Audi Museum – Ingolstadt (D)

Most of the world’s auto manufacturers have figured out that whilst promoting and selling the very latest products is still the way that they will make almost all their money, their heritage is an important part of their brand identity and value and that there is huge interest not just from the brand aficionados but a wider cross section of the public in seeing just what came before the cars which we are all familiar with on the roads of today. Audi were perhaps later than the other brands based in Southern Germany in acknowledging this, as BMW and Mercedes had operated their own large museums for many years and even Porsche had a small collection at the Zuffenhausen plant but finally, a very impressive facility called the Audi Forum was opened on one side of the vast Audi-owned site that is on the edge of the historic and rather picturesque Bavarian town of Ingolstadt, about 60km north of Munich. The forum is the publically accessible part of the site and comprises not just a Museum, but a showroom and the Audi Collection Centre. There’s plenty of space here so it is also a popular location for events to take place right outside the buildings.

 photo Picture137.jpg  photo Picture136.jpg  photo Picture133.jpg

I paid my first visit in 2008, and was fascinated by the display especially of some of the older models that were cars I had never seen before and about which I knew not a lot. Since then I’ve made several more visits. A visit to the town of Ingolstadt as well as the Audi Forum makes for a great day out from Munich, and if you take the back roads rather than charging up the Autobahn, you will pass through some lovely scenery and picturesque Bavarian villages, past loads of fields growing the hops used in one of the area’s best known non-automotive products, beer. I published a report of the 2008 visit at the time, but since then, despite my best intentions, the subsequent visits have not been written up, so I’ve combined several of these all into one single report. Thus what you see here covers cars from visits in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2017 and 2018.


The permanent exhibition is the heart of the museum. From the entrance on level 0, visitors are directed towards the lift up to the top floor of the building, level 3. This “time machine” takes you back to 1899 where your tour begins and you start to uncover the fascinating, at times complex and not that well known history of the various brands which came together to form the modern Audi. The two levels for the permanent exhibition, 1899 to 1945 and 1946 to 2000 are each divided into seven sections. Each section has an overview of the single epoch. Text and images address the relationship between automobiles, technology, and society. More than 100 cars and motorcycles illustrate the history of the company.

 photo Picture 062_zpsiziquqgj.jpg  photo Picture 560_zps3i1xnrcx.jpg  photo P1210192.jpg  photo P1210186.jpg  photo Picture 559_zps1j1k9dqg.jpg  photo Picture 063_zpsneg7e1v9.jpg  photo Picture 216_zpsner4ghcx.jpg  photo Picture 096_zpsazuykvar.jpg  photo Picture 066_zpsym0qrvce.jpg  photo Picture 481_zpsz6ita4cl.jpg  photo Picture001.jpg  photo Picture 480_zpslukbkow8.jpg  photo P1210179.jpg  photo Picture124.jpg


Founding father of Audi is a gentleman called August Horch. He started his involvement with the automotive sector when he took up a job at the fledgling Daimler-Benz organisation in Mannheim in 1896. It was not long before he decided to set up his own car company, which he did in 1899, in Cologne, using his own name.  His first car appeared in 1901. This car, the oldest on show in the museum, dates from 1903 and is a 10-12PS model. A 2 cylinder model, it was relatively unusual for the period that it used shafts rather than chains to transfer drive power to the wheels. The tonneau body is also quite unusual, in that access to the rear seats is from the back of the car.

 photo Picture 563_zpslqf5td7e.jpg  photo P1210149.jpg  photo Picture 056_zpsv6hl1qmn.jpg  photo Picture 057_zps1n1f6g5k.jpg  photo Picture 058_zps1yn1gmzz.jpg

Horch was soon in trouble with the fellow directors of his company, and things came to a head in 1909, when he decided to leave and set up another company. As he was unable to use his own name, he selected the Latin equivalent, namely Audi. This is an example of the third model type produced by the new company, the 1913 14/35 PS Typ C Limousine. This car was produced until 1925, and scored notable success in motor sport events of the day, winning the Austrian Alpine Rally in 1912, 1913 and 1914.

 photo Picture 562_zpsfueldy2l.jpg  photo P1210150.jpg

The earliest of the Wanderer cars on display was this 1914 5/15 PS Typ W3, also known as the Wanderer Puppchen, a small passenger car introduced by the Chemnitz based company in 1911. It went on sale the following year. The car was delivered as an open topped tourer with two seats positioned one behind the other. There were two doors, also one behind the other, and both on the left-hand side of the car. The small car quickly became known, affectionately, as the Puppchen (‘little doll’), presumably derived from a 1912 operetta by Jean Gilbert. Nevertheless, its more conventional name was Wanderer W1 5/12 PS. “W1” reflected the fact that it was the first volume motor car offered by the Winklhofer & Jaenicke company who in 1911 adopted the brand name Wanderer (English equivalents might be “Rambler” or “Rover”) for their motor vehicles. “5” was the fiscal horsepower rating, based on the engine capacity, and “12” was the actual horsepower claimed. During the ensuing years the Puppchen progressed through the W2, W3 and W4 models to the Wanderer W8, now with an actual claimed power output of 20 PS. The Wanderer models W5, W6 and W7 were slightly larger cars which did not attract the Puppchen soubriquet. As launched, the first W1 model had a four-cylinder four-stroke engine of 1,147 cc offering 12 PS. The W2 version introduced in 1913 had its engine size increased to 1,222 cc and power output boosted to 15 PS. A year later the W3 featured a 1,286 cc engine.The car continued to be delivered as an open topped tourer throughout its life. However, the 1913 upgrade saw the originally Model H body with one seat behind the other complemented by the Model N in which the two seats were positioned side by side. Cars in which the passenger sat beside the driver featured just one door, however: this door was again positioned on the car’s left side. With the appearance in 1914 of the W3 version, Wanderer took the opportunity to offer the Model Nv body which provided a third seat. The W3 continued unchanged until 1919.

 photo Picture 037_zpsgdzbqvmf.jpg  photo Picture 038_zpsnskhi5cs.jpg

After the war, in 1919, the firm increased advertised power in what was now their W4 model to 17 PS, the engine being now an ohv 1,306 cc unit. The W4 continued to be offered till 1925. The principal advances on the W4 concerned the engine. A further change in 1919 was the withdrawal of the by now unfashionable Model H configurations. A passenger in a standard bodied two-seater Puppchens was now obliged to sit beside the driver. With the W8, which replaced the W4 in 1925, the Puppchen was now available with a four-seater body. It retained the 1,306 cc engine capacity, but with claimed power now raised to 20 PS. There was one of these on display, also, this particular car having spent most of its life in Australia. In 1926 Wanderer withdrew from the ‘baby car’ market which, as matters turned out, was poorly timed. By the time the Puppchen was withdrawn, in that year, approximately 9,000 of the little cars had been produced.

 photo P1210162.jpg

By 1925, this was the only Horch in the range, the 10/35 Phaeton. This particular car was designed for show in Stockholm, and then for use by the Swedish Royal family as a “hunting car”

 photo P1210164.jpg

This is a 1927 Horch 8 Typ 303 Phaeton. First presented in the autumn of 1926, this car manifest the best example of German engine technology to date. The in-line eight-cylinder 3132cc engine with double overhead camshafts was designed by Paul Daimler, Gottlieb Daimler’s son. It generated 60 bhp which was enough to give the car a top speed of 100 km/h. Even the most basic version of this model, an open tourer, rated among the top luxury vehicles in Germany. An impressive 8.490 of these double-camshaft engines were built before production came to an end in 1931.

 photo Picture 065_zpsmyqcofj2.jpg  photo Picture 041_zpsaymztqwc.jpg  photo Picture 042_zpsqhlssr8r.jpg  photo Picture 558_zpsvwf935wh.jpg  photo Picture 557_zpsvdizr3jp.jpg

The 1923 Audi 8/22 Typ G Phaeton is an example of a relatively small and inexpensive car. First shown in 1914, this is believed to be the only example of the Type remaining.

 photo P1210163.jpg

Big, powerful, and luxurious, the 1925 18/70 Typ M Pullman was one of the most expensive cars offered for sale in Germany. Launched in 1923, the model featured an all alloy engine and was the first Audi model equipped with a six-cylinder engine. The 4660cc straight-six generated 70hp, an impressive statistic at the time, and it was made of light alloy to keep weight in check. Audi made 228 examples of the car. Three examples including this cutaway model are known still to exist.

 photo Picture 040_zpscjxxko5j.jpg  photo Picture 039_zpssgvnyfsr.jpg  photo P1210161.jpg  photo P1210159.jpg  photo Picture 561_zps2dlt7um0.jpg

Successor to the Typ M was this, the Typ R 19/100 Imperator, which was launched in 1928. The car cost less to make than the Typ M that it replaced, despite its far greater level of sophistication, but this was not really a good time to launch a luxury car, as this was only a matter of months before the Great Depression. This was the first Audi with an 8 cylinder engine, a 4.9 litre unit and with 100 bhp, it was a powerful car. The engine developed peak torque from 1000 rpm, so it was very tractable and could be driven almost anywhere in top gear. Production continued until 1932. It is believed that this is the sole survivor. It was found in the 1990s, just as a chassis and an engine, bulkhead and fenders. There was no body. leading to speculation that it might have been used by the fire brigade as such cars often served as a basis for conversion to public service vehicles in the immediate post-war period. The new body was built by Peter Spiller, based on looking at photos of an original car. It took 2.5 years to complete and the car is now in full working order.

 photo P1210160.jpg

This is the first Wanderer built with left hand drive, a 1928 8/40 PS Typ W. In 1925, Wanderer caught its rivals off-guard by releasing the W 10. It was a thoroughly modern car equipped with features like a dry-plate clutch and brakes on all four wheels. These advancements played a significant role in making the W 10 more user-friendly to drive on a daily basis. Wanderer updated the model with a 40hp, 1940cc four-cylinder engine in 1927. The example displayed in the museum was purchased new by a doctor and driven daily until it joined Audi’s collection in 1996. Always garaged and religiously maintained, this one-owner W 10/II is entirely original with the exception of the front turn signals and the mirror behind the driver-side headlight.

 photo Picture 556_zpsfkhnfhla.jpg  photo Picture 043_zpsgo969tab.jpg  photo Picture 555_zpsu4ou1qvu.jpg  photo Picture 044_zpsv1eolwjg.jpg  photo P1210169.jpg photo Picture013.jpg

DKW developed the F1 in about six weeks to expand its line-up towards the bottom. It was smaller and much cheaper than its other models and, significantly, it was front-wheel drive, the first volume car to be so. Engineers saved time and money during the design phase by powering the F1 with a two-cylinder, two-stroke 494cc engine sourced from one of the company’s motorcycles. It made 15hp. Wood construction kept its weight down and the F1 stood out as one of the cheapest new cars in Germany when it made its debut in 1931. DKW manufactured 4353 examples of the model until 1932. It was short-lived but it had a profound effect on the company’s line-up. Two-stroke technology and front-wheel drive became DKW staples until the brand stopped making cars in 1966. It was the cheapest car on the German market at the time. Launched in 1931, basic models had just 2 seats, and this is a rare example as a 4 seater and with a canvas body.

 photo Picture 017_zpsxwiodcz7.jpg  photo Picture 016_zpsyjeatfhl.jpg  photo Picture 546_zpsxtlv06gh.jpg  photo Picture 545_zpsqfqkxns1.jpg  photo P1210178.jpg photo P1210177.jpg  photo Picture012.jpg

By the early 1930s, there were many manufacturers offering cars, but this fact and the onset of the economic crisis caused by the Great Depression meant that few were able to sell sufficient cars to be able to make a profit. Many simply ceased to exist, and it seemed as if the same could apply to Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer, but rather than forcing a winding up, the State Bank of Saxony who were the main creditor,  in 1932, instigated the creation of the Auto Union which brought all 4 companies together into a single group.  With 4100 employees, this made the Union the second largest car manufacturer in Germany, behind Opel. Once the Union was created, new possibilities emerged as what were separate companies were now in a position to share engineering and manufacturing plants. This 1934 Audi Typ UW took the letter W as an addition to the name in recognition of fact that it had a Wanderer based engine. The front wheel drive system was DKW based and the car was made at the Horch plant.

 photo Picture 538_zpsmaxj7h5l.jpg  photo Picture 010_zpsednkrbag.jpg  photo Picture 015_zpsoi2p9z5s.jpg  photo Picture 009_zpsfayb4z02.jpg  photo Picture 008_zps6q8r7lav.jpg photo Picture 539_zpsi2caowgp.jpg  photo Picture126.jpg  photo Picture125.jpg  photo P1210184.jpg  photo Picture009.jpg photo Picture008.jpg  photo P1210187.jpg

This 1936 DKW Schwebeklasse is an unusual car. Taking the streamlined styling that started to become popular in the mid 1930s, it sported a body built out of wood. The engine was a 32 bhp 1.1 litre 2 stroke V4.  The name comes from its patented floating front axle, which was intended to stabilise the car when cornering. It also featured a four speed gearbox and a freewheel, which reduced fuel consumption and also reduced the spluttering typical of a 2 stroke engine when coasting.

 photo Picture 014_zpslnj1kgvc.jpg  photo Picture 544_zpszcy22aly.jpg photo P1210181.jpg  photo Picture 013_zpsbol8awjt.jpg  photo Picture 543_zpsqkpvdkzx.jpg  photo Picture 542_zpsiozjld39.jpg photo P1210182.jpg  photo P1210180.jpg  photo Picture010.jpg

Wanderer brought the Porsche designed 1.7 to 2.0 litre 6 cylinder engine to the Auto Union fold. First appearing in 1932 in the W15, the engine and chassis were gradually improved. This is a 1936 model W40 in which they were fitted.

 photo Picture 001_zpsrm7ax6v1.jpg  photo Picture 002_zpshtehpjkt.jpg  photo Picture 533_zpsyh1hrilq.jpg  photo Picture 532_zps1nnmdper.jpg  photo P1210151.jpg photo Picture002.jpg

The 1937 DKW F5 was sometimes called the “Little Horch”, as it was designed and built at the Horch plant.

 photo Picture 012_zpseiy8r2zh.jpg  photo Picture 011_zpso2jxeasy.jpg  photo Picture 541_zpsrean82gg.jpg  photo Picture 540_zpsyx03zcdk.jpg  photo P1210183.jpg photo Picture011.jpg

This 1938 Wanderer W25K Roadster was a fast car by the standards of the day. Fitted with a 2 litre 6 cylinder supercharged engine, designed by one Ferdinand Porsche, it developed 85 bhp, more than twice the output of the W50 model, which also dated from the same time.

 photo Picture 005_zpsuxlbccfl.jpg  photo Picture 004_zpsnlv4kguq.jpg  photo Picture 060_zps1dar0v6j.jpg  photo Picture 537_zpsi8qmhgkv.jpg  photo Picture 536_zpsb43obhns.jpg photo P1210153.jpg  photo P1210154.jpg

This 1939 Audi 920 Limousine was introduced in 1938 to replace the Audi Front UW 225. Its engine was a shortened version of the eight-cylinder in-line engine used by sister company Horch. The car was planned to occupy a niche in the Auto Union range between the large Horch products and the middle market cars produced by Wanderer. Audi had no stand-alone production facilities at that time and the car was produced, like its predecessor, at the Horch plant. The 920 featured a front-mounted six-cylinder in-line engine with a displacement of 3,281 cc A maximum output of 75 PS at 3,000 rpm was claimed along with a maximum speed of 130 km/h (81 mph). A floor-mounted lever controlled the four-speed gearbox: this delivered power to the rear wheels, which represented a technological retreat from the innovative front-wheel drive configuration of the 920’s predecessor as the technology did not exist to allow the power developed to be reliably transmitted to the front wheels. The box-section chassis featured semi-independent suspension at the front and a swing-axle arrangement at the rear. Production of almost all passenger cars came to an end in Germany as European war intensified. By the time production of the last pre-war Audi came to an end in 1940, 1,281 of the cars had been produced. This particular model was owned by the same family from new until 1998.

 photo Picture 564_zps7hsnjrgq.jpg  photo Picture 565_zpsdgyd0bau.jpg  photo Picture 566_zpsuzmkic1b.jpg  photo Picture 003_zpsqiwwqnda.jpg  photo P1210152.jpg photo Picture003.jpg

Audi did not offer the most expensive cars in the Union, though. That honour went to Horch, who produced small quantities of superlatively excellent cars, sold at high prices. Three examples were on show in the museum.  The yellow car is a 1932 670 Sport Cabrio, which featured a 6 litre V12 engine. Only 58 such cabrios were made, along with 20 Pullman saloons.

 photo Picture 007_zpsv1c2yeht.jpg  photo Picture 569_zpspowvhe0h.jpg  photo P1210189.jpg  photo Picture007.jpg  photo Picture004.jpg

Later in the decade, the range had been simplified, with 830 based models sporting an 8 cylinder 3.0 engine and 850 cars with a 5 litre V8. The green car is a 1937 853 Sport Cabriolet, one of the collection’s jewels. With a 100hp straight-eight engine, the 853 Sport-Cabriolet was among the most prestigious cars sold new in Germany in the late 1930s. This example is particularly well-equipped; it even features metallic paint. At the time, Horch achieved the effect by grinding fish scales and mixing them into the paint. No one remembers the type of fish the scales came from.

 photo Picture 570_zpsogz1wcqr.jpg  photo P1210190.jpg  photo P1210188.jpg  photo Picture006.jpg

The black Horch is a 1939 855 Special Roadster, one of just seven made between 1938 and 1939. Its body was handbuilt by the Dresden coachbuilder Glaser, and its 120 hp 5.0-litre straight eight engine is good for an 87 mph top speed, though it did also only manage 11 mpg. It cost 22,000 Reichmarks when new, which was a lot of money.

 photo Picture 571_zpsnsiciypl.jpg  photo Picture 572_zpsv7afsrzi.jpg  photo Picture 006_zpskiwg4daw.jpg  photo Picture005.jpg  photo P1210191.jpg

This 1941 Horch 901 Typ 40 was based on a mid-sized all terrain passenger car that first appeared at the 1936 Berlin show. Modified for use it became a staple of the armed forces, and between 1940 and 1942, 15.169 examples were produced.

 photo P1210155.jpg  photo Picture 052_zpsdsff5q7f.jpg  photo Picture 567_zpsjmwjye3q.jpg

DKW was one of four companies that had come together in 1932 to form the Auto Union based in Zwickau. Except the former DKW factory at Berlin-Spandau, the Auto Union’s manufacturing plants had been located in Saxony at Zwickau, Chemnitz and Zschopau when war had put an end to passenger vehicle production in 1942. After the war the company was no longer able to access its production facilities in the Soviet occupation zone. However, the company was effectively refounded in West Germany in 1949, following the loss to the Soviets of its Zwickau assets and the first post war models were built in a refurbished plant of Rheinmetall-Borsig in Düsseldorf. and all bar one of them took the DKW name. That one exception was this, the one-of-a-kind 830 BL and the last Horch-badged car made. It was built in 1953 for Richard Bruhn, the head of the Auto-Union brand. It’s an imposing limousine with 92hp V8 engine and a glass partition between the front and rear seats. In 1956, Auto-Union sold the 830 BL to an American soldier who shipped it to the US and, to the bewilderment of his fellow motorists, drove it daily. He nearly sent it to the junkyard when the gearbox broke but collector Al Wilson saved it and parked it on his property in the arid Texas desert. Wilson certainly didn’t brag about owning the 830 and historians lost track of it. Many feared that no one would ever see it again. The 830’s future took an unexpected turn when Wilson’s kids contacted Audi’s archives department to inquire about the big, black limousine enigmatically parked in their dad’s yard. The company bought the 830 BL and shipped it to Germany after sending a team of experts to Texas to verify its authenticity. There are no plans to restore it.

