joint-stock company.

A new name was found for the company by translating Horch's name, which in German means "hark!" or "listen!", into Latin and the Audi brand was born and destined for greatness. After being established for over two decades, Audiwerke merged with DKW, Horch and Wanderer to form Auto Union AG, interlocking four rings to symbolize the inseparable unity of the four founding companies.

Geneva, 1980. Fast forward a few years to the premier automotive exhibition that is the Geneva Auto Show. Audi presents the quattro, a permanent four-wheel drive, lockable differential-fitted, turbocharged inline-5 rally car. Taking advantage of recently changed rules, Audi won consecutive rally competitions the following two years.

Advanced technology has always been at the very heart of Audi DNA. We have set a standard of excellence with a number of automotive firsts: implementing quattro all-wheel drive in a luxury sedan, introducing lightweight aluminum chassis construction and utilizing LED headlights in production vehicles. Progress is in every decision we make.

Technik through the years


Our reputation on the road has been amplified by a near-century long record of dominance in Motorsports. Since the 1930s in the days of the silver arrows, Audi has consistently advanced the world of racing through revolutionary technologies, including the legendary Audi 5 cylinder engine and quattro all-wheel drive. Today, our motorsport program consists of Formula E, DTM and World RX. Our North American customer racing program competes in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge with additional teams participating in the Pirelli World Challenge and Touring Car Racing. 

The Audi 5 cylinder engine is, in a word, legendary. 

That unique 5 cylinder sound will forever be synonymous with Audi. 

From road to track and back again.

Audi Sport has stood behind the successful motor racing involvement of AUDI AG for 40 years. Nowadays, the Ingolstadt manufacturer markets its most sporty Audi models and accessories under the label Audi Sport. The first motor racing activities of the Audi brand began in the late 1970s under the tagline Audi Motorsport. With its entry into the World Rally Championship in 1980, the brand changed the name of its motorsport department to Audi Sport. Even then, works-run motorsport at Audi was part of the Technical Development (TE) department. This close connection guarantees the technology transfer between motorsport and series production. Traditionally, this is a decisive reason for Audi taking on top-level motorsport.

Celebrating over 10 years of the 10 cylinder engine

Always looking to the future

As we enter this new decade, Audi continues to Progress through technology...

Unveiling the 2020 Audi e-tron Sportback

It's our past and our future.  Sustainably.
Progress is in every decision we make, every technology we invent, every vehicle we build...

2020 Audi e-tron Sportback

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