Happy 100th Birthday Audi

1966 The first Audi models with numerical names were introduced.

1968 Under VW, Auto Union became the top German auto producer.

1969 The company name was changed to Audi NSU Auto Union AG.

1970 The first Audis were sold in the US.

1976 Audi 100 was introduced with an unusual 5-cylinder engine.

1980 Audi Quattro was introduced with 4wd and a turbocharged engine. Two years later, Audi won the World Rally Championship.

1985 The company name was simplified to Audi AG.

1986 60 Minutes charged the Audi 5000 with unintended acceleration. Sales of the brand plunged by 83-percent. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report exonerated Audi, blaming driver pedal confusion. Nonetheless, Audi conducted five recall campaigns related to the issue.

1987 Rally impresario Walter Rohrl won the Pikes Peak Hillclimb driving a 598-hp Audi Sport quattro. Later, Audi exploits 4wd to dominate TransAm road racing.

1989 Audi revealed a hybrid concept call Avant Duo with an internal combustion engine in front and electric motor propulsion in back. A few A4s with the system were manufactured and sold beginning in 1997.

1990 A turbocharged direct-injection diesel engine, called TDI by Audi, was introduced for European 100 models.

1991 The AVUS quattro, a mid-engined two seater with a polished-aluminum body, was presented at the Tokyo Motor Show as an early preview of the R8 supercar.

1994 Audi A8 with aluminum space-frame construction was launched.

1995 The International Olympic Committee sued Audi in International Trademark Court over use of the four-ring symbol. The Olympic version - five colored rings in a non-aligned pattern - was created in 1914 and stands for passion, faith, victory, work ethic, and sportsmanship.

1998-99 The Audi TT coupe and roadster were introduced. The innovative dual-clutch transmission - S-Tronic in Audi terminology - was first offered by this car line in 2004.

2000-08 Audi sports car prototypes began their stranglehold at LeMans. The R8, powered by a gasoline-fueled V-8, won five races between 2000 and 2005 with the 2004 victory achieved by a Bentley Speed 8 sharing the same technology. Shifting to the turbocharged-diesel R10 in 2006, Audi motorsports added three more overall LeMans victories to its record of achievements.

2009 Though Audi sales are still depressed like other luxury brands, its share of the US premium market grew in July to 7.6-percent.

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