 photo Picture 195_zpsl3deb6ke.jpg  photo Picture 196_zpska1fisoj.jpg  photo Picture 197_zpsdqntkfwx.jpg  photo Picture 485_zpsrlxqwv0w.jpg  photo P1210193.jpg photo P1210194.jpg

The first passenger car that emerged was the DKW Meisterklasse (English: “Master Class”) also known as the DKW F89 in 1950. This was a compact front-wheel drive saloon. The F89 shared its underpinnings with the DKW F8 / ‘Meisterklasse’ which had been available between 1939 and 1942, but the F89 has a steel body based on that of the DKW F9, a prototype which would have directly replaced the F8 on the Zwickau production lines had the war not intervened. Although many of the machine tools at that plant were crated up and shipped to the Soviet Union in 1945, Zwickau’s new controllers also built their own version of the DKW F9 prototype, and indeed the eastern version was put into production as the IFA F9, probably shortly before the Düsseldorf built F89. The form of the saloon’s body closely followed that of the prewar DKW F9. However, extensive ‘streamlining’ had been applied to the earlier design, and impressive claims were made for the F89’s lowered wind resistance. In 1951 a two-seater hardtop coupe version, built by coach builders Hebmüller of Wuppertal became available, and the range was completed in October 1951 with the addition of a three-door estate version, employing a body conversion that made extensive use of timber, which was replaced in March 1953 by an all-steel body. The F89 estate, like its steel bodied, successors, was branded as the ‘Universal’. The estate conversion, offered from late 1951, made extensive use of timber. The F89 featured a two-cylinder two-stroke engine of 684 cc with a stated output, at launch, of 23 bhp. A maximum speed of 100 km/h (62 mph) was claimed for the saloon (95 km/h / 59 mph for the ‘Universal’ estate). The engine was water-cooled, but there was no water pump. Cooling was by a convection-based thermosiphon system. The front wheels were connected to the engine by means of a three-speed manual gear box controlled via a dash-board mounted Krückstockschaltung lever similar to that familiar to later generations from its application in the Citroën 2CV and Renault 4. Towards the end of the production run a four-speed manual box was offered on the Meisterklasse. 59,000 of these cars were made.

 photo Picture 088_zps6xnwvhbn.jpg  photo Picture 087_zpsanrqj0zp.jpg  photo P1210198.jpg  photo P1210199.jpg  photo Picture 575_zpsu95vxurv.jpg  photo Picture 428_zpsnk92kalt.jpg  photo Picture028.jpg  photo Picture029.jpg  photo Picture129.jpg  photo Picture130.jpg  photo Picture027.jpg  photo Picture 430_zpstvoefgja.jpg  photo P1210200.jpg  photo P1210201.jpg  photo Picture 086_zpskzb2fzw6.jpg  photo Picture 085_zpsdfp2tjsx.jpg

In fact the first post-war product was this, the DKW F89L Schnellaster. First seen in 1949, the Schnellaster is of a one box or monospace configuration featuring front wheels set forward in the passenger cabin, a short sloping aerodynamic hood, front wheel drive, transverse engine (early, two cylinder models only), flat load floor throughout with flexible seating and cargo accommodations. These same features make the Schnellaster a precursor of the modern minivan, a body configuration subsequently popularised in notable examples such as the Renault Espace, or the Chrysler Voyager/Dodge Caravan and, mechanically, of the BMC Mini plus most modern cars. The van included a trailing arm rear suspension system incorporating springs in the cross bar assembly. The modern layout featured a prewar two-cylinder 700 cc two-stroke engine of the DKW F8 rated at 20 hp (22 hp after 1952). In 1955 the van received the DKW F9’s three cylinder unit with 900 cc, producing 32 hp. The van’s layout enabled a flat loading floor only 40 cm (16 in) off the ground. It was also fitted with a large single rear door fitted to hinges on the right-hand side. It met the needs of the recovering German trader and 11.500 had been sold within a year. Production continued until 1962 and the vehicle was built under licence in Spain and Latin America. This particular example was in service until 1977.

 photo Picture 089_zpsupsac4kd.jpg  photo P1210196.jpg  photo P1210185.jpg  photo P1210195.jpg  photo P1210197.jpg  photo Picture 221_zpsnk3mml18.jpg  photo Picture030.jpg  photo Picture 574_zps3c0hqa0x.jpg  photo Picture131.jpg

The DKW 3=6 was a compact front-wheel drive saloon launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show in March 1953 and sold until 1959. It was also named as the DKW Sonderklasse and, following the factory project number, as the DKW F91. From 1958, by which year the car’s successor was already being sold and the earlier version had therefore become, in essence, a ‘run-out’ model, it was badged more simply as the DKW 900. The DKW 3=6 in due course replaced the DKW F89 / Meisterklasse, although the Meisterklasse remained in production until April 1954. In its turn, the 3=6 was succeeded by the more powerful Auto Union 1000, offered already from 1957. The name ‘Sonderklasse’ differentiated the car from the previous model which had been known as the ‘Meisterklasse’. Both names had also been used for commercially successful DKWs in the 1930s. Sonderklasse is a German verbal concatenation that does not translate comfortably into English: it is based on the word ‘Sonder’ of which one translation is ‘special’, linked to the word ‘Klasse’ which translates as ‘class’, or category’. The name ‘3=6’ started out as an advertising slogan, but by the time of the 1955 face lift, the name was to the fore, and the car was advertised as the ‘Large 3=6’ (Großer 3=6) differentiating it from the earlier version which already carried the script ‘3=6’ ahead of the door on its left side. The point of the advertising slogan was to highlight an equivalence between the car’s two stroke three cylinder engine and a four stroke six cylinder engine. The underlying logic was that with the two-stroke cycle there is engine power produced by a combustion within each cylinder for every rotation of the crankshaft: with the four-stroke cycle there is power produced by a combustion within each cylinder only for each alternate rotation of the crankshaft. Thus it was asserted that the two-stroke engine was working twice as hard per rotation of the engine. In terms of torque the two-stroke system does indeed appear to have conferred substantial benefits when compared to a four-stroke engine of similar size, but in terms of bhp much of the theoretical energy gain in terms of power output seems to have been dissipated as additional heat which in turn required a larger energy consuming cooling fan, all of which made the arrangement rather noisy when placed just ahead of the driver and front-seat passenger. The name F91 was the factory project number of the car. ‘F’ stood for ‘Frontantrieb’ (Frontwheel drive). The F91 was an evolution from the DKW F9 which had been a prototype presented in 1938, planned for production at Auto Union’s Zwickau plant from 1940. By 1950 the F9 itself had been made production ready and was being produced as the IFA F9 in Zwickau, so that name was in practice not available to ‘old’ Auto Union’s western successor. The DKW F91 was replaced by the F93 followed by the F94, their names also taken from factory project numbers. Because the other names have proved increasingly unfathomable, the names F91, F93 and F94 are the ones commonly used retrospectively. It was perhaps in recognition that any perceived marketing advantages available from the unconventional namings had been exhausted, that from 1958 the car was sold simply as the DKW 900, the name being now conventionally based on the car’s approximate engine displacement. The successor model, already in production in 1957, also benefitted from this less challenging nomenclature. The F91 was presented as a two-door saloon with front opening doors which presumably facilitated access. A ‘pillarless’ coupe version, first seen in 1953, was produced from 1954, as well as a cabriolet, bodied by Osnabrück coach builders Karmann. In addition there was a three-door estate version, called the ‘Universal’, which continued to be offered unchanged until June 1957, by which time saloon buyers had been offered the F93, an upgraded version, for two years. Modifications came progressively. The coupe version had been launched with a ‘panoramic’ three piece wrap around back window, and in the back end of 1954 a similar wrap-around back window appeared on the two-door saloon. Advertising highlighted such features as a fuel gauge and an interior light that could be set to come on automatically when the door was opened. 1955 saw the launch of the F93 version, also known as the Grosse 3=6. This shared the 92.5 inch wheel-base of the F91, but was slightly longer, wider and taller. The track was also increased by 3.9 inches. In place of horizontal metal slats, the new model featured an oval shaped front grill containing five horizontal metal coloured slats. The oval grill was modified again in 1957 when the slats were replaced by a chrome coloured grid design. Inside there were improvements to the instrumentation and the heating. In 1957, with the introduction of the F94 version of the car, a four-door version finally became available. The four-door saloon’s wheel-base was extended by 3.9 inches over that of the two door: advertising continued to emphasise the DKW’s class leading interior spaciousness. 1957 was also the year when the F91 ‘Universal’ estate version was upgraded to an F94: it now incorporated many of features introduced two years earlier on the saloons. The cars were continually updated in the 1950s, and by 1953 the name 3=6 Sonderklasse had been adopted. Three cylinder two strokes were somewhat ambitiously touted as being as smooth as a 6 cylinder motor. Seen here was a 1955 3=6 Sonderklasse Limousine.

 photo Picture 079_zpskniheouk.jpg  photo P1210209.jpg  photo Picture 078_zpsd1pdvhki.jpg  photo Picture 077_zpskqq772gm.jpg  photo Picture 427_zps7ie61ddt.jpg  photo Picture 426_zpsconbbc17.jpg  photo Picture 425_zps5ps2vwxw.jpg  photo Picture 424_zps7tnjfktt.jpg  photo P1210208.jpg  photo P1210207.jpg photo Picture026.jpg  photo Picture025.jpg

By the mid 1950s, Auto Union was struggling, as they were still producing relatively small volumes of cars, whereas main rivals Volkswagen and Opel had ramped up their production volumes significantly. In 1958, the motorcycle business, which once had been strong, but which had come under massive pressure from the increase in popularity of microcars, was sold off. There were plenty of examples of the motor cycles in the museum.

 photo Picture 422_zpsx58tbghw.jpg photo P1210168.jpg  photo Picture 054_zpsmjzx604y.jpg  photo Picture 053_zpsg7d2mhgb.jpg  photo Picture 535_zpsdgtlgqqg.jpg  photo Picture 534_zpshrjizc0q.jpg  photo Picture 423_zps0eg52eb0.jpg  photo Picture 429_zpsgedpjq8x.jpg  photo Picture 531_zps6k4mjrk9.jpg  photo P1210166.jpg photo P1210167.jpg  photo P1210176.jpg

In 1957, it was decided to use the name of the parent company and so cars appeared badged Auto Union with the first model to do so being the Auto Union 1000 of 1958. It was the first (and in many markets the last) model branded as an Auto Union by the manufacturer since the 1930s; it replaced the paradoxically named DKW 3=6, although the latter continued in production, reassuringly now branded as the DKW 900, for another year. The two cars were broadly similar, but the new car had its two-stroke engine enlarged to 981 cc yielding a 10% – 37% (according to model) power increase. Apart from the enlarged engine, which now provided in the base model 44 bhp, the 1000 featured the old four-ring Auto Union badge across the air grill along with the Auto Union name above it, in place of the DKW badge that had adorned the nose of the earlier model. In addition to the two- and four-door saloons, a “pillarless” coupé shared the profile of the saloons apart from the absence of any fixed B pillar. A three-door estate version was also offered, branded as the Universal, between 1959 and 1962. For the new decade, the saloon was renamed Auto Union 1000S and received, in August 1959, an eye-catching wrap-around windscreen. Neither the windscreen nor the name changes entirely concealed the fact that at a time when competitor designs employed the modern ponton, three-box form, this Auto Union’s body along with most of its technical features descended directly from that of the Zwickau-developed DKW F9 prototype of 1938. Fortunately in 1938, the front-wheel drive DKW design had been an innovative one. The Auto Union’s 981-cc two-stroke three-cylinder engine was available in various states of tune. After 1960, advertised power in the saloon versions was increased to 50 bhp. Power was delivered via a four-speed manual gearbox, controlled using a column-mounted lever. The electrical system was a six-volt one, which by this time was beginning to look old fashioned. In 1961, the so-called Clean Oil Regulator “Frischölautomatik” was introduced, a system incorporating a separate oil tank and pump to dispense the oil, which in a two-stroke engine, is mixed with the fuel ahead of combustion. The stated purpose was to reduce the characteristic blue smoke emission for which the car was known. This was to be achieved by ensuring that oil was introduced in exactly the correct 1:40 proportion to the fuel, and the device was advertised as a way to improve engine longevity. The timing of this innovation proved unfortunate as the winter of 1962-63 was an exceptionally cold one in Europe. The Auto Union 1000 model experienced an unexpected increase in crankshaft damage because the oil, its viscosity affected by the cold weather, was unable to flow freely through the narrow feeder pipe in the carburettor. The Düsseldorf plant produced 171,008 Auto Union 1000s during the six-year model run.

 photo Picture 097_zpsdwtm7jko.jpg  photo Picture 432_zpsrh8dkul4.jpg  photo P1210204.jpg  photo P1210206.jpg  photo Picture 433_zps75zoaskv.jpg  photo Picture 431_zpssd3623om.jpg  photo Picture 434_zpswsqlkudy.jpg  photo Picture 098_zpsf7i7v92u.jpg  photo Picture 099_zps3u1cihz3.jpg  photo Picture 100_zpsbjgpujyq.jpg  photo Picture 101_zpsyrzhhyt4.jpg photo P1210202.jpg  photo P1210203.jpg  photo P1210205.jpg  photo Picture057.jpg

Auto-Union presented the 1000 SP coupe at the 1957 Frankfurt auto show and turned the model into a convertible in 1961. Both body styles wore a shockingly Ford Thunderbird-like design. This was a relatively common and accepted practice at the time; many other companies (including Volvo and DAF) sold models that liberally borrowed styling cues from the cars meandering across America. German coachbuilder Baur manufactured 1000 SP bodies in Stuttgart and shipped them to Ingolstadt, where final assembly took place. Both variants backed up their sporty pretensions with a 980cc three-cylinder, two-stroke engine rated at 55hp. In 1959, 50 models were produced with a 1,280cc two-stroke V6 engine. This 1965 1000 SP Roadster is one of just 1440 roadsters and 5000 coupes that were built over a 6 year period starting in 1958. and this would be last open-topped model until the Audi 80 Cabriolet of 1994.

 photo P1210264.jpg  photo Picture055.jpg  photo P1210261.jpg  photo P1210259.jpg  photo Picture 109_zpsj7fpegrw.jpg  photo Picture 107_zpskz63utzm.jpg  photo Picture 104_zpsl4wbvp1o.jpg  photo Picture 441_zps6ugmgmij.jpg  photo Picture 443_zpsqyjzewvy.jpg  photo Picture 440_zpsmk7nogf7.jpg  photo Picture 442_zpsd4aupo2b.jpg  photo Picture 439_zpskdrvvyhs.jpg  photo P1210267.jpg  photo Picture052.jpg

Mercedes-Benz bought an interest in the Auto Union in 1958, seeing their small and cheap cars as an ideal complement to their more costly products. This did provide the necessary funds to help to launch a brand new design which appeared in production form in 1959, the DKW Junior. The car received a positive reaction when first exhibited, initially badged as the DKW 600, at the Frankfurt Motor Show in March 1957. It took more than 2 years to get it into volume production and it was then given the ‘Junior’ name though this was only used until January 1963, after which the car was known as the DKW F12. In addition to the saloon, a pretty ‘F12 Roadster’ (cabriolet version) was produced in limited numbers. The car was known for its two-stroke engine. A number of European auto-makers produced two-stroke powered cars in the 1950s, but by the time the DKW Junior came along, the market was beginning to resist two-stroke powered cars as the industry increasingly standardised on four-stroke four-cylinder units which accordingly were becoming cheaper to produce. Two-stroke-engined cars were perceived by some as rough and noisy by comparison. In terms of its size and pricing, the DKW Junior slotted into the range just below the Auto Union 1000, which itself underwent an upgrade and a name change (from DKW to Auto Union) in 1957. The Junior was therefore from its introduction until August 1963 the only DKW branded car. The Auto Union 1000 had a form that closely followed that of a prototype first presented in 1938. In contrast, the smaller Junior had an uncompromisingly modern ponton, three-box design, filled out to the corners and featuring tail fins which were just beginning to appear on one or two of Europe’s more fashionable designs at this time. Despite its modern shape, the body sat on a separate chassis. The DKW Junior prototype exhibited in 1957 featured a two-cylinder 660 cc two-stroke engine reminiscent of the two-stroke engine last seen in the DKW F89 Meisterklasse phased out in 1953. A new plant was constructed at the company’s Ingolstadt location for production of the car (DKWs having been assembled since the war till now at Düsseldorf), and by the time the Junior went into production, the prototype’s engine had been replaced by a three-cylinder two-stroke unit of 741 cc for which an output of 34 bhp was claimed. The four speed manual transmission was controlled via a cable linkage using a column mounted gear lever. In 1961 the DKW Junior retailed for 4790 Marks. It offered more luggage space and a wider cabin than the market leading Volkswagen Beetle, and customers willing to pay an extra 160 Marks for the optional heater had the advantage in winter of a car that warmed up much more rapidly than the Volkswagen with its air-cooled power unit. It is not clear whether the DKW Junior de Luxe, introduced in 1961, was intended to replace or to complement the original Junior which, in any case, was withdrawn in 1962. The Junior de Luxe had its cylinders bored out: total displacement was now 796 cc. Claimed power output was unchanged but the torque was marginally increased and the wheel size grew from 12 to 13 inches. Claimed maximum speed increased from 114 km/h (71 mph) to 116 km/h (72 mph). In January 1963 the Junior De Luxe was replaced by the DKW F12. Outwardly there was little change, but the C pillar became more angular and the engine was enlarged to 889 cc which was reflected by a claimed increase in output to 40 bhp. Apart from the engines, the big news from the F12 involved the brakes: the F12 was the first car in this class to be equipped with front disc brakes. In August the Junior’s 796 cc engine reappeared in the DKW F11 which was in effect a reduced specification F12. The DKW F12 roadster which appeared in 1964 extracted 45 bhp (33 kW) from its 889 cc three-cylinder engine, and this more powerful unit became available in the F12 saloon for a few months from February 1965. Early in the summer of 1965 Volkswagen acquired the Auto Union business from Daimler Benz: production of the two-stroke DKWs was almost immediately terminated. In the market place the DKWs had been facing an increasing struggle to compete with similarly sized more powerful four-stroke-engined offerings from Volkswagen and, more recently, Opel. By the end of 1965 the plant formerly controlled by Auto Union was building Audi badged cars, with four-cylinder four-stroke engines designed, before the change of ownership, in collaboration with Mercedes Benz.

