Audi is a German automaker that currently produces a range of luxury sports cars, sedans, coupes and sport utility vehicles. The Volkswagen Group has held a majority share of Audi since 1964. The company currently produces cars such as the Audi A3 and the Audi TT.
Audi's roots go back to the earliest days of automobile production. The company that would ultimated become Audi was started when August Horch produced his first automobile in 1901. After being forced out of the company he founded in 1909, Horch renamed his new company Audi, which is the Latin word for "listen." Audi's first four cylinder cars were quite successful in the motorsports arena, which touched off a long winning history that continues even today. In 1932, Audi merged with Horch, DKW, and Wanderer to form Auto Union. The four founding companies of Auto Union are represented in the four interlinked rings as seen on the Audi logo.
During World War II, Auto Union produced armored cars and light transports for the German war effort. As a result, Auto Union facilities were mostly destroyed by Allied bombardment. After the war, Auto Union was reformed with workers from destroyed plants being reassigned to surviving facilities. The company would quickly pick up where it had left off before turning its production over to the German war machine.
In 1959, Daimler-Benz acquired the Auto Union company. Five short years later in 1964, Volkswagen purchased Auto Union. This acquisition by Volkswagen signaled a new strategy for Audi. Auto Union brands such as NSU and Auto Union itself were slowly phased out in preference to a consolidated Audi-only brand. It was during this time that Volkswagen introduced Audi to the United States. The platforms introduced during this era would go on to be some of the most successful under the Volkswagen Group. Reflecting this success, the company name was changed from Audi NSU Auto Union AG to Audi AG in 1985.
Audi's acclaimed quattro technology was introduced in 1980 on the turbocharged Audi Quattro. The Quattro was produced until 1991, and during its time the car became noted for its success as a rally contender. When displayed in all lowercase letters, quattro references Audi's all-wheel-drive system first used in the Audi Quattro. Audi's quattro technology is used by other Volkswagen Group brands, including Volkswagen itself and Skoda. When used in a Volkswagen, the terms "Syncro" and "4motion" refer to a quattro system. The preferred marking on Skoda vehicles equipped with quattro technology is "4x4." See which used Audi luxury cars come standard with Quattro AWD or browse our pre-owned car inventory.