Ever since my family bought our first 1980 Audi 4000, I've been hooked. There are simply no other cars quite like Audis (See Why I drive Audis below).
I also have some interest in other family marques of the VW group of companies, currently consisting of Volkswagen, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Seat, and Skoda. Last but not least, Porsche, a close relative to the VW family.
I currently own a quartet of silver Audis: a light silver 2003 Audi A4 1.8T multitronic, a light silver 2001 Audi S4 biturbo quattro, a zermatt silver 1984 Audi 5000S turbo, and a diamond silver 1980 Audi 4000.
My silver fleet pays homage to the 1930s Auto Union Silver Arrow grand prix cars, celebrating the color scheme of the late 1990s Audi Sport Super Touring A4 quattros, as well as Audi's dominating 24 Hours of Le Mans race cars.
My 4000 is now the fruit of a lot of love, labor and money. The guys at New Dimensions did some of the work*. The car was featured in an article in the April 1994 issue of European Car magazine, entitled "Audi Alchemy", written and photographed by Les Bidrawn. That article provided a good summary of the performance enhancements and creature comforts that I have lavished upon this car, but does not even come close to really showing the many nice little details.
* New Dimensions retail store and service facilities had ceased operations, but their website is still online. I do not know the status of their online sales business.
Over the years, Audi had shown a number of stunning concept cars. From the 1991 Avus quattro and quattro Spyder, the 1994-95 TT and TTS (which reached production reality), the 2000 Steppenwolf, the 2001 Avantissimo ultra luxury wagon, the 2002 Rosemeyer Super Sport, and 2003 Pikes Peak quattro. Here are two of the most recent showstoppers:
The Nuvolari quattro coupe, shown at the 2003 Geneva Auto Show.
The Le Mans quattro sports car, shown at the 2003 Frankfurt Auto Show.
The 2035 Audi RSQ, as featured in the 2004 motion picture I, Robot.
Auto Union Silver Arrow
Audi 80 quattro
Audi Sport Quattro
Audi 200 quattro
Audi Sport Quattro S1 Pikes Peak
Audi 200 quattro Trans Am
Audi 90 turbo quattro IMSA GTO
Audi V8 quattro DTM
Audi 80 Competition
Audi A4 Supertouring
Audi S4 Competition
What a wonderful description.
Audis have a soul. Perhaps it's incomprehensible to some, how a machine of metal, plastics, and other materials can have a soul; but it is the company, people, artistry, philsosphy, spirit and heritage behind the Audi name that sets it apart. More importantly, Audi's motto Vorsprung durch Technik (loosely translated to "leap forward through technology") is observed steadfastly by the company throughout its 100+ year history, always pushing the envelope. Yet all that high-tech is never self-serving nor to dazzle.
Audis also have a strong gene that gives all its cars a distinct character. Even if you remove all identifiers and badges one would never confuse an Audi with cars from another make.
Audi's winning legacy in motorsports (from the 1930s Auto Union grand prix cars to rallying, to Trans Am, to IMSA GTO, to DTM, to Super Touring, to today's Le Mans and ALMS tour de force) also amply demonstrate the "unfair advantage" of many of its technologies.
Pioneers of front wheel drive in 1931, and quattro, the first production high performance all-wheel drive GT in 1980, Audi always dares to be different. The first production rotary Wankel engine (NSU), the first gasoline powered production five-cylinder engine, the first to achieve 0.30 Cd aerodynamics in a large four-door sedan, Procon-Ten safety system, 5-valves per cylinder in high volume production engines, TDI (turbocharged direct diesel injection), FSI (direct gasoline injection), all-aluminum ASF (Audi Space Frame), four-link front suspension with "virtual axis" steering, multitronic CVT transmission, the list goes on and on...
While it's simple to make a list of Audi innovations, One becomes more impressed when taking a closer look at their execution. Ever sit in a recent Audi? Or perhaps dive deeper and check out the quality engineering, even in hidden parts? With each new model year improvements are found in every model, and with every evolution of the model line, quantum leaps are made.
Audi is also one of the most environmentally-conscious automobile makers, with very high recycling content (in the cars themselves as well as in manufacturing waste materials), the first to use water-based paints, and even the use of trees that are past their fruit-bearing age for the wood trims in the interiors.
Audi engineers are not afraid to think outside of the box and Audi drivers buy the cars based on their merits, not on pre-conceived notions of image or prestige.
All these qualities are reflected in the cars, and come through in an intangible manner when you drive one. As you learn more about an Audi and its place in Audi's history, you begin to appreciate all that the four ring logo* stands for. And how it all seamlessly come together in a package that is more than the sum of its parts. Audi manages to put real world mobility and performance, safety, quality, comfort, style, character and overall excellence into its cars in a way that never seem excessive.
One bonds emotionally with not just the machine, but everything about it. From the beautifully executed french-seam stitchings on your leather seats, the advanced yet human-friendly technology, all the way to the many illustrious characters such as August Horch, Bernd Rosemeyer, Michele Mouton, Walter Rohrl and Ferdinand Piech.
This, is why I drive Audis. The cars and the culture appeal to my sensibilities and it feels good to own these cars. Audis are teutonic but not strident, stylish but not ostentatious. You know you're hooked when you glance back at your car after walking away, to admire its timeless and unpretentious elegance, and to relish the great drive you just had in it.
(*) The Audi "four ring" emblem symbolizes the 1932 merger of the four independent motor vehicle manufacturers (Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer) into one single entity, the Auto Union. Each of these four marques' cars wore the four-ring emblem after the merger. Together with the NSU brand, which joined the conglomerate in 1969, these companies are the roots of the present day Audi AG.
Go to my Links Page for links to many other web sites of interest to Audi enthusiasts!
Audi Tradition WebRing
site is owned by Ti Kan.
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