 photo Picture 103_zps2xssk29v.jpg  photo Picture 102_zpsq60o1up4.jpg  photo Picture 106_zpsvchyiflj.jpg  photo Picture 105_zpsjx0wbxtk.jpg  photo Picture 437_zpsowmerqcw.jpg photo Picture 436_zpsb9ukirol.jpg  photo Picture 435_zps2u62nypm.jpg  photo Picture 438_zpsm97arltr.jpg  photo P1210266.jpg  photo P1210262.jpg photo P1210263.jpg  photo Picture054.jpg  photo Picture053.jpg

The last European built Auto Union 1000 and 1000S models were produced in July 1963 and the DKW F102 was presented as a replacement model in September 1963, although volume production of 2-door F102s began only in March 1964 with four door cars joining them on the production line in January 1965. It was the last model developed before the Volkswagen take-over. Under Volkswagen control, the F102 provided the basis for the later Audi F103 models (the “Audi” and later “Audi 72”, plus 60, 75, 80, and Super 90). The F102 featured state-of-the-art two-stroke technology for its time and a unibody of modern design. Nevertheless, the market of the 1960s shunned two-stroke engines as old-fashioned. The F102 in consequence sold below the company’s expectations and was the source of huge financial losses. Due to this situation Volkswagen was forced to implement a radical change in 1965. The production of two-stroke-engines was ended, with the last F102s produced in March 1966, by when 52,753 or 53,053 had been produced.

 photo P1210258.jpg  photo P1210268.jpg  photo Picture 217_zpsuncagmi4.jpg  photo Picture 110_zpslylys4ec.jpg  photo Picture 115_zps7lpspjsz.jpg  photo P1210255.jpg  photo P1210260.jpg  photo Picture 445_zpsd4zlge3v.jpg  photo Picture 446_zpska8wgl1q.jpg  photo Picture 444_zpsdc11omk6.jpg  photo Picture 447_zpsp8tlub10.jpg

The F102 was redesigned to accommodate a four-cylinder-four-stroke-engine. At this point the name of DKW was abandoned, and the F102 mutated into the Audi F103, the first new Audi model since 1938. To signify the change from a two-stroke to four-stroke engine, the DKW marque was dropped in favour of Audi, a name that had been dormant since before the Second World War. The first model was launched simply as the Audi, later being renamed the Audi 72 (72 being the nominal power output of the engine in Pferdestärke), also known as hp/m. The more powerful Audi 80 and Audi Super 90 sports saloons appeared in 1966: in 1968 the arrival of the less powerful Audi 60 completed the range. The Audi 75 replaced both the Audi 72 and the Audi 80 from 1969 onwards. The form of the Audi F103’s body closely followed that of the earlier DKW F102, though the Audi’s engine was a break with the two-stroke DKW tradition. The F103 bodyshell was a development of the earlier DKW F102. The engine compartment had to be extended so that the new four-cylinder engine could be accommodated. The front and tail were also cosmetically revised: Audi F103s sold in Europe all featured quasi-rectangular headlamps which were becoming fashionable at the time, whereas the F102 had used round headlamp units. All Audi F103 models were offered as sedans with two and four doors. The two-door saloon/sedan, however, was not sold in markets such as Italy and Britain with little demand for two-door cars of this size. With the exception of the Audi Super 90, the F103 series were available also as three-door station wagon models. Making its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1966, this was called, like the Volkswagen estate/station wagon models, Variant. Visually the car changed very little, but keen eyed observers would have noticed a discreetly modernised rear from August 1970, with slightly larger rear lights and a reshaped bumper. The fuel filler moved from its location to the right of the license plate on the rear panel to a position on the right hand wing of the car, and following a general trend of the period was now shielded by a flap that was flush with the bodywork. Inside the 1970 upgrade also involved a reconfigured dashboard. During the early 1960s, Auto Union was in commercial retreat: the Audi F103 was a relative success when compared with recent Auto Union products, even if its commercial success was trumped by subsequent Audi models. In July 1967, it was reported that 100,000 Audis had been completed: production of the F103 had by now built up to a rate of almost 40,000 per year and the company was moved to deny speculation that another new Audi model would be presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show in the Autumn. of 1967. That car turned out to be the Audi 100, introduced only towards the end of 1968. Replacement for the F103 cars came with the Audi 80 of 1972.

 photo Picture 113_zpstpdcmcno.jpg  photo Picture 111_zps1onsajyc.jpg  photo Picture 112_zpsddm5ayvi.jpg  photo Picture 114_zpsrs9av7zx.jpg  photo Picture 452_zps1ip39h7z.jpg photo Picture 450_zpsjet3fv1t.jpg  photo Picture 451_zpszrpqykyt.jpg  photo Picture 449_zpsdxngt6fz.jpg  photo Picture 448_zpsqqun21jt.jpg  photo P1210256.jpg photo P1210257.jpg

The real breakthrough came with the 1968 launch of the 100. Front wheel drive and light weight meant that even with an engine smaller than class average, this car performed well. It sold strongly, with 827.424 cars made in its 8 year production life.

 photo Picture 133_zpsos3dbd04.jpg  photo P1210243.jpg  photo Picture 132_zpsvns61bet.jpg  photo Picture 130_zpszeu9s1y8.jpg  photo Picture 131_zpsutgacdzn.jpg  photo Picture 128_zpshym1euav.jpg  photo Picture 129_zpsbemiunrl.jpg  photo Picture 459_zpsfdqkdczj.jpg  photo Picture 462_zpsyqcty2tx.jpg  photo Picture 458_zpsgj4rg2g7.jpg  photo Picture 461_zpsrhicyk6t.jpg  photo Picture 457_zpsuy8z8uxd.jpg  photo Picture 460_zpspjlp2p3o.jpg  photo P1210244.jpg  photo P1210242.jpg

In 1967, rival NSU had launched a car targetted at the same sort of the market, the rotary powered Ro80. This featured a 113 bhp, 995 cc twin-rotor Wankel engine driving the front wheels through a semi-automatic transmission with an innovative vacuum operated clutch system. Other technological features of the Ro 80, aside from the powertrain, were the four wheel ATE Dunlop disc brakes, which for some time were generally only featured on expensive sports or luxury saloon cars. The front brakes were mounted inboard, reducing the unsprung weight. The suspension was independent on all four wheels, with MacPherson struts at the front and semi-trailing arm suspension at the rear, both of which are space-saving designs commonly used today. Power assisted ZF rack and pinion steering was used, again foreshadowing more recent designs. The car featured an automatic clutch which was commonly described as a three-speed semi-automatic gearbox: there was no clutch pedal, but instead, touching the gear lever knob operated an internal electric switch that operated a vacuum system which disengaged the clutch. The gear lever itself then could be moved through a standard ‘H pattern’ gate. The styling, by Claus Luthe who was head of design at NSU and later BMW, was considered very modern at the time; the Ro 80 has been part of many gallery exhibits of modern industrial design. The large glass area foreshadowed 1970s designs such as Citroën’s. The shape was also slippery, with a drag coefficient of 0.355 (very good for the era). This allowed for a top speed of 112 mph. The company’s limited resources focused on improving the reliability of the rotary engine, with much attention given to the material used for the three rotor tips (apex seals) for the oval-like epitrochoid-shaped rotor housing that sealed the combustion chambers. A feature of the engine was its willingness to rev quickly and quietly to damagingly high engine speeds, but it was precisely at these high speeds that damage to key engine components occurred: all Ro 80s came with a rev counter, but cars produced after 1971 also came with an “acoustical signal” that warned the driver when the engine was rotating too fast. The Ro 80 remained largely unchanged over its ten year production. From September 1969 the rectangular headlights were replaced with twin halogen units, and air extractor vents appeared on the C-pillar behind the doors. In August 1970 a slightly reshaped plastic grill replaced the metal grill of the early cars, and a minimal facelift in May 1975 saw the final cars getting enlarged rear lights and rubber inserts in the bumpers which increased the car’s overall length by 15 mm to 4795 mm. Series production began in October 1967 and the last examples came off the production line in April 1977. During 1968, the first full year of production, 5,986 cars were produced, increasing to 7,811 in 1969 and falling slightly to 7,200 in 1970. After this output declined, to about 3,000 – 4,000 per year for the next three years. The relative thirst of the rotary engine told against the car after the savage fuel price rises accompanying the oil crisis of 1973, and between 1974 and 1976 annual production came in well below 2,000 units. In total 37,398 Ro80s were produced during the ten-year production run. Ultimately, it was the contrasting success of the similarly sized Audi 100 that sealed both the fate of the Ro80, and the NSU brand as a whole within the Auto Union-NSU combine, as parent company Volkswagen began nurturing Audi as its performance-luxury brand in the late 1970s. After the discontinuation of the Ro80 in 1977, the Neckarsulm plant was switched over entirely to producing Audi’s C- and D- platform vehicles (the 100/200, and later the Audi A6 and A8), and the NSU brand disappeared from the public eye.

 photo Picture 137_zpsjyljqvrp.jpg  photo P1210253.jpg  photo Picture 138_zpsxt5tgakz.jpg  photo Picture 139_zpsy2op3amf.jpg  photo Picture 136_zpsqfxm3cnn.jpg  photo Picture 141_zpsl0ahfqwz.jpg  photo Picture 140_zpswjovygwe.jpg  photo Picture 455_zpsxojl4lfc.jpg  photo Picture 456_zps61mkidlu.jpg  photo Picture 454_zpso1hhe5ne.jpg  photo Picture 453_zps2k0vzb7e.jpg  photo P1210269.jpg  photo P1210270.jpg  photo P1210271.jpg  photo P1210272.jpg  photo Picture 108_zpspfqt9aab.jpg  photo P1210265.jpg  photo P1210254.jpg  photo P1210252.jpg  photo Picture047.jpg photo Picture046.jpg  photo Picture043.jpg

The first million selling model was the B1 model Audi 80, which was launched in 1972. This car shared its underpinnings with the VW Passat, and proved very popular for those who wanted a well finished medium sized car, even if in 1.3 litre LS guise, as this car is, it now appears ever so basic. It effectively took the place of several models that Audi had discontinued (the F103 series, which included the first model designated as an “Audi 80”), and provided the company with a viable rival to the Opel Ascona and the Ford Taunus (Ford Cortina in the UK), as well as more upmarket offerings including the Alfa Romeo Alfetta and Triumph Dolomite. The Audi 80 B1 was only the second modern-era Audi product to be developed entirely under Volkswagen ownership – Audi chief engineer Ludwig Kraus had famously been disparaging about the outgoing F103 series, referring to it as the “bastard”, owing to its Auto Union/DKW bodyshell and Mercedes-Benz engine. The B1 was a clean break from the Auto Union era, being equipped with a range of brand new 1.3- and 1.5-litre SOHC inline-four petrol engines – the first appearance of the now legendary EA827 series of engines, whose descendants are still used in VW Group vehicles to the present day. The internal combustion engines were available in various rated power outputs. The 1.3-litre engines were rated at 55 PS (54 bhp) and 60 PS (59 bhp). The 1.5-litre at 75 PS (74 bhp) and 85 PS (84 bhp). On the home market, two- and four- door saloons were available in base trim (55 or 60 PS, called simply Audi 80 and 80 S, respectively), as L models (LS with 75 PS engine) or as a more luxurious GL (85 PS only). In September 1973, Audi added the sporty 80 GT (two-door only) featuring a carburettor 1.6-litre engine rated at 100 PS (99 bhp). Audi’s design and development efforts paid off during the 1973 European Car of the Year competition where the 80 won ahead of the Renault 5 and the Alfa Romeo Alfetta. In certain markets a five-door “Avant”, effectively a rebadged Volkswagen Passat with Audi front panels, appeared in mid-1975. A facelift in autumn 1976 brought about a revised front end in the style of the newly introduced Audi 100 C2 with square instead of round headlights, 1.6- instead of 1.5-litre engines (still of 75/85 PS) and a new 80 GTE model with a fuel-injected version of the 1.6-litre (110 PS (108 bhp)) replacing the former 80 GT. The B1 was replaced by the B2 in the autumn of 1978.

 photo Picture 227_zpssigt8a9h.jpg  photo Picture 146_zpsn4egfvge.jpg  photo Picture 147_zpsd5vldwev.jpg  photo Picture 148_zpsllmyfcm3.jpg  photo Picture 151_zps5iwr33zx.jpg photo Picture 463_zpsfu0gdtqw.jpg  photo Picture 465_zpscbfskzgb.jpg  photo P1210241.jpg  photo P1210240.jpg  photo Picture037.jpg

Next up was a small car, the Audi 50. Known internally as the Typ 86, the Audi 50 is a supermini economy car produced from 1974 to 1978, and sold only in Europe. Introduced two or three years after the Italian Fiat 127 and the French Renault 5, the model was seen at the time as Germany’s first home grown entrant in Europe’s emerging “supermini” class. The Audi 50 was built by Audi NSU Auto Union AG at the former NSU factory in Neckarsulm, Germany and at the giant Wolfsburg plant by Volkswagen. The car was rebadged six weeks later by Volkswagen as the Volkswagen Polo with a wider range of engine and other options. The Volkswagen Polo was launched in the home market in September 1974 and appeared in export markets, including the United Kingdom, a few months later. The car was offered as a three door hatchback with a 1,093 cc petrol engine, producing either 50 bhp or 59 bhp for the LS and GL models, respectively. The model was popular in Europe, both because of its generous specifications for a car of the time, and on account of its relatively low price. The Volkswagen and Audi badged models were sold alongside each other for three years until 1978, but the cheaper Volkswagen Polo outsold the Audi 50 almost immediately, and Audi discontinued the Audi 50 in 1978, after a total production of 180,812 units.

 photo Picture 124_zpsq4iiovix.jpg  photo P1210239.jpg  photo Picture 125_zps6xoiggh6.jpg  photo Picture 150_zpsmtymlkur.jpg  photo Picture 149_zpsq2xpvjwh.jpg  photo Picture 470_zpsxchewbtf.jpg  photo Picture 469_zpsciyh8tbv.jpg  photo Picture 468_zpsszwdgyns.jpg  photo Picture 467_zpsxqswqxeu.jpg  photo Picture 530_zpsn6nklef4.jpg  photo P1210248.jpg  photo P1210249.jpg  photo Picture039.jpg  photo Picture120.jpg  photo Picture119.jpg  photo Picture121.jpg

The second generation 80 appeared in 1978 and was again a huge hit for Audi. This cutaway is of the GLE version.

 photo Picture 145_zpswmlzq8ys.jpg  photo Picture 144_zpsqvy6sv2i.jpg  photo Picture 143_zpsblha0f6p.jpg  photo Picture 142_zpsp1bpimvb.jpg  photo Picture 464_zpsprxy6k4v.jpg photo P1210251.jpg  photo P1210250.jpg  photo Picture036.jpg

Audi’s real tour de force came in 1980 when the Quattro was launched. The idea for a high-performance four-wheel-drive car was proposed by Audi’s chassis engineer, Jörg Bensinger, in 1977, when he found that the Volkswagen Iltis could outperform any other vehicle in snow, no matter how powerful. Bensinger’s idea was to start developing an Audi 80 variant in co-operation with Walter Treser, Director of Pre-Development.. Following an unveiling on 1st March 1980, Audi released the original Quattro to European customers in late 1980, with the car featuring Audi’s quattro permanent four-wheel drive system (hence its name), and the first to mate four-wheel drive with a turbocharged engine. The original engine was the 2,144 cc in-line-5-cylinder 10 valve SOHC, with a turbocharger and intercooler. It produced 197 bhp propelling the Quattro from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.1 seconds, and reaching a top speed of over 220 km/h (137 mph). The engine was eventually modified to a 2,226 cc inline-5 10 valve, still producing 197 bhp, but with peak torque lower in the rev-range. In 1989, it was then changed to a 2,226 cc inline-5 20v DOHC setup producing 217 bhp, now with a top speed of 230 km/h (143 mph) Audi Quattros are referred to among owners and enthusiasts by their engine codes, to differentiate between the earlier and later versions: the earliest 2144 cc 10v being the “WR” engine, the 2226 cc 10v being the “MB” engine, and the later 20v being the “RR” engine. Hence, Quattro models may be referred to as either the WR Quattro, MB Quattro, and RR or “20v” Quattro, respectively. Quattro car production was 11,452 vehicles over the period 1980–1991, and through this 11 year production span, despite some touch-ups, there were no major changes in the visual design of the vehicle. For the 1983 model year, the dash was switched from an analogue instrument cluster, to a green digital LCD electronic instrument cluster. This was later changed in 1988 to an orange LCD electronic instrument cluster. The interior was redesigned in 1984, and featured a whole new dash layout, new steering wheel design, and new centre console design, the switches around the instrument panel were also redesigned at this time. In 1985 the dash changed slightly with harder foam and lost a diagonal stripe, the dash switches were varied slightly and the diff lock pull knob gave way to a two-position turning knob with volt and oil temp digital readouts. External styling received very little modification during its production run. Originally, the car had a flat fronted grille featuring four separate headlamp lenses, one for each of the low and high beam units. This was altered for the 1983 model year, and replaced with combined units featuring a single lens, but housing twin reflectors. This was changed again, for the 1985 model year, in what has become known as the ‘facelift model’ and included such alterations as a new sloping front grille, headlights, and trim and badging changes. Max speed was 124 mph. The RR 20v Quattro also featured a new three spoke steering wheel design, leather covering for door arm rests, gloveboxes, centre console and door pockets. There was also a full length leather-wrapped centre console running all the way to the rear seats. The 20v was also the first Ur-Q to have “quattro” script interior with partial leather seats. The floor on the drivers side had a bulge due to dual catalytic exhaust setup. The different models may be distinguished by the emblems on their boot lids: the WR had a vinyl ‘quattro’ decal or a brushed aluminium effect plastic emblem, the MB had chrome plated ‘audi’, ‘audi rings’ and ‘quattro’ emblems, whilst the RR had only chrome plated ‘audi rings’. The rear suspension was altered early on with geometry changes and removal of the rear anti-roll bar to reduce a tendency for lift-off oversteer. For the 1984 facelift, the wheel size went from 6×15-inch with 205/60-15 tyres to 8×15-inch wheels with 215/50-15 tyres. At the same time the suspension was lowered 20 mm with slightly stiffer springs for improved handling. For 1987, the Torsen centre differential was used for the first time, replacing the manual centre differential lock. The last original Audi Quattro was produced on 17 May 1991, more than two years after the first models of the new Audi Coupe range (based on the 1986 Audi 80) had been produced. Initially, Audi had thought they might sell 400 of the road going car, which would suffice to allow them to homologate the rally car which was their real intent but all told, nearly 11,500 cars were actually sold, and then the quattro concept was applied to all other models in the Audi range. It was the defining moment for the brand, without question.

 photo P1210231.jpg  photo Picture 177_zpsj0cyozhx.jpg  photo Picture 192_zpshsncongp.jpg  photo Picture 191_zpsvtvu5sfh.jpg  photo Picture 065_zpsapwikwdv.jpg  photo Picture 066_zpspxvawplb.jpg  photo P1210230.jpg  photo Picture 472_zpsmv2tkdq5.jpg  photo Picture 478_zpsf4hr4bx2.jpg  photo Picture122.jpg photo P1210234.jpg  photo Picture042.jpg

