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Vorsprung Durch Technik; More Than Just A Motto

Sep 11, 2008
The four rings of Audi is one of the most recognisable logos in the car manufacturing world. Dealerships are proud of the rich and illustrious heritage of the company and all subscribe to the motto, 'Vorsprung durch Technik', in English meaning 'advantage through technology. Nowhere is the saying more apt that in the large saloon cars that Audi are proud to show in the dealerships, but where does this technology come from? How have Audi built up such a good reputation when it comes to producing advanced cars at the cusp of the technological revolution? The answer lies in the motor sport division of Audi, a department that strives to produce the most advanced technology and that in the past, has succeeded.

Audi first experienced true success in the world of motor sport thanks to the development of the famous Audi Quattro. This seminal car revolutionised the world of rally sport taking the championship title for two years running and being a major competitor until rivals managed to catch up. The reason this car was so successful was due to the creation of an all wheel drive system that at the time was disregarded by other car manufacturers as folly. The critics however were soon silenced as the benefits of increased grip and power distribution became evident. Today all WRC cars utilise a four wheel drive system, thanks to the introduction of the Quattro. As rally rules ensured that a minimal number of models were built for the road, dealerships soon found themselves in a situation where orders greatly outstripped supply. Despite this not many more were built and the Quattro remains a collector's item in the motoring fraternity.

The use of the Quattro drive system is used up until this day by Audi, although refinements have been made to the original technology. Today cars such as the A3 and TT are available as Quattro models, Audi are one of the few manufacturers who have been able to consistently produce great cars with this form of drive train. It has only been fairly recently with the introduction of cars such as the Subaru Imprezza that other manufacturers have attempted to compete with Audi's drive train technology.

Technology has been instrumental in the development of Audi cars, making the research and development department at the company one of the busiest in the business. One of the advancements has been the use of rust resistant body parts. One of the ways in which this is achieved is through galvanisation; coating all body parts with a protective layer of zinc, a metal that does not rust. As such the company has been able to supply cars with an anti-rust guarantee spanning ten years, in recent years however this guarantee has been extended to twelve years due to the effectiveness of the galvanisation process. Currently the A8, a car that competes with the BMW 6 Series and the Mercedes S Class has a frame constructed solely of aluminium, once again showing the dedication to producing cars that will stand up to rust for as long as possible.

Audi have always had a focus on technology throughout their development. They have had to though, being neighbours of companies such as BMW, Mercedes and Porsche the German car manufacturing industry is one of the most competitive on the planet. This dedication to advancement has revealed itself in the motor sport sphere but also on the road, showing that 'Vorsprung durch Technik' is more than just a motto, it is a mandate, a mantra and way of life.
About the Author
Motor industry expert Thomas Pretty looks at how the cars in Audi dealerships have benefited from advancements in technology.
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