The later Sport model, first seen in 1983, was produced solely to allow Audi to homologate a shorter wheelbase rally car. Although it looked similar to the original Quattro, there were plenty of differences beyond the shorter length. Its body was made with composite materials and it received a 306hp five-cylinder engine that made it the most powerful series-produced German car of its era – it packed more power than even the mighty Porsche 911 Turbo. German coachbuilder Baur made 214 examples of the Sport Quattro for Audi between 1983 and 1984 and this is the first one built.

 photo Picture 179_zpsdm8zdnaf.jpg  photo P1210229.jpg  photo P1210228.jpg  photo Picture 067_zpsmauep2iv.jpg  photo Picture 118_zpsk3okqdxh.jpg  photo Picture 117_zpscpjgupuk.jpg  photo Picture 120_zpsw5fwv69d.jpg  photo P1210227.jpg  photo Picture 193_zpslcgdmygr.jpg  photo Picture 475_zpsbiwrftx8.jpg  photo Picture 474_zpseqeelrpm.jpg photo Picture 476_zpsfzxekldh.jpg  photo Picture 473_zpsdpwnpm5x.jpg  photo Picture 477_zpshodpeesk.jpg  photo P1210233.jpg  photo P1210232.jpg photo Picture035.jpg  photo Picture033.jpg

Not that Quattro was the sole innovation of the 1980s as the third generation 100 model proved when it was launched in September 1982. The C3 version of the Audi 100 had an aerodynamic look, achieving a drag coefficient of 0.30 for its smoothest base model. The increased aerodynamic efficiency resulted in better fuel economy. The design was in contrast from the boxy shape of the C2. Audi innovated flush windows on the C3, a key area for aerodynamic drag that has been widely adopted by other manufacturers. The aerodynamic body gave the 100 higher top speed than other cars of similar engine size. A new technology introduced in the C3 included the procon-ten safety system. The two-door models were no longer available, and the Audi 100 Avant which was launched a few months later was now positioned as a station wagon rather than a hatchback – the Avant designation would now be used for all Audi station wagons from that point forward. The Avant was introduced with available extra folding third row seat — not available in conjunction with ABS-brakes as the brake control unit sat in the same space. In January 1988 the Audi 100 received a subtle facelift, most obvious being the change to flush fitting doorhandles. The 1991 200 20V featured flared (vs. flat) front and rounded rear wheel arches to accommodate wider wheel and tyre combinations to be fitted to 20V models. This generation Audi 100 also featured a 2.5 litre straight-five direct injection turbo-diesel (TDI) model with 120 PS introduced in January 1990 (engine code 1T). This was the first model to wear the TDI label. It had a brief career in the C3, being replaced in December of that year when the C4 arrived.

 photo P1210224.jpg  photo P1210225.jpg  photo P1210226.jpg  photo Picture 194_zps0ewpppex.jpg  photo Picture 576_zpsnmsgaz7y.jpg  photo Picture 479_zpssfbjoaen.jpg  photo Picture034.jpg

In 1982, Ferdinand Piëch signed an agreement with the Aluminum Company of America. The objective was to design and develop a car that would be substantially lighter than any other vehicles in its class (to compensate for the fact that standard all-wheel drive was around 100 kg (220 lb) heavier than competitors’ rear-wheel drive). In the late 1980s, it was decided that the target vehicle would be a successor to the V8 (Typ 4C) flagship introduced in 1988. By 1990, a final design by Chris Bird and Dirk van Braeckel was chosen and frozen for series production in mid-1991. The result was weighed in at 100 – 15kg less than the equivalent steel frame. Having shown the frame at the 1993 Frankfurt Show, Audi then showed a car clothing it, using a W12 4.8 litre engine, at the 1993 Tokyo Show, the Audi Space Frame (ASF) Concept, a D2 Typ 4D prototype in polished aluminium. Pilot production began in December 1993 and development ended in early 1994, at a total cost of $700 million (£418.1 million).

 photo P1210223.jpg  photo P1210222.jpg  photo Picture 116_zpschwiuugg.jpg  photo Picture032.jpg


In the early 1930s, motor racing was dominated by the French (Bugatti) and the Italians (Alfa and Maserati), something which did not go down in an increasingly paranoid Germany. Along with Mercedes-Benz, Auto Union resolved to try to achieve German supremacy, which they were largely able to achieve with a series of 4 incredible machines produced between 1933 and 1939. The Auto Union Grand Prix racing cars types A to D were developed and built by a specialist racing department of Auto Union’s Horch works in Zwickau, Germany, between 1933 and 1939. Of the 4 Auto Union racing cars, the Types A, B and C, used from 1934 to 1937 had supercharged V16 engines, and the final car, the Type D used in 1938 and 1939 (built to new 1938 regulations) had a supercharged 3L V12 that developed almost 550 horsepower. Wheelspin could be induced at over 100 mph (160 km/h), and the marked oversteer that persisted throughout the cars’ development thanks to the uneven weight distribution and the large amount of weight in the rear of the car made all the Auto Unions difficult to handle, although the smaller engined Type D was a bit easier to drive because of the smaller engine and the half as much space it took up in comparison to the 6L V16 in the previous Type C. Between 1935 and 1937 Auto Unions won 25 races, driven by Ernst von Delius, Tazio Nuvolari, Bernd Rosemeyer, Hans Stuck and Achille Varzi. Their main competition came from the Mercedes Benz team, with Auto Union proving particularly successful in the 1936 and 1937 seasons. Known as the Silver Arrows, the cars of the two German teams dominated Grand Prix racing until the outbreak of World War II in 1939.

Very rarely were racing cars of the period kept, as components of early cars if required were scavenged for later models and repairs. Secondly, what did remain was often scrapped to provide funds for additional development. During the latter part of World War II, an estimated eighteen Auto Union team cars were hidden in a colliery outside Zwickau, Saxony, where the Auto Union race shop was based. In 1945 the invading Russian Army discovered the cars, and they were retained as war possessions. As Zwickau post-war was located in Soviet controlled Communist East Germany, what little of the Auto Union racing cars existed were shipped back to the Soviet Union, distributed to scientific institutes and motor manufacturers including NAMI for research. Today, it is believed that most of the cars were probably reduced to scrap, and that no Type A or Type B cars exist today. Presently it is believed that only one Type C and three Type D cars, and a Type C/D hill climbing car remain.

The Typ D seen here is the last of the four, and was built in 1938. It is physically smaller than its predecessors and whilst they had 6 litre V16 engines, mounted in what was unusual for the day, in mid-engined configuration, rule changes limited this one to 3 litres and a V12 making it easier to drive, Between 1935 and 1937, the cars won 25 races. Tazio Nuvolari joined the team in 1938 and there was further success in the next two years before the program came to halt when war was declared.

 photo Picture 019_zpsk0copnn0.jpg  photo Picture 018_zpsulru9iwn.jpg  photo Picture 023_zpsdjmrm5gd.jpg  photo Picture 549_zpsnfbpdh1m.jpg  photo Picture 548_zpspostlbb0.jpg photo Picture 547_zpshxfyjrzh.jpg  photo Picture 554_zpso9w95yfx.jpg

This 1939 Typ C/D hillclimber is a combination of the 16 cylinder engine from the Typ C and the chassis of the Typ D.

 photo P1210171.jpg  photo P1210172.jpg  photo P1210170.jpg  photo Picture 022_zpslsgz62um.jpg  photo Picture 021_zpsjaufeaps.jpg  photo Picture 020_zps4ojhz0oh.jpg  photo Picture 551_zpsfoafdfin.jpg  photo Picture 553_zpszct1hynk.jpg  photo Picture 552_zpsu4q932qk.jpg  photo Picture 550_zpskgwjfxlb.jpg photo P1210173.jpg

Not content with winning Grand Prix races across Europe, Auto-Union commissioned a more aerodynamic variant of the 16 cylinder 560 bhp Type C fitted with a highly streamlined body to see how fast it could go. Intrepid German pilot Bernd Rosemeyer set a land speed record by reaching 268mph on the autobahn between Frankfurt and Darmstadt on 28 January 1938. He believed he could go faster in another run the same day, but he lost control of the car and died after getting ejected from the car. The Type C seen here is, consequently, a replica.

 photo P1210175.jpg  photo P1210174.jpg  photo Picture 025_zps1yundy7m.jpg  photo Picture 024_zpsov8bmgw4.jpg

This 80 took part in the 1980 European Touring Car Championship and won the title with Peter Seikerl driving it.

 photo Picture 410_zpskueiwi1w.jpg  photo Picture 068_zpsheorxzij.jpg  photo Picture 069_zpsrgzn2ua3.jpg  photo Picture 412_zpsboynjxmi.jpg b photo P1210220.jpg

A 1983 model Audi Quattro, as driven by Michele Mouton, a car in which she came second in the 1982 World Rally Championship.

 photo Picture 413_zpszhbju6a3.jpg  photo Picture 411_zpslnrggocv.jpg  photo Picture335.jpg  photo Picture021.jpg  photo Picture020.jpg photo P1210217.jpg  photo P1210218.jpg  photo P1210219.jpg  photo P1210221.jpg

The Quattro continued to evolve and although it was its success in the World Rally Championship for which it was best known, the car competed in other events as well. This is a later car based on the Sport Quattro body.

 photo Picture 071_zpsdtu7ozli.jpg  photo Picture 072_zpsqyvbsosu.jpg  photo Picture 070_zpsy2snf98k.jpg

A 1989 90 quattro IMSA-GT. Driven by Hans-Joachim Stueck, this car won 7 races, and would have won the title had the car competed in the 2 long distances races of the series.

 photo Picture 073_zpsw8weiprr.jpg  photo Picture 075_zpszgami2az.jpg  photo Picture 074_zpspi6milbc.jpg  photo Picture 415_zpsjqvcltb5.jpg  photo Picture 417_zpsbepi6ipz.jpg photo Picture 414_zps1eaue0hv.jpg  photo P1210214.jpg  photo Picture022.jpg  photo P1210216.jpg

This V8 DTM car competed in the 1990 German Touring Car championship, again driven by Stueck, and won the title in the car’s first season. Frank Biela then defended it successfully in 1991.

 photo Picture 084_zpsoskxtncx.jpg  photo Picture 083_zpskinfd5im.jpg  photo Picture 076_zpsuhybs2xo.jpg  photo P1210215.jpg  photo P1210212.jpg  photo P1210213.jpg  photo Picture 416_zpsbg032yfh.jpg  photo Picture 418_zpso6k437tn.jpg  photo Picture023.jpg

Audi first appeared at Le Mans in 1999, and boasts an impressive results sheet ever since. These cars are the R8R models from the 1999 and 2000 campaigns.

 photo Picture 081_zpszp6od42e.jpg  photo Picture 419_zpsogsm8wx8.jpg  photo P1210273.jpg  photo P1210211.jpg  photo Picture 080_zpsrdejltb6.jpg  photo Picture 082_zps9mgkegr7.jpg  photo Picture 420_zpsgorqv9kc.jpg  photo Picture 421_zpsvvtnnviy.jpg  photo P1210210.jpg


One of the most striking things in the Museum is a massive Paternoster, effectively like a huge rotisserie which beyond the height of three floors of the museum. There are 14 display platforms, and the whole construction rotates slowly, so you can get a close up look at each car as it comes level with whichever floor in the museum you happen to be be on. Every time I have visited, there has been a different collection of cars on the paternoster, on each occasion part of a declared theme. Most of these cars are ones which are not ordinarily on display in the museum, but part of the extensive collection of production, racing and concept cars that Audi houses elsewhere in the huge Ingolstadt site.

2011: Concept Cars

 photo P1210156.jpg  photo P1210247.jpg

Oldest of the concept cars was probably the one which would be least familiar, a 1955 DKW STM Prototyp “Kunstoff”. The unusual thing here is that the body was made from a form of reinforced plastic, as an experiment, which was abandoned over anxieties over cost and viability.

 photo P1210165.jpg

This Quattro Spyder dates from 1991. I really wish they’d built this one, as I think it looks fabulous. It was a rolling test-bed of ideas for a future mid-engined sports car, built specifically with production in mind. Which might explain why when it was first show at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1991, it had buyers reaching for their chequebooks. In terms of engineering, the Quattro Spyder was relatively straightforward. Power was by the Audi 100’s new 2.8-litre V6, and the transmission was a modified version of the quattro’s all-wheel drive layout, meaning it would be unique on the market at the time for being a mid-engined 4×4. As for the body and chassis, it was a tubular steel affair, clad in aluminium panels, predicting Audi’s subsequent obsession with the lightweight material. The suspension setup featured trapezoidal links, which would late underpin the hugely important A4 range – and in this application resulted in great grip and poise during testing. There were lift-out targa panels and the doors were conventionally hinged. In short, it was entirely production-feasable, introducing much of the aluminium technology that would become an Audi mainstay. When it was introduced – as a concept – to the public at the 1991 Frankfurt Motor Show, the Quattro Spyder received rave reviews from the press, with many journalists assuming that this was a preview for an upcoming production car. Buyers were smitten, too, with many attempting to place deposits at their local dealers, but economic conditions at the time militated against this.

 photo Picture072.jpg  photo P1210146.jpg  photo Picture073.jpg  photo Picture075.jpg

The RS2 is 1994 is well known, but that car used the Avant body from the Audi 80 on which it was based. Audi did think about offering a saloon version as well, and this is the single prototype that was constructed.

 photo P1210147.jpg  photo Picture314.jpg

Dating from 1997, the Al2 concept was first shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show that year. It was notable for being constructed from aluminium, which in combination with its efficient engines, made it an extremely economical car on fuel. The production A2 was announced a couple of years later and was very similar to this concept.

 photo Picture096.jpg  photo P1210245.jpg  photo Picture097.jpg

Also aluminium-based is this, the original ASF (Aluminium Space Frame) car. This is the car that was shown at the 1993 Tokyo Auto Show with the body in striking – but hardly practical in everyday use – polished aluminium.

 photo Picture081.jpg  photo Picture082.jpg  photo Picture083.jpg

The Rosemeyer was shown initially at Autostadt and at various auto shows throughout Europe during 2000. Although it was never intended for production, its striking design and highly sporting nature drew considerable attention to the brand, and many potential buyers highly anticipated a production version, to no avail. The vehicle was designed to evoke emotion and garner attention, and was unique in that it combined elements of modern design with styling strongly resembling the former Auto Unions “Silver Arrows” Grand Prix racers, namely their 16-cylinder car driven by Bernd Rosemeyer, after which the car is named. The Rosemeyer concept is also highly reminiscent of the “Type 52” design study penned by Dr. Ferdinand Porsche and Dr. Erwin Komenda in the 1930s as a possible road going version of the Silver Arrows, which never saw production. Powered by a large displacement, mid-mounted W16 engine, which develops 700 bhp and featuring Audi’s quattro permanent four-wheel drive system, the vehicle promised high performance to match its appearance. It was ultimately deemed unfit for production, both because of extremely high projected production costs, and Audi’s unwillingness to create in-house competition with Lamborghini, which Audi had purchased during the 1990s. In some ways, Audi’s Gallardo-based R8 could be considered the Rosemeyer’s successor, as it was derived from Audi’s next supercar concept, the Le Mans quattro.

 photo Picture101.jpg  photo Picture102.jpg  photo Picture103.jpg  photo P1210246.jpg

The Steppenwolf was a concept car presented at the Paris Motor Show in 2000, a study for a three-door compact crossover SUV based on the Volkswagen Group PQ34 platform used in the contemporary Audi A3 and Audi TT. Powered by a 3.2L V6 engine with four-wheel drive, the Steppenwolf had several novel features, including four-level adjustable air suspension (similar to the Audi allroad quattro), a removable carbon fibre hardtop or optional soft top, and an electro-hydraulic parking brake. The Steppenwolf didn’t result directly in a production model. However, six years later, Audi presented the Audi Cross Coupé quattro, another concept car in the same class, which was the basis of a production version called the Audi Q3 for 2011.

 photo Picture100.jpg  photo Picture099.jpg  photo Picture098.jpg  photo P1210238.jpg  photo P1210237.jpg

The Audi Pikes Peak quattro was a sport utility vehicle concept car first introduced at the 2003 North American International Auto Show. It was the first of three concept cars designed by Audi and shown in 2003, ahead of the Nuvolari quattro and the Le Mans quattro. The Pikes Peak quattro was named after the famed hillclimbing course, Pikes Peak in the Rocky Mountains, which they had taken overall wins and broken records during the 1980s, due to the off-road capability of the Audi Quattro and the Audi Sport Quattro. The Audi Pikes Peak was developed in a short five-month period after the initial conceptualisation and design. The car employs several parts from fellow Volkswagen Group vehicles, including the use of the front and rear axle assemblies from the Touareg, as well as the air-suspension technology also taken from the Touareg and Audi’s A8. The suspension settings can be set to the driver’s preference through a four-level adjustable system. It is capable of manipulating the vehicle’s ride-height, from a range of 7 to 11 inches, allowing it to adapt to a variety of road surfaces. The concept car also features an all-carbon-fibre body to increase agility on and off-road. To further complement the vehicle’s off-road capability, there are several cameras mounted to the exterior of the car in order to give the driver an increased spatial awareness. One camera is mounted on top of the windshield to monitor the edges of the car’s track, aiding the driver in correcting the vehicle’s position, if it were to veer off-course. Another is mounted ahead of the right-front tire to minimise the risk of running over a curb. The Pikes Peak quattro uses a twin-turbocharged 4.2 L Fuel Stratified Injection (FSI) V8 engine. This develops 500 PS (493 bhp) and 630 Nm (465 lb/⋅ft) of torque from 2000 rpm, and features DOHC (two per cylinder bank) with 5 valves per cylinder. Engine output is transmitted through a 6-speed tiptronic automatic transmission, complete with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. quattro permanent four wheel drive system is also standard. The Pikes Peak quattro design was subsequently developed into the production Audi Q7.

 photo P1210157.jpg  photo P1210158.jpg

The Audi Roadjet is a compact concept car developed by the German manufacturer Audi, and was officially unveiled at the 2006 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. It is a study of a sporty and luxurious mid-size hatchback. According to Audi, this study is a technology demonstrator of innovative electronic systems that will be built into the production models in the next few years. The concept vehicle is particularly notable because it is the first model to feature a newly developed 3.2-litre V6 Fuel Stratified Injection (FSI) petrol engine with direct fuel injection. The engine develops a maximum output of 300 PS (296 hp) at 7,000 rpm and 363 Nm (244 lb·ft) of torque at 4,500 rpm, which is reached through the fixed intake manifold and the innovative valve control system called Audi Valvelift System. The Roadjet, also notable to be the first model equipped with the 7-speed Direct-Shift Gearbox, should be able to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (60 mph) in 6.4 seconds, while its top speed is electronically limited at 250 km/h (155 mph). The vehicle also features Audi’s trademark four-wheel drive system – quattro.

 photo Picture084.jpg  photo Picture085.jpg  photo P1210235.jpg

The Audi Shooting Brake was a concept car officially unveiled at the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show. It was a study of a sporty two-door compact shooting brake hatchback. The concept vehicle was based on the second-generation Audi TT and provided, to some extent, a preview of the new TT, which was yet to be launched. It was powered by a 3.2 litre VR6 engine, developing a maximum output of 250 PS (247 hp) at 6200 rpm,with torque peaking at 343 Nm; (253 lb/ft) between 2500 and 3000 rpm. The engine, already in some of the Audi’s production models, such as the second generation Audi A3, and the Audi TT sports car, accelerated the Shooting Brake from 0 to 100 km/h (0–62 mph) in 6 seconds, reaching an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h (160 mph). The vehicle also had Audi’s quattro four wheel drive system. The exterior appearance was dominated by a massive single frame front grille, characteristic to the newest Audi models, as well as clear-glass headlights with new LED technology and 19-inch double-spoke wheels from quattro GmbH. The interior put the emphasis on sporty design and is dominated by materials like aluminium and leather. A notable interior feature was an evolutionary version of navigation system with touch screen monitor and character recognition. In 2007, an Audi executive said that the car would not be produced.

 photo Picture086.jpg  photo Picture087.jpg  photo Picture088.jpg  photo Picture070.jpg  photo Picture123.jpg photo P1210236.jpg

2012: Youngtimers

This was a varied collection of relatively recent cars, though none of them are still that evident on the roads of Europe any more. This is a category that the Germans call “youngtimers”.

 photo Picture332.jpg  photo Picture331.jpg

Oldest of the cars in the display was this NSU 1000, an evolution of the earlier NSU Prinz 4. The somewhat larger bodied NSU Prinz 1000 (Typ 67a) was introduced at the 1963 Frankfurt Motor Show. A sporting NSU 1000 TT (with a 1.1 litre engine) also appeared, which was later developed into the NSU (1200) TT[ and NSU TTS models. All had the same body with inline-four air-cooled OHC engines and were frequently driven as sports cars, but also as economical family cars as well. The engines were very lively, and highly reliable. Paired with the low total weight, excellent handling and cornering, both the NSU 1000 and the much higher powered NSU 1200 TT/TTS outperformed many sportscars. The Prinz 1000 lost the “Prinz” part of the name in January 1967, becoming simply the NSU 1000 or 1000 C depending on the equipment. It has 40 PS DIN, while the 1200 TT has 65 PS DIN and the most potent TTS version has 70 PS DIN from only one litre. The 1000 received large oval headlights, while the sportier TT versions have twin round headlights mounted within the same frame. The first 1000 TT has 55 PS DIN and uses the engine first introduced in the larger NSU Typ 110. The NSU Prinz 1000 TT was built in 14,292 examples between 1965 and 1967, when it was replaced by the bigger engined TT. This, with a 1.2-liter engine, was built until July 1972 for a total of 49,327 examples. The TT can be recognized by its broad black stripe between its headlights. The TTS was built especially for competition, being successful in both hillclimbs and circuit racing. It has a front-mounted oil cooler and was built in 2,402 examples from February 1967 until July 1971. It was briefly referred to as the “Prinz 1000 TTS” when first introduced. There was also a competition model of the TTS available for sale, with 83 PS. Production of the Typ 67a (NSU 1000) came to a halt in December 1972.

 photo Picture271.jpg  photo Picture270.jpg  photo Picture272.jpg  photo Picture273.jpg  photo Picture275.jpg photo Picture274.jpg

Audi added this stylish Coupe model to the 100 range in the autumn of 1969. The front end of the car was the same as the regular 100 saloon, but the rear was all-new with an attractive coupe style which still left enough space in the rear seats and a decent boot. The car came with a 4-cylinder in-line engine with a capacity of 1871cc and was initially equipped with two carburettors with power output of 115 hp. In 1972, it changed to a single carburettor with 112 hp output. It was relatively expensive but even so 30,687 units were produced before production ceased in 1976.

 photo Picture278.jpg  photo Picture276.jpg  photo Picture279.jpg  photo Picture280.jpg

The GTE version of the first generation Audi 80 was launched in the autumn of 1976 as part of the mid-cycle facelift of the model. Replacing the carb fed GT, the GTE had the 110 bhp fuel injected 1.6 litre engine which would become familiar as the unit that would power the Golf GTi.

 photo Picture284.jpg  photo Picture285.jpg  photo Picture286.jpg  photo Picture281.jpg  photo Picture277.jpg

A year after the launch of the second generation 100 saloon, Audi added a second body style, the five door hatch Avant, which was aimed at competing at a growing number of rivals which had also adopted a hatch rear-end, such as the Rover SD1 and the Renault R20/30. Initially the Avant only came with the smallest 1.6 litre petrol engine, but gradually more powerful versions were added to the range. It remains the only hatch, as opposed to Estate model of the Audi 100 there has been.

 photo Picture288.jpg  photo Picture283.jpg  photo Picture282.jpg  photo Picture292.jpg  photo Picture289.jpg photo Picture291.jpg

The Audi 200 was a more luxurious version of the Audi 100. It was first seen at the 1978 Paris Show and went on sale during 1979, in two different versions. the 5E and 5T. The 5T (170 PS) was a higher spec Turbo version of the 5E (136 PS injection) and came with many optional extras as standard. The 5T was well equipped and had opening quarter lights, electric door mirrors, a sunroof, cruise control and heated seats. All Type 43 200’s came with automatic gearboxes, with a five-speed manual available by special order. Total sales were just over 50,000 over a four year production, a small total compared to around 900,000 of the corresponding Audi 100 model.

 photo Picture296.jpg  photo Picture297.jpg  photo Picture287.jpg  photo Picture290.jpg  photo Picture293.jpg

The Coupé, first displayed at the Paris Salon 1980, featured a similar body shape to the Quattro, but without the knife-edged fender flares of the more expensive car. Mechanically, the biggest changes from the Quattro to the Coupé were the use of a naturally aspirated 1.9-litre carburettor petrol engine, 2.0-litre, 2.1-, 2.2-, or 2.3-litre fuel injected inline five-cylinder engine and a front-wheel drive drivetrain. Some lesser Coupés were also fitted with a 1.8-litre inline four-cylinder engine, injected or carburetted, and for the very first year of production a 1.6-litre “YN” 75 PS engine was available. The short-lived 1.6 was the only Coupé not to be fitted with a black rear spoiler. The Coupé was available as just plain “Coupé” or GL (four-cylinders only), “Coupé GT”, and “Coupé quattro” (without the GT tag). From 1986 until the end of production in late 1988, the Coupé GT was also available with the 110–112 PS 1.8-litre PV/DZ inline-four best known from the Golf GTi. For the last model year, the new 2309 cc “NG” five cylinder was available, offering 136 PS at 5600 rpm. This engine became available during 1987 for the last of the Audi Coupés sold in the US, where it produced 130 hp at 5,700 rpm as opposed to the 110 hp at 5500 rpm available from the 2.2-litre five which had been used since the facelift for model year 1985. The Coupé had originally gone on sale in the US late in model year 1981 with the 100 hp 2144 cc five-cylinder also used in the 5000 (Audi 100). For the 1983 model year, European models switched from having two separate headlamps to large integrated Bosch units. Apart from changing the appearance, this also provided improved aerodynamics and better lighting. A more substantial update arrived in the autumn of 1984 with new front end styling, body coloured bumpers and a new range of engine choices. The Quattro all-wheel drive system was also offered, leading to confusion that pertains even now that a Coupe quattro is not the same as a Quattro! A new generation model arrived in 1988, based on the B3 generation Audi 80.

 photo Picture299.jpg  photo Picture298.jpg  photo Picture294.jpg  photo Picture295.jpg  photo Picture302.jpg

This Audi 80 quattro was the second model in Audi’s range to adopt the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system. It was launched at the very end of 1982 and was essentially an Ur-Quattro without the turbocharger and with saloon bodywork. The four-wheel drive 80, however, weighed more than a front-wheel drive Audi 100 CD with the same 2144 cc 136 PS engine, and with its worse aerodynamics it was slower than the larger, better equipped, and lower-priced 100, with similar fuel economy advantages for the larger 100. The 80 quattro received twin headlamps, a front spoiler with integrated foglights, and a body-coloured rubber spoiler on the rear. There was also a “quattro” script on the bootlid and a twin exhaust. The luggage compartment was marginally smaller (mostly in height), which meant only a temporary spare tyre could be fitted. The 80 quattro was a bargain compared to the Ur-Quattro, but less so in comparison with the two-wheel drive 80 GTE or the 100 CD, although they did not offer the impressive road holding that the quattros do.

 photo Picture303.jpg  photo Picture304.jpg  photo Picture300.jpg  photo Picture356.jpg

The second generation 200, launched in 1983 continued as the upmarket variant of the 100 with several versions of the 2.2 L turbo 5-cylinder available in different markets over its life ranging in power outputs from 165 PS through the 200 PS versions to the final 220 PS 20-valve 3B engine available from 1991. This time, the Avant body was also offered in the 200 range. Production continued until the model was replaced by the even plusher and more costly Audi V8.

 photo Picture316.jpg  photo Picture315.jpg  photo Picture311.jpg  photo Picture312.jpg  photo Picture308.jpg

Audi 80 B3

 photo Picture306.jpg  photo Picture305.jpg  photo Picture313.jpg

The Audi V8 (Typ 4C) is a four-door, full-size luxury sedan, built by Audi in Germany from 1988 to 1993, as the company’s flagship model. It was the first car from Audi to use a V8 engine, and also the first Audi to combine a quattro system with an automatic transmission. Early cars used 3.6-litre V8s, while later cars featured a 4.2-litre version of the engine. Standard features for the Audi V8 included a 32-valve, double overhead camshaft (DOHC) V8 engine and a four-speed electronically controlled ZF 4HP24A automatic transmission providing Audi’s quattro permanent four-wheel drive system. A five-speed (later in production six-speed) manual transmission was also available. The Audi V8 had a galvanised steel body, with a 10-year anti-perforation warranty (against corrosion). The Audi V8 was specifically designed to be a top of the range ‘flagship’ car and included a number of luxury features as standard equipment, including leather seating and Audi’s quattro all wheel drive system. The Audi V8 created a new elevated image for the company, providing a viable alternative to established competitors such as Mercedes-Benz.[8] In this regard, the car was a cornerstone in developing the history of the Audi marque as it is today. The styling of the Audi V8 resembled the Typ 44 Audi 100 and 200 models, and was based on a stretched version of the Volkswagen Group C3 automobile platform, known either as the D1 or D11 platform. The Audi V8 differed from the Audi 100/200 with a unique grille attached to the hood, new bumpers and headlights, all-red tail lamps, extended wheelbase, wider track, pronounced fenders, and a completely different interior. Furthermore, only alloy wheels were offered, ranging from 15 to 17 inches. In addition to the standard-length model, there was also a long wheelbase (LWB), (‘Lang’ in German) version of the V8. It was assembled at Steyr-Daimler-Puch factory in Graz (see production figures). This tradition would continue with the A8, offered in “A8L” format. A one-off experimental Avant version was built for the wife of former Audi CEO Ferdinand Piech. Production ceased in November 1993, although sales of completed vehicles continued in 1994. It was replaced by the Audi A8 in 1994.

 photo Picture309.jpg  photo Picture310.jpg  photo Picture307.jpg  photo Picture301.jpg

Intended to take over from the ur-Quattro, the Audi S2 was a high-performance Audi two-door sports car, manufactured by the division of quattro GmbH (now Audi Sport GmbH) on the same platform as the Audi 80 (B4) in Neckarsulm, Germany, produced from 1991 to 1995. The Audi S2 was the first car in the Audi S series. Although it was a competent enough product, it never really captured the interest and imagination that its predecessor had done, either when new or now.

 photo Picture318.jpg  photo Picture322.jpg  photo Picture317.jpg  photo Picture333.jpg

Next model with S badging that Audi offered was the S4. Factory production of this Typ 4A and usually known as Audi 100 S4, began in August 1991 to serve as the performance version of the newly updated C4 platform 100 four-door, five-seat saloon. It was designed to replace the outgoing C3 based Audi 200 quattro turbo, which had been Audi’s first true sports-saloon and had been discontinued at the end of 1990. Being the first S4 model from Audi, it is commonly referred to as the Ur-S4, derived from the German: Ursprünglich augmentive word (meaning: original). It boasted 230 bhp from its 2.2 litre 5 cylinder turbo engine. Quattro all-wheel drive was standard and there was a choice of a 5 speed manual or 4 speed automatic transmission. Both saloon and Avant versions were offered. Audi mildly updated the C4-based model line in 1994 and dropped the 100 nomenclature; all variants of the former Audi 100 line were now re-badged as the Audi A6. In line with the switch in model name, Audi temporarily discontinued the use of the S4 name and began selling an updated but fundamentally identical version of the car, based on the “new” A6 and badged as S6. Despite the change in name, differences between the outgoing S4 and incoming S6 were primarily cosmetic.

 photo Picture319.jpg  photo Picture320.jpg  photo Picture321.jpg  photo Picture325.jpg  photo Picture324.jpg photo Picture326.jpg  photo Picture334.jpg

Audi 80 Cabrio

 photo Picture327.jpg  photo Picture323.jpg

2014: Rarities

Any display marked “rarities” is always going to grab my attention and this one did. Some of the cars on here were familiar, but others most definitely were not.

 photo Picture 568_zpsg01rnwz0.jpg  photo Picture 466_zpscu1xplsl.jpg  photo Picture 377_zpsb4j3qxga.jpg

This is a 1924 Slaby Beringer Cycle Car. No, I’d not heard of this, either. And yes, there is a reason why it is here and has a link to the brands in the museum. Dr. Rudolf Slaby built a small electrically propelled car for his personal use in 1919. The design aroused such interest that he decided, together with Hermann Beringer, to establish a company and begin volume production of the car. An initial order for 100 cars was received from the Berlin-based company owned by Jörgen Skafte Rasmussen, the Zschopau industrialist and founder of the DKW company. Difficulties with companies supplying components and signs that inflation was about to devalue the currency made Rasmussen anxious that his high deposit payment could become worthless. He therefore decided to take a one-third interest in the car’s manufacturer, SB–Automobilgesellschaft m.b.H. 257 single-seat electric cars were built in the first business year, from November 1, 1919 to October 31, 1920. Of these, Rasmussen took 64; the remaining 36 from his original order for 100 cars were repurchased by SB-Automobilgesellschaft. 80 of the cars were equipped with Levy motors; thereafter the SB-Automobilgesellschaft began to produce its own electric motors. The electric car was initially equipped with a 12-cell, 24-Volt battery. From 1921 on, an order from Japan made it necessary to offer the car with a battery of larger capacity. The number of cells was therefore increased to 18. In addition to the 200 cars intended for Japan, which were paid for in “hard” currency by a London bank, the company sold a further 137 electrically powered single-seat cars and 77 sidecars with increased battery capacity on the domestic market. Follow-up orders from Japan were as much as the manufacturer could handle. Midway through 1923, however, inflation reached such a level in the German Reich that deposit payments from foreign accounts were blocked. In July 1923 the company had no choice but to temporarily stop manufacturing the single-and two-seat versions of the electric car, despite ample stocks in hand and a full order book. With new finance in place, things carried on and at the 1923 Berlin Motor Show, 2 similar cars were shown, one electric powered and one with a 2 stroke motorcycle engine. These were developments of the Slaby Beringer electric car. Ramussen acquired Slaby Beringer GmBH in 1922 after the company went bankrupt. That 2-stroke engine was a DKW single-cylinder motor-cycle engine with 170cc capacity developing 2.5 hp. In 1924 a final version with 206cc engine producing 4 hp. was presented. It is believed that 266 of these were produced before the company was closed down at the end of 1924.

 photo Picture 404_zpslwkmijyk.jpg  photo Picture 405_zpsdytnlq2e.jpg  photo Picture 403_zpsrix8u5dz.jpg  photo Picture 408_zpsrjlfbokt.jpg  photo Picture 471_zpsqa0c4tov.jpg

This impressive looking machine is a Horch 930 S Stromlinie from 1939 which was first seen at the 1939 Motor Show in Berlin, where Horch intended to give visitors a glimpse of how the future of the automobile was likely to look. This streamlined car was designed according to the very latest aerodynamic research findings, based both on the company’s own wind-tunnel tests and on patents held by the pioneering aerodynamic engineer Paul Jaray. At the rear, there are clear similarities with the DKW F 9, but the 930 S has many other striking design details as well : there are for instance no B-posts, so that access to the rear seats is convenient and unobstructed. A hot-water heating system with outlets for the windows and footwells was a standard feature of this model, which even had a fold-out handbasin with hot and cold running water accessible from outside the car.

 photo Picture 375_zpsn59gnsea.jpg

1951 DKW Meisterklasse Universal

 photo Picture 378_zpsjxdcxwo4.jpg  photo Picture 379_zpshqhrova2.jpg  photo Picture 376_zps1d4nkiqi.jpg  photo Picture 381_zpsbb9utaod.jpg

As some will know, the VW Iltis is largely responsible for the modern Audi we know and buy and large quantities, surprising though that may seem. The German military had been part of a cooperative effort, beginning in the late 1960s, to create what was dubbed the “Europa Jeep”, an amphibious four wheel drive vehicle that could replace the small all-terrain transport vehicles being used by several of the participating governments. With development taking longer than expected, the German military requested that something inexpensive be built in small quantities to fill their need for additional small transport vehicles while the Europa Jeep project was still undergoing design research. Volkswagen responded to the request, designing an updated version of their Kübelwagen and designating it the Type 181. But by 1979, the Europa Jeep project had fallen apart completely, the victim of skyrocketing costs and a difficult development. Needing a suitable four wheel drive vehicle to take over the spots that had been designated for the Europa Jeep, the German government issued requests to several manufacturers to design and build prototype vehicles to be considered for military use. Prior to the advent of the Type 181, the German military had purchased several thousand vehicles of the Munga, a light jeep manufactured by DKW, but production of the Munga had ended in 1968. Volkswagen had then consolidated the former Auto Union marques into a single company, re-using the Audi name to designate vehicles manufactured by the company rather than continuing to manufacture vehicles under the names of the various brands that had made up the original Auto Union. Wanting to immediately begin making use of the technologies they had acquired in the Auto Union purchase, VW chose to participate in the competition to provide the next new German military vehicle by creating an evolution of the Munga jeep, which had been out of production for several years by this time. The German armed forces were anxious to replace the outdated two-stroke machine. The resultant prototype combined old technologies with new, and executives decided to badge the product as a VW rather than as an Audi in the hopes that this would help promote positive linking to the existing VW military designs and give them an advantage over their competition. The vehicle, developed by Audi, featured a variation of the Munga’s platform with newly modified suspension components, a four-wheel-drive system based around components from the Audi 100, and a 1.7 litre four-cylinder Volkswagen engine producing 75 PS. The design of this four-wheel drive system provided the basis for Audi’s quattro system, which debuted four years later, in 1980, on the original Audi Quattro. Earlier that year, Freddy Kottulinsky and Gerd Löffelmann had won the Paris-Dakar Rally in an Audi-prepared Iltis. The Iltis, as VW was now calling it, passed the German government’s tests with ease, and was chosen over the equally competent but more expensive Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen. Production began in the summer of 1978 and the first 200 units were delivered in November; by late 1979 approximately 2,000 units had been delivered with 310 units sent to the Luftwaffe and 20 sent to the German Navy. Although most of the units produced were four-doored with open tops, ambulance, anti-tank, artillery survey, command and field communications units with varying bodystyles were produced in small numbers. A civilian model was also offered, mostly in Germany. It was first shown at the 1979 Geneva Motor Show and entered production soon thereafter, originally only with a utilitarian soft top. The civilian Iltis found even fewer takers than the 181 had, largely due to price and its utilitarian nature.

 photo Picture 380_zpssjkgjqb4.jpg

This striking looking car is the Autonova NSU GT concept which was presented at the 1965 Frankfurt Motor Show, and proof that the automotive press can have a sizable influence on the shape of future cars. By the late 1950s, Germany had started to recover from the ravages of World War II and a middle class with cash to spare and a taste for consumer good was starting to emerge once again. Fritz B. Busch, a well-known journalist that worked for Germany’s Der Spiegel newspaper, saw a niche market for a car that was less mundane and more fun-oriented than the Beetles, two-stroke DKWs and other miscellaneous budget-focused Fiats that roamed around German streets. Busch wanted to create a sports car for young drivers who couldn’t afford a w113 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class or a Jaguar E-Type. The journalist joined forces with designers Michael Conrad and Pio Manzù and formed Team Autonova, which translated to “new car.” In the spring of 1965, the three men got to work on a vehicle which was inspired by Busch’s belief that the car should adapt to its driver and not vice-versa. NSU granted the team 60,000 Deutsche Marks and provided the chassis and engine from its popular Prinz 1000TT, enabling Autonova to significantly cut its research and development budget and quickly build a drivable prototype. Dubbed simply GT, Autonova’s first car measured 147 inches long, 61 inches wide and 47 inches tall, making it longer, wider and shorter than the Prinz 1000TT. It tipped the scale at 1,620 pounds (735 kilos), 143 pounds (65 kilos) more than a Mini Cooper S. Visually, the coupe’s wedge shape and angular design cues made it stand out from other more rounded members of the NSU lineup, though a careful observer noted the Prinz-sourced four-lug steel. The front end was dominated by round headlights mounted on top of the fenders which earned the car the unflattering nickname of “frog.” Around back, the GT wore horizontal tail lamps and a large hatch that opened right above two rows of air vents that gave away the location of the engine. It is interesting to note that the GT was equipped with plastic bumpers integrated into the body, a novel concept at the time that was only introduced on a mass-produced car in 1972 with the first-generation Renault 5. The interior was devoid of any useless features and it displayed an unmistakable Teutonic influence. The instrument cluster consisted of three clearly visible analog gauges, the rear-view mirror was mounted on top of the dash and the front wheels were commanded through three-spoke steering wheel. The car had a centre console which house a fourth gauge and a small glovebox. The 54 bhp 1.0-litre engine was mounted transversally behind the rear axle and accessed by opening the hatch and removing a small lid, roughly the same setup that was used on the Volkswagen Squareback. Although the mill remained unchanged, it enabled the aerodynamic GT to a top speed of 105 mph, making it 3 mph slower than a Porsche 356! Power was sent to the rear wheels via a four-speed manual transmission that was also carried over from the Prinz. Team Autonova presented the GT at the 1965 edition of the Frankfurt Motor Show, just four months after the first design sketches were made. NSU was thrilled with the project and it allowed the designers to display the GT on its stand next to the regular members of its line-up. The GT was a hit among the show-going public. The NSU stand was constantly full of visitors, including Heinrich Lübke, the president of West Germany, who was visibly fascinated by the car. Busch and his team set out to design a different kind of automobile and they had evidently succeeded. Surprised by the positive reaction of the show-going public, NSU passed out ballots to each visitor and asked them whether or not they would consider buying a GT if it cost 8,000 Deutsche Marks, about twice the price of a Beetle. Surprisingly, most visitors replied with an enthusiastic “yes!” and NSU started mulling how to turn the show car into a production vehicle. The chassis and engine were sourced from NSU’s parts bin so producing them was not problematic – if anything, building the GT would have saved NSU money through economies of scale. However, the body was very complex to assemble and NSU did not have enough spare cash to build even a limited run of GTs. Audi’s archives department is quick to point out that NSU had lost a lawsuit to Fiat over the name Neckar and had to pay a sizable amount in damages, which did not help its uncertain financial situation. Be that as it may, the Neckarsulm-based firm had just spent a small fortune developing the Wankel-engined Spider and it was in the early stages of designing the labour-intensive Ro80 so working on a third model, even one based on an existing chassis, was out of the question. The GT was stored away and forgotten about but designers reportedly dusted it off and used it as a source of inspiration when they started working on the Porsche 924.

 photo Picture 384_zps8b30rjlc.jpg  photo Picture 385_zpsods7v2fv.jpg  photo Picture 386_zpsai3aoknr.jpg  photo Picture 383_zpswhilomij.jpg  photo Picture 382_zpszvpfrf5b.jpg photo Picture 390_zpszgvtlkwu.jpg

This is an Auto Union F1000 van, which was effectively the successor of the DKW Schnellaster. During its production life, it was sold with three different manufacturer’s badges on it and is probably better known these days as the Mercedes-Benz N1300 which was designed and manufactured by the Spanish subsidiary IMOSA (Industrias del Motor SA) based in Vitoria-Gasteiz, in the Basque Country, north of Spain. It started out in 1963 as the DKW F1000 L (or DKW-IMOSA F1000) van, which was designed by Fissore and was available in three different versions: cargo van, passenger van with windows, and chassis with cab . The maximum load admitted was 1,000 kilos, plus the driver, and the maximum speed in the best conditions was 100 km/h. It was also sold as the Auto Union F1000 and then in 1975 it was renamed the Mercedes-Benz N1000 and later the N1300. In 1987, it was succeeded by the Mercedes-Benz MB100.

 photo Picture 387_zpss9mheowe.jpg  photo Picture 388_zpsizcnhyys.jpg  photo Picture 389_zpsaoza1axd.jpg  photo Picture 394_zpsussp1jjm.jpg

This is an unusual extended length Audi 100 with seating for up to 9 people. Based on the C4 generation of the Audi 100, it was produced in 1992. The extended body was built by Lorenz & Rankl Fahrzeugbau GmbH, a firm created in 1984 which specialises in the production of extended length limousines. In 1989 the firm produced a 6 door and 8 seater Audi 200 Pullman and they also worked with Audi on the creation of the Avus Quattro concept car which was shown at the 1991 Tokyo Show. This Audi 100 Avant quattro “Lang” was fitted with the 2.8 litre 174 bhp V6 engine and had the quattro all-wheel drive system. The car weighed a lot more than a standard model, though, as the added length gave not just a third row of seats but a further fold up seats in the boot area. Just one example was produced and in the 90s it was used as an executive limousine to transport VIPs between Audi’s HQ in Ingolstadt and the airport in Munich.

 photo Picture 391_zps0uggsmmp.jpg  photo Picture 392_zpstpg5bh1m.jpg  photo Picture 395_zps5mcpsnj8.jpg

This is also an extended length car, but the difference is that was officially made by Audi, or rather by its Chinese operation. China has a real love for long wheelbase version of cars, and most of the German brands have offered these to meet local need. The car seen here is based on the familiar Audi A6 from the C4 generation, the one which part way through its life switched from being called an Audi 100 to one with the new naming scheme. Most of the changes that came in with this 1994 change were cosmetic. China is a very important market for the A6, with roughly half of global production of the model being sold there.

 photo Picture 393_zpsb4w4hhzj.jpg  photo Picture 396_zpslkyhvjj0.jpg  photo Picture 573_zpsfx1jdb9y.jpg

Very colourful indeed was this specially painted RS4 from the B7 generation. This is Audi’s “art car”. The term “art car” is closely associated with BMW, which has a history of letting famous artists use its vehicles as rolling mechanical canvases. And the cars are memorable, too — the Andy Warhol M1 leaps to mind. In 2007, with Audi as the official automotive sponsor of Art Chicago, America’s longest-running international modern and contemporary art fair. Audi decided to throw its hat in the ring as well and unveiled the commission they had given to Brazilian Pop artist Romero Britto to turn an RS4 into an art car for the brand with the interlocking rings. Britto responded with this. A colourful painting of a woman adorns the bonnet and extends through the rest of its bodywork. It made its debut at the Art Chicago fair in the Windy City at the end of April 2007, and then was taken on tour of other locations in North America before ending its run in Miami Beach, where it was the centrepiece of a Live Auction benefitting Best Buddies International, a non-profit organization founded by Anthony Kennedy Shriver.

 photo Picture 399_zpsarzetcak.jpg

Also with a rather special livery is this 2000 Audi R8 “Krokodil”. The American Le Mans Series had a special season finale in the year 2000. The ALMS moved Down Under to Australia, for a race at Adelaide. The event was held on New Year’s Eeve, and was called the “Race of a Thousand Years”. Audi entered a pair of factory Audi R8 LMP cars, one of them carrying this very special livery. The #77 Audi R8 shared by Dindo Capello and Allan McNish had a great paint scheme as a tribute to Australia. The car known as the “Crocodile” Audi R8 won the event in the end.

 photo Picture 397_zpsgzaesgg0.jpg  photo Picture 398_zpsy5fkfbow.jpg

A1 Sportback

 photo Picture 400_zpsgqpzrqpj.jpg

Perhaps the most unusual item in this collection was this Wanderer-based Tow Truck. It actually began life as a convertible but was transformed into its current form in 1949.

 photo Picture 406_zpssw2koz3r.jpg  photo Picture 409_zpsg0gjj1f1.jpg

Completing the display were three historic NSU Bikes which were all parked on one of the 14 plinths.

 photo Picture 401_zpshjzaseoa.jpg  photo Picture 407_zpsqiaxkq2g.jpg  photo Picture 402_zpszcrvgyk3.jpg

2017: “Beautiful Wagons are called Audi”

This display comprised a varied collection of Estate cars, ranging from one pre-war model to much more recent and familiar vehicles.

 photo Picture 226_zpsn3ya0wul.jpg  photo Picture 223_zpsggij759w.jpg  photo Picture 174_zpsqkb1tivb.jpg  photo Picture 164_zpspk6pztdy.jpg  photo Picture 170_zpsonxk7hni.jpg  photo Picture 168_zpskm4tgsmb.jpg  photo Picture 165_zpsfotb0hpz.jpg photo Picture 163_zpsqthmu2nl.jpg  photo Picture 156_zpsdef8x37e.jpg  photo Picture 126_zpsiy4yyaz1.jpg  photo Picture 050_zpscbvsuax4.jpg  photo Picture 029_zps6ovm03ar.jpg

1933 Wanderer W21 Kombinations Limousine

 photo Picture 208_zps613xuvq2.jpg  photo Picture 207_zpsjg2nqlqs.jpg  photo Picture 209_zpsd7vch2cf.jpg  photo Picture 210_zpsduqi1e94.jpg  photo Picture 220_zpswj4yntlr.jpg photo Picture 067_zpswg5r8dir.jpg

1951 DKW Meisterklasse Universal

 photo Picture 153_zpsg45rtwep.jpg  photo Picture 154_zpsx3xs8hu8.jpg  photo Picture 212_zpslicgmlm7.jpg  photo Picture 211_zps6enijqzk.jpg  photo Picture 028_zpsm38nt6df.jpg photo Picture 027_zpsvzkrswfh.jpg

Auto Union 1000 Universal

 photo Picture 152_zpsy8wzipah.jpg  photo Picture 214_zpswocotink.jpg  photo Picture 213_zpsgn6fdevc.jpg  photo Picture 157_zpsuexpzc6r.jpg  photo Picture 031_zpslnpq727b.jpg

The Audi 75 Variant is one of the F103 family of cars. F103 is the internal designation for a series of car models produced by Auto Union GmbH (after merger with NSU Motorenwerke in 1969: Audi NSU Auto Union) in West Germany from 1965 to 1972, derived from the earlier DKW F102. To signify the change from a two-stroke to four-stroke engine, the DKW marque was dropped in favour of Audi, a name that had been dormant since before the Second World War. The first model was launched simply as the Audi, later being renamed the Audi 72 (72 being the nominal power output of the engine in Pferdestärke), also known as hp/m. The more powerful Audi 80 and Audi Super 90 sports saloons appeared in 1966: in 1968 the arrival of the less powerful Audi 60 completed the range. The Audi 75 replaced both the Audi 72 and the Audi 80 from 1969 onwards. The form of the Audi F103’s body closely followed that of the earlier DKW F102, shown here, though the Audi’s engine was a break with the two-stroke DKW tradition. The F103 bodyshell was a development of the earlier DKW F102. The engine compartment had to be extended so that the new four-cylinder engine could be accommodated. The front and tail were also cosmetically revised: Audi F103s sold in Europe all featured quasi-rectangular headlamps which were becoming fashionable at the time, whereas the F102 had used round headlamp units. All Audi F103 models were offered as sedans with two and four doors. The two-door saloon/sedan, however, was not sold in markets such as Italy and Britain with little demand for two-door cars of this size. With the exception of the Audi Super 90, the F103 series were available also as three-door station wagon models. Making its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1966, this was called, like the Volkswagen estate/station wagon models, Variant. Visually the car changed very little, but keen eyed observers would have noticed a discreetly modernised rear from August 1970, with slightly larger rear lights and a reshaped bumper. The fuel filler moved from its location to the right of the license plate on the rear panel to a position on the right hand wing of the car, and following a general trend of the period was now shielded by a flap that was flush with the bodywork. Inside the 1970 upgrade also involved a reconfigured dashboard. During the early 1960s, Auto Union was in commercial retreat: the Audi F103 was a relative success when compared with recent Auto Union products, even if its commercial success was trumped by subsequent Audi models. In July 1967, it was reported that 100,000 Audis had been completed: production of the F103 had by now built up to a rate of almost 40,000 per year and the company was moved to deny speculation that another new Audi model would be presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show in the Autumn. of 1967. That car turned out to be the Audi 100, introduced only towards the end of 1968. Replacement for the F103 cars came with the Audi 80 of 1972.

 photo Picture 155_zpsk4cspkby.jpg  photo Picture 161_zps2ybder13.jpg  photo Picture 181_zpsyg2hyn80.jpg  photo Picture 180_zpsx9zkenba.jpg  photo Picture 033_zpsfw5ozggp.jpg photo Picture 034_zpsmovusdwo.jpg  photo Picture 030_zpstdsjd8g2.jpg

This is a US market car, which was badged Fox, though in the rest of the world it was known as the Audi 80. The Variant (Estate) version was added to the range in 1975, three years after the debut of the saloon. In essence it was a VW Passat Variant with an Audi 80 front end, reminding us that these two cars were indeed largely the same under the skin. It was only sold in GL trim and was quite costly, so sales were relatively low.

 photo Picture 167_zpssuwpircz.jpg  photo Picture 171_zps9jnl4w57.jpg  photo Picture 169_zpsapdzhbxx.jpg  photo Picture 162_zps5k1pyyim.jpg  photo Picture 187_zpsbrjzyigf.jpg  photo Picture 190_zpslmi2mmft.jpg  photo Picture 119_zpsqnkkflqs.jpg

100 Avant C2

 photo Picture 158_zpsmka76qks.jpg  photo Picture 159_zpsg5h3sy9t.jpg  photo Picture 160_zpsrytfn5y5.jpg  photo Picture 186_zpsgoerkez0.jpg  photo Picture 182_zpsqogrpjxo.jpg  photo Picture 185_zpsakiupjhh.jpg  photo Picture 218_zpsdu0otgzv.jpg  photo Picture 166_zpsmjh5cuul.jpg  photo Picture 036_zpsciatrbdi.jpg  photo Picture 035_zps6w9m3280.jpg photo Picture 032_zpsvx1wpdiz.jpg

100 Avant C3

 photo Picture 173_zps5y0rzwks.jpg  photo Picture 172_zps5lkn7t1d.jpg  photo Picture 122_zpsvkvkrvaa.jpg  photo Picture 123_zpsbfw86eem.jpg

Audi 200 Avant quattro C3

 photo Picture 178_zpsu4bvdm1k.jpg  photo Picture 176_zpssfkvgjxh.jpg  photo Picture 205_zpsrr7e5ccc.jpg  photo Picture 204_zpsalbjiimq.jpg  photo Picture 048_zps2xzlgxom.jpg

Audi 100 Avant C4

 photo Picture 189_zpsrvx7lxom.jpg  photo Picture 188_zpsgx6ro36v.jpg  photo Picture 225_zps7xp2lvnl.jpg

This is a one-off experimental Avant version of the V8 which was built for the wife of former Audi CEO Ferdinand Piech.

 photo Picture 201_zpsdejo5anl.jpg  photo Picture 175_zpswsxhoqo9.jpg  photo Picture 200_zpstqogtiig.jpg  photo Picture 199_zpsvd2caadk.jpg  photo Picture 049_zpsnfg1645k.jpg

The Audi RS2 Avant, usually known as Audi 80 RS2, was a limited edition, high-performance Audi five-door, five-seat estate car manufactured from March 1994 to July 1995. Collaboratively designed as a joint venture between Audi AG and Porsche and built on Audi’s 80 Avant, designated internally as P1 (instead of B4/8C that it was based on). It was Audi’s first “RS” vehicle, and the first of their high-performance Avants. It was powered by a modified version of their 2,226 cc inline 5 DOHC 4 valves/cylinder 20 valves total turbocharged petrol engine. This produced 315 PS (311 bhp) @ 6,500 rpm and 410 Nm (302 lb/ft) @ 3000 rpm of torque. Although much of the car’s underpinnings were manufactured by Audi, assembly was handled by Porsche at their Rossle-Bau plant in Zuffenhausen, Germany, which had become available after discontinuation of the Mercedes-Benz 500E, which Porsche had manufactured there under contract. The Rossle-Bau plant also produced the famous Porsche 959. Like the rest of the vehicle, the RS2’s five-cylinder engine was based on a unit that Audi already produced, although Porsche considerably modified the engine; the standard KKK turbocharger was switched for a larger unit, along with a heavy-duty intercooler and higher flow fuel injectors, a newly designed camshaft, a more efficient induction system, and a low-pressure exhaust system replaced the standard fare; a specially modified URS4/URS6 Bosch-supplied engine management system (ECU) controlled the engine. With so much power available, the RS2 could accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.8 seconds, and achieve a maximum speed of 262 km/h (163 mph) (electronically restricted), despite weighing over 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). In a road test conducted in 1995, British car magazine Autocar timed the RS2 from 0 to 30 mph (48 km/h) at just 1.5 seconds, which they confirmed was faster than both the McLaren F1 road car, and also Jacques Villeneuve’s Formula One car of that time. Even by more modern standards, its performance is exceptional; it could accelerate on-par with the 5th generation Chevrolet Corvette (C5) and a 996 generation Porsche 911. The top speed was 166 mph (267 km/h). A six-speed manual gearbox was the only transmission choice. Audi’s Torsen-based ‘trademark’ quattro permanent four-wheel drive system was standard. Front and rear final drive units contained a conventional ‘open’ differential, and have a ratio of 4.111, although the rear also has an electro-mechanical diff lock. Porsche-designed braking and suspension systems replaced the standard Audi 80 equipment, however, the Bosch Anti-lock braking system (ABS) was retained. There were upgraded brakes, with large radially ventilated disc brakes, and Brembo four-opposed piston fixed calipers. 40 millimetres (1.6 in) lower than a standard 80 Avant, the suspension and braking upgrades combined to give the RS2 the handling and braking capabilities of a high-end sports car; 7.0Jx17 inch Porsche ‘Cup’ wheels, and high-performance 245/40 ZR17 Dunlop tyres were standard as well. In fact, the braking system wore Porsche-badged Brembo calipers, and both the wheels and side mirrors were identical in design to those of the 964 Turbo. Additionally, the word “PORSCHE” is inscribed in the RS2 emblem affixed to the rear tailgate and front grille. A three-spoke leather steering wheel, Recaro sports-bucket seats (available in full leather or a leather/suede combination), and console materials in either wood or carbon fibre trim rounded out the vehicle’s interior changes. Audi’s proprietary Safety Restraint System, procon-ten remained from its donor vehicle. Approximately 2200 RS2s were to be built initially, but due to demand the total was 2891 cars built. Of these, only 180 were right hand drive cars built for the UK, New Zealand and South African markets.

 photo Picture 184_zps3h47mvj6.jpg  photo Picture 183_zpsjgd6aaxd.jpg  photo Picture 224_zpssniwmtpd.jpg  photo Picture 055_zps1b8gn20a.jpg

This might look like a regular B4 generation A4 Avant, but in fact it is an Audi A4 Duo III. The Audi Duo III was introduced in 1997, based on the Audi A4 Avant, and was the only Duo to ever make it into series production. The Duo III used the 1.9-litre Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) diesel engine producing 90 PS, which was coupled with a 21 kW (29 PS) water-cooled electric motor. Both engine and motor powered the front wheels only, unlike the two previous concept Duos. There was a switch inside the cabin for changing between the electric motor and the engine. The batteries would be recharged during highway or country driving, or by plugging the car into an AC power outlet. The electric motor could also recover energy during deceleration and in electric mode the Duo had a range of approximately 50 km (31 miles) and a top speed of 80 km/h (49.7 mph). The hybrid was unable to achieve fuel efficiency much greater than the standard 1.9 TDI, due to the extra weight the lead gelatin batteries added. There was little demand for this hybrid due to its high price, and thus only about 100 Duos were produced. The Duo was the first European hybrid ever put into production and up until early 2011 the only Audi.

 photo Picture 215_zpsmlyfwnnw.jpg  photo Picture 121_zpsctf4golb.jpg  photo Picture 051_zps46ck0end.jpg  photo Picture 059_zpst31qlfrb.jpg

A6 AllRoad

 photo Picture 198_zpsv7htcyzg.jpg  photo Picture 228_zpstzprumfy.jpg

RS4 Avant B6

 photo Picture 206_zpsdzz58k2r.jpg  photo Picture 203_zpsfyhguini.jpg  photo Picture 202_zpsris6hztv.jpg  photo Picture 127_zpshzg3no8d.jpg  photo Picture 219_zps6mfkch5a.jpg photo Picture 026_zps8euptwut.jpg

2018: Le Mans

14 Le Mans racing cars were the showpieces on the paternoster when I visited in 2018, and a spectacular sight they made. 13 times the brand with the four rings finished at the top of the podium in France, in the world’s most famous endurance race. With the R8R, Audi entered the Le Mans 24-hour race for the first time in 1999. As a newcomer to the event, the premium brand placed its trust in a V8 biturbo engine with 3.6-litre displacement, finishing third and fourth. Audi Tradition is presenting the R8R on the paternoster along with 13 further Le Mans racing cars with the four rings. Their chain of victories remained practically unbroken from 2000 to 2014. Only in 2003 (when the brand did not enter a works team) and in 2009 (3rd place) was the winner not an Audi.

 photo Picture 030_zpsrxaj6v0u.jpg  photo Picture 028_zpsltyzuwqz.jpg  photo Picture 027_zpstsxxd5bd.jpg  photo Picture 024_zpsrsjvmqtk.jpg  photo Picture 021_zps4qkd8ucj.jpg  photo Picture 033_zps72sr4aiv.jpg  photo Picture 034_zpsgihedrrc.jpg photo Picture 035_zpscbtlglgv.jpg  photo Picture 037_zps6jkoopt8.jpg  photo Picture 038_zps8xl98d1k.jpg  photo Picture 130_zpsaksog7es.jpg  photo Picture 126_zps5yftvldw.jpg  photo Picture 045_zpsfb3ufijp.jpg  photo Picture 043_zpsblyzddkt.jpg photo Picture 042_zpsp0eyqjff.jpg  photo Picture 040_zps6f7zvwqm.jpg  photo Picture 019_zpsmjvflry2.jpg  photo Picture 018_zpssazyetvt.jpg  photo Picture 014_zpspysqdvnc.jpg  photo Picture 049_zpsn3i9yzv2.jpg  photo Picture 048_zpsvbdpdpfn.jpg

One milestone, for example, is FSI technology with turbocharging, which was successfully employed in the Audi R8 in 2001. The gasoline direct injection system reduced fuel consumption and was introduced into series production models soon after. In 2006, the Audi R10 TDI was a technical revolution: the first Le Mans winner with a diesel engine. Four years later, the Audi R15 TDI beat the 39-year-old distance record. The record set by the R15 TDI in 2010 still holds firm today. Also on show is the R18 TDI from 2011. The rules for this season stipulated that the engine displacement had to be reduced from 5.5 to 3.7 litres. The closed sports car consumed considerably less than its predecessor and crossed the line first thanks to its optimised aerodynamics. One year later, the four rings were represented in France by the first hybrid sports car: the Audi R18 e-tron quattro. The exhibition organisers are displaying the champion from 2012 and its victorious successors from 2013 and 2014.

 photo Picture 032_zpsshu6pcz0.jpg  photo Picture 031_zps0txux3rh.jpg  photo Picture 036_zps2uazna4o.jpg  photo Picture 039_zpsjbc48ra5.jpg  photo Picture 025_zpsax3uxj3n.jpg photo Picture 022_zpsakdejyoc.jpg  photo Picture 020_zpszzhviqbu.jpg  photo Picture 029_zpsxhcvqc02.jpg  photo Picture 026_zpsp1aql3hj.jpg  photo Picture 023_zpsqad8mapi.jpg photo Picture 131_zpstaufwlcl.jpg  photo Picture 133_zpshrn2jbsg.jpg  photo Picture 152_zpsoyfdaoy2.jpg  photo Picture 132_zps9tdt8x11.jpg  photo Picture 129_zpscho0vrwo.jpg photo Picture 128_zpskmjymtl7.jpg  photo Picture 127_zpslywniyin.jpg  photo Picture 047_zpsla4gsqho.jpg  photo Picture 041_zpslxtrm0vs.jpg  photo Picture 046_zpseckvqahr.jpg photo Picture 044_zps20ca6y7s.jpg  photo Picture 050_zps2ryzu4yy.jpg  photo Picture 017_zpsc75gg2lz.jpg  photo Picture 016_zpsboegihr7.jpg  photo Picture 015_zpsdhqwd8ft.jpg


The ground floor of the museum, the area that you actually get to last of all on your visit, if you follow the route that is advised, is used for a Special Display, and again, these are changed periodically, so every time that I’ve visited there’s been something different to see.

2012: Light Art

There was quite a varied collection of cars in is display, with the link being that all these had been constructed with particular attention to saving weight. In most cases, certainly recently, that means the use of aluminium, something which Audi has been championing for a while now.

The R8 GT is one of the family of Audi’s much vaunted supercar. The fundamental construction of the R8 is based on the Audi Space Frame, and uses an aluminium monocoque which is built using space frame principles. The car is built by Audi Sport GmbH in a newly renovated factory at Audi’s ‘aluminium site’ at Neckarsulm in Germany. he Audi R8, based on the Audi Le Mans quattro concept car (designed by Frank Lamberty and Julian Hoenig) first appeared at the 2003 International Geneva Motor Show and the 2003 Frankfurt International Motor Show. The R8 road car was officially launched at the Paris Auto Show on 30 September 2006. There was some confusion with the name, which the car shares with the 24 Hours of Le Mans winning R8 Le Mans Prototype (LMP). Initial models included the R8 4.2 FSI coupé (with a V8 engine) and R8 5.2 FSI coupé (with a V10 engine). Convertible models, called the Spyder by the manufacturer, were introduced in 2008. Followed by the high-performance GT model introduced in 2011. The Motorsport variants of the R8 were also subsequently introduced from 2008 onwards. An all-electric version called the e-Tron started development but would only reach production stage when the second generation model would be introduced. The car received a facelift in 2012 and a new model called the V10 Plus was now added to the range.

 photo Picture328.jpg  photo Picture353.jpg  photo Picture336.jpg  photo Picture338.jpg

The Audi Avus quattro was a concept supercar made by the German car manufacturer Audi. It was first introduced at the 1991 Tokyo Motor Show. The Avus quattro had an aluminium space frame, which made it a lightweight and safe automobile. This second showing of the new aluminium architecture (after the quattro Spyder a month before) paved the way for the mass-produced aluminium A8 in 1994. The bodywork on the Avus was designed by J Mays and inspired by Auto Union race cars of the 1930s, which featured unpainted aluminum bodies. The panels are made from polished aluminium that has been hand beaten and are only 1.5 mm thick. The Avus quattro’s engine was supposed to be a 6.0 L 60-valve W12 engine producing 509 PS (502 hp). The car shown at the Tokyo Motor Show, however, was fitted with a precision painted dummy, crafted from wood and plastic. Reason being, that at the time, its intended powertrain was still in development; Audi-made W12 engines were not available to buyers until 2001, on the 2001 Audi A8 6.0 W12 quattro. The Avus also features three lockable differentials, rear-wheel steering and a NACA-style duct mounted on the roof.

 photo Picture354.jpg  photo Picture355.jpg  photo Picture329.jpg  photo Picture337.jpg

Audi did not confine their use of aluminium to low volume cars, since this was also the basis for the 1999 small A2 hatchback seen here in 1.6 TFSI guise, and they also applied it at the top of the range with the D2 generation Audi A8 which followed on from the ASF (Audi Space Frame) Concept a few years earlier in the decade. It was the concept version that was seen here.

 photo Picture340.jpg  photo Picture330.jpg  photo Picture339.jpg  photo Picture342.jpg  photo Picture341.jpg

I had seen this 1955 DKW STM “Kunststoff” prototype before, and of course what distinguishes it is that the body is made of plastic.

 photo Picture361.jpg  photo Picture362.jpg  photo Picture360.jpg  photo Picture358.jpg  photo Picture359.jpg photo Picture357.jpg  photo Picture373.jpg

Horch 10/50PS

 photo Picture348.jpg  photo Picture347.jpg

Audi 80

 photo Picture363.jpg  photo Picture364.jpg  photo Picture365.jpg  photo Picture366.jpg  photo Picture367.jpg photo Picture372.jpg

A number of cars from Audi’s motor sport heritage were here too, including an example of the rally Quattro, a Sport Quattro and the Typ C/D replica from the late 30s as well as the much more recent R18 TDI car which won at Sebring earlier in the year.

 photo Picture352.jpg  photo Picture368.jpg  photo Picture369.jpg  photo Picture370.jpg  photo Picture371.jpg  photo Picture343.jpg  photo Picture344.jpg  photo Picture345.jpg  photo Picture346.jpg  photo Picture351.jpg  photo Picture350.jpg  photo Picture349.jpg  photo Picture374.jpg

This rather nice Audi 100 Coupe S was parked up outside the main museum building when I emerged from my visit.

 photo Picture266.jpg  photo Picture265.jpg  photo Picture267.jpg  photo Picture268.jpg  photo Picture269.jpg

2014: “Ordem & Progresso”

The 2014 World Cup took place in Brazil, and whilst that competition is all about the “beautiful game”, it clearly inspired someone to come up with a theme linking Brazil to cars and specifically those of what is now the Volkswagen Group. When the Brazilian football team first won the World Cup in 1958, South America’s largest and most populous country was at the dawn of a new era. Football star Pelé rocketed to fame, the architect Oscar Niemeyer designed the new capital city Brasilia as a modern utopia, and the bossa nova sound spread all over the world from the Copacabana. How Auto Union GmbH from Ingolstadt accompanied this new dawn with its DKW cars was the theme for this special exhibition, which was called “Ordem & Progresso – DKW VEMAG and the new dawn in Brazil” “Order & Progress” is the official motto of Brazil.

 photo Picture 482_zpsww9gxqf7.jpg  photo Picture 483_zpsgukobfxw.jpg

There are plenty of connections, in fact. For a start, DKW models were built not just in Germany, but also in Brazil?. And DKW was the car of the Brazilian middle class in the 1960s, and is still highly regarded today as the only Brazilian brand. Footballing legend Pelé won the World Cup at 17, but only took his driving test a year later, at 18 in a DKW. The motor racing legend Emerson Fittipaldi wrote off his parents’ DKW at the age of 12 while on a family outing, before going on to win the first motor racing triumph of his illustrious career in 1966 in a DKW GT Malzoni. When Brasilia was built, at first only DKWs were allowed to operate as taxis and the last DKW car was built not by Auto Union in Ingolstadt, but in 1967 at VEMAG in São Paulo. So plenty of links, and there were a number of cars here that you rarely seein Europe, which made this quite a special display. .

These days, the plants in Brazil produce models that are familiar to Europeans, such as this first generation Audi A3 Sportback, which was built at São José dos Pinhais, near Curitiba, from 1999 to 2006. but that was not historically the case and that is where the interest lies.

 photo Picture 487_zps6717ftzv.jpg  photo Picture 486_zps3bexyjw3.jpg

As long ago as the 1930s, Auto Union models were on sale in Rio and São Paulo. Auto Union Brasil Ltda. in Rio de Janeiro, which imported Auto Union products, was the first to move into the market in November 1935. Models of the Auto Union brand Wanderer were also very much in demand at the time and to reflect that, a Wanderer W 24 was included in this display.

 photo Picture 509_zpsubje8ujc.jpg  photo Picture 507_zps9gq9lqif.jpg  photo Picture 510_zpsszempd0k.jpg  photo Picture 508_zpscqnpx79t.jpg  photo Picture 511_zpsbffuo7qu.jpg photo Picture 512_zpszzpuotr6.jpg

Most cars were imported from the USA, but there were also imports from Germany. Volkswagen supplied the Beetle, and Auto Union the parts for local assembly of the DKW F91 Universal in Brazil. This was done by a local company, Veículos e Máquinas Agrícolas S.A., or VEMAG for short, which built DKW cars from scratch in São Paulo. The models went by the names of Candango, Belcar and Vemaguet, and sold well. By the mid-1960s VEMAG was the third-biggest player in the Brazilian car market. 109,343 DKWs were delivered in total.

 photo Picture 579_zpshqpa2wu5.jpg  photo Picture 526_zps6iwt1gnz.jpg  photo Picture 527_zps6ugarbfw.jpg  photo Picture 525_zps7u6ngqkt.jpg  photo Picture 522_zpsste60ajc.jpg

The first model built was the 900 cc F91 Universal and then in 1958, the F94 four-door sedan and station wagon were launched. In the early 1960s these were renamed Belcar and Vemaguet. The Brazilian F94 line was initially very similar to the German cars, with few differences, one of which was that no heater was included. Gradually, though the car was updated with several cosmetic changes and became more and more different from the German and Argentine models. In 1960 Vemag cars had received the larger one-litre, 50 PS engine from the Auto Union 1000 but Vemag had no capital to invest in an all-new product which was what was really needed and so they came under governmental pressure to merge. In 1964-1965 Volkswagen gradually took over Auto Union, a minority holder in Vemag, and in 1967 Volkswagen bought the remainder of the stock. VW quickly began phasing out DKW-Vemag production and introduced the Volkswagen 1600 sedan to the old Vemag plant, after a total of 109,343 DKW-Vemag cars had been built. The car seen here is a second series Belcar from 1964, identifiable by its twin circular headlights.

 photo Picture 524_zpsk7lhsfcg.jpg  photo Picture 523_zpsk15fsjxd.jpg  photo Picture 580_zpsqapnmg2d.jpg  photo Picture 578_zpslxcgdxm8.jpg  photo Picture 577_zpsjumrrrol.jpg

Vemag even produced their own design, the Vemag Fissore which was a cleanly designed two-door sedan with a front end reminiscent of the earlier Fissore-bodied OSCA 1600. It also looked superficially similar to the German DKW F102. It was simply a rebodied Belcar, and retailed at a price around 25% higher. Its two-stroke engine made it a hard sell in Latin America, and only about 2,500 were built between 1964 and 1967.

 photo Picture 519_zpsff8a4wjw.jpg  photo Picture 521_zpschrmbnng.jpg  photo Picture 518_zpsslaxtwse.jpg  photo Picture 520_zpsdzvhyskk.jpg  photo Picture 581_zpsvdnypu4l.jpg photo Picture 582_zpsjkan7mqv.jpg  photo Picture 484_zpswdu9rw50.jpg

There was even a stylish sports coupe produced, called the Malzoni. They were built in 1964 by Genaro “Rino” Malzoni of Matão. Malzoni was a lawyer and an automotive enthusiast. At the request of DKW-Vemag, he developed a competition car based around a DKW straight-three, two-stroke engine. Malzoni built a steel-bodied prototype to compete with the Willys Interlagos—a locally built copy of the Alpine A108 which was outpacing DKW’s heavier sedans. The prototype proved too heavy, but a new and lighter fibreglass GT debuted at the São Paulo Motor Show in the fall of 1964. It won its first race that same year at Interlagos and Malzoni founded the company Luminari Ltda with a group of other auto enthusiasts. The competition cars had 1.1-litre engines with power output as much as 100 PS.The cars sold in quantities larger than Malzoni could produce on a small scale. The company adopted the Puma name and began mass production on September 14, 1966. Most models of the Malzoni GT featured a panoramic rear windshield, although a very small number were built with a three-box window design. The original GT Malzoni body was modified by designer Anisio Campos, who made the car somewhat longer and mounted the bumpers higher up. The new design, which still used the DKW chassis, was named Puma GT. About 35 Malzoni GT cars were produced from 1964 to 1966. Annual production increased to 125 for 1967 and continued briefly into 1968. As few as 170 of the first DKW-engined cars (Puma and Malzoni) were ever built. In 2007 Audi established contact with the lively Brazilian DKW scene and was able to locate a specimen of this rare car, which it had restored locally. There are said to be twelve “Malzonis” still in existence worldwide. This DKW GT Malzoni, the only one of its kind in Europe.

 photo Picture 517_zpsemjd9tkz.jpg  photo Picture 514_zpsm8adxyac.jpg  photo Picture 516_zpsecmsnxso.jpg  photo Picture 515_zpssjoqfxqs.jpg  photo Picture 513_zpsvcxivgbt.jpg photo Picture 583_zpsegmssmen.jpg  photo Picture 584_zps3xbmoyif.jpg  photo Picture 585_zpsevpwqruy.jpg

This is the car that links DKW to Puma. Puma was originally based in Brazil where it built cars, from 1964 until roughly 1995, and trucks, from 1978 to 1999. The company then re-opened in South Africa in 2013 under the name of Puma Automobiles. Puma Automobiles manufactures the Puma 52 (made especially for racing tracks) and the Puma GT 2.4 Lumimari. In Brazil, Puma sourced engines from DKW (3 cylinders), Volkswagen (4 cylinders) and General Motors (4 and 6 cylinder) and mounted them on their own chassis and fibreglass bodies. A small number of cars were exported to US markets during the 1970s to the 1980s, but a more cost effective kit car option was responsible for the majority of US imports. The kit car variant was a complete car exported without the front suspension, transaxle, engine, wheels, and tires. The buyer could purchase the components from a Puma North American distributor or supply their own. Since it had less restrictive regulations, a greater number of complete cars were exported to buyers in Canada. Production of the first models started in 1964 using DKW components and a front engine, front wheel design. These models were sold and manufactured exclusively for auto racing. In 1967, the cars were redesigned for street use and featured an updated rear-mounted Volkswagen engine with a rear-wheel-drive design. In 1967, Volkswagen bought DKW-Vemag and ceased production of the DKW engine in Brazil. With no DKW engines available, Puma designed a new car based on a shortened chassis of the rear-engined, air-cooled 1,500 cc Volkswagen Karmann Ghia sold in Brazil. The design, inspired by the Lamborghini Miura, remained largely unchanged for two decades. The new design with a Volkswagen 1,600 cc engine was named the Puma 1600 GTE. It sold relatively well for a specialist sports car. Puma sold the 1600 GTE starting in 1969 and offered kits to make the engine more powerful. A convertible version, the 1600 GTS, was added around 1970 and Puma began to export the cars to other South American countries, North America, and Europe. Most of the cars exported to North America were sold in kit form. However, all cars sold in Brazil were complete. In 1976 Volkswagen began to honour the warranty of their standard engine supplied to Puma. At the same time Puma introduced a three-month or 5,000 km warranty on their tuned engines and a 1.9-litre kit with Mahle pistons. VW stopped production of the Karmann-Ghia in Brazil during the early 1970s so the Puma was redesigned in 1973 to use the Volkswagen Brasilia (VWB) as a base instead. During the same period, the Puma began to be assembled in South Africa by Bromer Motor Assemblies. Bromer Motor Assemblies produced 357 cars in two years but closed due to poor fiscal management. The bodywork was restyled in 1977; while similar in appearance to the original, the bumpers were moulded as part of the body, rather than attached as separate chrome units. The body was redesigned to be somewhat less rounded than before and the Coupé’s louvres were replaced with rear quarter windows. The Puma models were restyled and renamed in 1980. The Coupé became the GTI and the Spider became the GTC. The new look included rubber bumpers with decorative cast-in ridges, which mimicked the Porsche 911 G’s telescopic impact bumpers. The tail lights were replaced by the Volkswagen Brasilia’s Mercedes-style units. The small push-button door handles were replaced with more modern units borrowed from the Alfa Romeo Ti 4. The P-018 model came out in 1982; it used a version of the VW Brasilia Variant II’s more modern chassis with the Brasilia’s front suspension. The P-018 had slightly wider front and rear tracks, and a rear suspension that featured semi-axles with constant-velocity joints, sprung by transverse torsion bars, rather than the Brasilia’s simpler semi-trailing rear. As with other Puma models, an air-cooled 1.6-litre Volkswagen boxer-four was standard equipment, with larger 1.7-, 1.8-, and 2.0-litre versions available at extra cost. An annual production of 1,000 was planned, but only about 55 of the P-018s were completed.

 photo Picture 497_zpsfyyi0xen.jpg  photo Picture 498_zpsjmu2y551.jpg  photo Picture 499_zpsidoritqv.jpg  photo Picture 496_zpsu7im5tnh.jpg  photo Picture 500_zpsa15txebx.jpg photo Picture 494_zpsyjiyuqws.jpg  photo Picture 495_zpsb22pxgsm.jpg  photo Picture 587_zpsrkvhjgv1.jpg

There were some Brazilian built VW models here as well. The Volkswagen assembly plant in Brazil was established after the Brazilian government prohibited the import of fully built-up vehicles in 1953. Its first president was Friedrich Schultz-Wenk, who had emigrated to Brazil in 1950 after a brief stint as a prisoner of war followed by some time in Wolfsburg. Their first plant was in Ipiranga, São Paulo and was a strict knock-down kit operation. In two years 2268 Fuscas and 552 Kombis were assembled there by hand. After Juscelino Kubitschek’s import substitution programs began taking effect, Volkswagen was compelled to open a proper factory in São Bernardo do Campo. Work on the factory began in mid-1957. Originally only the Kombi was built locally from September 1957, but from January 1959 the 1200 cc “Fusca” also entered local production, with ever-growing local parts content. In 1959, VW started production at the plant near São Paulo. There was always a measure of independence from Wolfsburg which led to a number of Brazilian-developed cars being produced over the years.

This car, dating from 1960, is actually a prototype, the EA 97. The original aim of the EA 97 was also to find a successor to the Beetle. In the course of its development, which began in 1957, the stylists in Wolfsburg broke away from the Beetle form and were drawn towards a purely pontoon body like the one found on the Type 3 being developed at the same time, which was due to be mass-produced in 1961 as the Volkswagen 1500. After a pilot run of 200 cars, however, the project was abandoned: the EA 97 was positioned too close to the Beetle and the Type 3. In 1968 it provided the basis for a Brazilian version of the Type 3, though offered with 4 doors, and based on the regular 1500/1600 platform. It was not a success and was only produced for a couple of years.

 photo Picture 586_zpseskzpqvb.jpg  photo Picture 502_zpsbiun8ksw.jpg  photo Picture 504_zpsiipc4irn.jpg  photo Picture 506_zps9txfjdf9.jpg  photo Picture 501_zps2kpuzaqw.jpg  photo Picture 503_zpsusoi9mjw.jpg photo Picture 505_zpss8siphrm.jpg

In the 1970s, the Brazilian market was closed for imports. The only sports car officially made there was the aging (and by then retired) Volkswagen Karmann Ghia, and its successor, the Karmann Ghia TC. Only independent car makers were able to fill the gap, notably Puma, Santa Matilde and Miura. The Volkswagen subsidiary in Brazil always had some degree of independence from Wolfsburg, so in 1969 they decided to start a new project of their own. A team led by Mr. Schiemann and supported by Rudolf Leiding (the CEO of the subsidiary and later of the entire company), along with his wife Helga Leiding and the designer of the SP2, Marcio Piancastelli, started work on a project they called “Project X”. They presented a prototype in 1971, but it would take another year before the car reached production. The SP2 was built on the frame of a Variant, with the same Volkswagen air-cooled engine, but upgraded to 1,700 cc.[3] It developed 75 hp (56 kW), propelling the car from 0-60 mph in around 16 seconds according to period tests and to a top speed of 160 km/h (100 mph). Fuel economy is 10 L/100 km (28 mpg). When the car was presented, it quickly drew media attention, with its many improvements over the local “air cooled” VW line, an impressive interior, its many extra features and its superb finishing. The name officially stands for “São Paulo”, but locals gave it the nickname “Sem Potência”, which is Portuguese for “without power”. A car named SP1 was also built, similar in almost every aspects but the engine, logo and a few trim items. However, due to its very poor performance (65 hp) from a 1,600 cc engine), it was soon discontinued, after only 88 units were built. Despite being praised by critics for its looks, the SP2 failed to beat its main competitor, the Puma, in the performance category. Although they used similar engines, the fibreglass-bodied Puma was much lighter. This resulted in low sales, and the SP2 was discontinued in February 1976. In total, 10,205 units were made; 670 were exported, of which 155 went to Nigeria. Only one model was delivered to Europe, Portugal. The car is now sought as a valuable collector’s item.

 photo Picture 493_zps6uabt3sp.jpg  photo Picture 528_zpsynd82jvv.jpg  photo Picture 529_zpsy0tal9in.jpg  photo Picture 491_zpsxduvsaxo.jpg  photo Picture 489_zps4kggerpj.jpg  photo Picture 492_zps0pf58fro.jpg  photo Picture 488_zpsqogzopc4.jpg  photo Picture 490_zps6xooecjp.jpg  photo Picture 589_zpsizhovobu.jpg  photo Picture 591_zpsqgeckzea.jpg  photo Picture 590_zps07l0gdde.jpg  photo Picture 588_zpsuhai7a4d.jpg

Across the main access road from the building complex which includes the Museum is a showroom, which was open on this occasion (it was a Saturday when I visited), and this included a number of examples of the current range. These included an R8 Spyder V10, the luxury A8 3.0 TDi, the recently launched S2, from the A3 family a Cabrio and an S3 Saloon as well as a Q3.

 photo Picture 604_zpsgrf9fxey.jpg  photo Picture 592_zpscheohf2c.jpg  photo Picture 593_zpsgktxmbga.jpg  photo Picture 596_zps9dez3apr.jpg  photo Picture 595_zpspnvfxhmv.jpg  photo Picture 594_zpsm3jfavxc.jpg  photo Picture 602_zpsv32urwqa.jpg  photo Picture 598_zpsjjwp7t7k.jpg  photo Picture 597_zpsahdlnvqa.jpg  photo Picture 601_zps9uu3fa3s.jpg  photo Picture 599_zps94rke8uy.jpg  photo Picture 605_zpsxtgjbtyl.jpg  photo Picture 606_zpsfrxshclk.jpg  photo Picture 607_zpsdq28hyse.jpg  photo Picture 600_zpsgy5aqjg9.jpg photo Picture 603_zpsieijoka9.jpg

There was also an R8 e-Tron here. At the time I saw this, it was before the announcement of the production version, which came at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. The R8 e-tron is fitted with two electric motors mounted on the rear wheels having a power output of 462 PS (456 hp) and 919 Nm (678 lb/ft) of torque. The battery pack consisted of a 92kWh T-shaped liquid cooled Lithium-ion battery. The e-tron could accelerate from 0–60 mph in 3.9 seconds and could attain a top speed of 249 km/h (155 mph). The e-tron’s electric range was 450 km (280 mi) as promised by Audi. The curb weight of the car amounted to 1,780 kg (3,924 lb). The limited production electric sports car was available only in Europe and fewer than 100 units were sold at the end-of-production run.

 photo Picture 608_zps2djzwpzd.jpg  photo Picture 609_zpsuhxiqflw.jpg  photo Picture 610_zpslnbwdgvm.jpg  photo Picture 611_zpskuretq9l.jpg  photo Picture 612_zps76fjlbe4.jpg

2017: 60 Years of the Rotary Engine

The special display for 2017 marked the 60th anniversary of the innovative Wankel Rotary engine.

 photo Picture 135_zpsfr0kbztx.jpg  photo Picture 134_zpsily6vckm.jpg  photo Picture 064_zpsdbx9h6zs.jpg  photo Picture 061_zpsyo0ej2gr.jpg  photo Picture 045_zpsgufctdei.jpg photo Picture 046_zpsbk0nkdc1.jpg  photo Picture 047_zpswfukkc29.jpg

The idea for an internal combustion engine with rotating pistons fascinated Felix Wankel from the late 1920s. The development of the concept to readiness for series production took more than 30 years. As part of his research work, self-taught Wankel became an expert in seals, but kept his aim of creating a machine with rotating pistons firmly in sight. At the end of 1953, the methodical analysis of possible rotors and housing combinations led Wankel to look more closely at the idea of a rotating oval-shaped piston in an almost circular housing which also rotated. The principle awakened the interest of NSU’s management.In March 1954, Wankel drafted the basic form of the engine which was to be named after him at a later stage. Three years later, on February 1, 1957, the engine ran for the first time under its own power on a test rig at the NSU plant.In Neckarsulm, An early version of this engine was installed in this 1959 NSU Prinz 3.

 photo Picture 249_zpsw8f1jmjk.jpg  photo Picture 250_zpsh0dodgo0.jpg  photo Picture 248_zpspxzzblni.jpg  photo Picture 253_zpsabmjebnt.jpg  photo Picture 252_zpsyzimfd4m.jpg photo Picture 251_zpssnyrdpgw.jpg  photo Picture 247_zpslxhjnqhc.jpg  photo Picture 095_zps4lesfh1r.jpg  photo Picture 271_zpshsy95ilk.jpg  photo Picture 273_zpseshbrfin.jpg photo Picture 272_zpsefboy8uq.jpg  photo Picture 090_zpsnsgk1zdb.jpg

Dr Walter Froede, Head of NSU’s Development department, and his team simplified the technologically complex structure which initially used two components which rotated one inside the other. The first time the KKM (Kreiskolbenmotor) version of the engine with inverted kinematics was used was in 1962, when it was fitted in the so-called “Ski-Craft”. This towing device for water skis is on show in the Audi museum mobile. Just one year later, in September 1963, the NSU/Wankel Spider celebrated its premiere at the IAA in Frankfurt. As the world’s first series-produced vehicle featuring the NSU/Wankel engine, it spurred on the euphoria surrounding the Wankel engine.

 photo Picture 091_zpsbsur5k0r.jpg  photo Picture 230_zpsjvcbuf8q.jpg  photo Picture 231_zpsw6vdi3yi.jpg  photo Picture 232_zpsvornblgb.jpg  photo Picture 233_zpscqxxc0tb.jpg  photo Picture 229_zpsqctkrizk.jpg  photo Picture 094_zpsvejjrusx.jpg

The best known of NSU’s Wankel engined cars was the Ro80, a futuristic looking executive saloon which was launched in 1967 and which was accoladed as “Car of the Year” a few weeks later.

 photo Picture 267_zpsllri6p1p.jpg  photo Picture 268_zpsgoat3qxf.jpg  photo Picture 266_zpsvebaxumx.jpg  photo Picture 270_zps6rpkqwfo.jpg  photo Picture 269_zpsucdfx9wq.jpg

NSU then licensed the technology to a number of other manufacturers, only a couple of whom developed cars that actually entered production. The one who did the most and is remembered to this day is Mazda, who offered a whole range of cars over a period of more than 30 years. The very first car they produced with the technology was the Cosmo 110S. A prototype was presented at the 1964 Tokyo Motor Show, one month before the 1964 Summer Olympics, and after the introduction of the NSU Spider at the Frankfurt Motor Show; 80 pre-production Cosmos were produced for the Mazda test department (20) and for dealership testing (60) between 1965 and 1966. Full production began in May 1967 and lasted through 1972, though Cosmos were built by hand at a rate of only about one per day, for a total of 1,176 (343 Series I cars and 833 Series II cars). In 1968, Mazda went racing with the Cosmo. They selected one of the most gruelling tests in Europe to prove the reliability of the rotary engine, the 84-hour Marathon de la Route at the legendary Nürburgring circuit in Germany. Two mostly stock Cosmos were entered, along with 58 other cars. One major change to the cars’ 10A engines was the addition of a novel side- and peripheral-port intake system: A butterfly valve switched from the side to the peripheral port as RPMs increased. The engines were limited to 130 PS to improve durability. The cars ran together in fourth and fifth place for most of the race, but the all-Japanese car was retired with axle damage in the 82nd hour. The other car, driven by Belgians, completed the race in fourth overall. his was to be the only racing outing for the Cosmo—the next Mazda race car would be a Familia Rotary (R100). The Series I/L10A Cosmo was powered by a 0810 two-rotor engine with 982 cc of displacement and produced about 110 hp (thus the 110 name). It used a Hitachi four-barrel carburettor and an odd ignition design—two spark plugs per chamber with dual distributors. A four-speed manual transmission and 14-inch wheels were standard. In Japan, the installation of a rotary engine gave Japanese buyers a financial advantage when it came time to pay the annual road tax in that they bought a car that was more powerful than a traditional inline engine, but without having the penalty for having an engine in the higher above-one-litre tax bracket. The front suspension was a coil-sprung double-wishbone design with an anti-roll bar. The rear used a leaf-sprung de Dion tube. Unassisted 10 inch disc brakes were found in front with 7.9 inches drum brakes in the rear. Performance in the quarter-mile was 16.4 secs, with a 115 mph (185 km/h) top speed. The price was lower than the Toyota 2000GT at 1.48 million yen (US$4,100). The Series II/L10B was introduced in July 1968. It had a more-powerful 128 hp/103 lb·ft (140 N·m) 0813 engine, power brakes, 15 inch wheels and a 5-speed manual transmission. The wheelbase had been expanded by 15 inches for more room and a better ride. This Cosmo was good for over 120 mph (193 km/h) and could accelerate to cover a quarter-mile in 15.8 seconds. Visual changes included a larger grille under the front bumper with two additional vents to each side of this “mouth”. Only 833 were ever made.

 photo Picture 237_zpsg9ku8jle.jpg  photo Picture 234_zpslyv93fe4.jpg  photo Picture 238_zpsiffm6ulq.jpg  photo Picture 235_zps83uhwt0k.jpg  photo Picture 236_zpsndk4il1f.jpg photo Picture 093_zpsfxwssggy.jpg

Citroen had big plans, too, though these never really came to fruition in the end. The first car in which they installed a rotary engine was this, the Citroën M35, a coupé derived from the Ami 8. The bodies were produced by Heuliez from 1969 to 1971. The longitudinally mounted rotary engine had a nominal capacity of 497.5 cc delivering 49 bhp. According to factory figures the car had a performance roughly on a level with that of a Morris 1300. The engine was supplied by a company formed in 1967 by NSU and Citroën called Comotor. The M35 was an experimental vehicle and was not officially sold – rather it was supplied to loyal Citroën customers to get their comments on the usability of the design. Many aspects of the M35 made it to regular production. The rotary engine was deemed satisfactory and a dual rotor version of it was used in the GS Birotor in 1974; the gearbox used in the M35 was the GS 1015’s gearbox (albeit with a normal shift pattern); certain suspension parts found their way into the GS line when it was introduced in 1970 and the seats that reclined just above the waist were found in none other than the SM. 267 of these cars were produced, and most of them were reclaimed by Citroen, so you only see them very occasionally.

 photo Picture 239_zpsgzeheoon.jpg  photo Picture 244_zpsg7a75lom.jpg  photo Picture 240_zpsaylprfrn.jpg  photo Picture 241_zpspiocyqpe.jpg  photo Picture 245_zps2pmcfjsk.jpg photo Picture 242_zpsoxvmmuqv.jpg  photo Picture 246_zpsjgznsmyq.jpg  photo Picture 243_zpsa9grhasv.jpg  photo Picture 274_zpsr5fpbc0z.jpg  photo Picture 092_zpst8to93jr.jpg photo Picture 222_zpspa7umofo.jpg

Also here was the Malibu Virage racing car.

 photo Picture 265_zps2bzjfkj7.jpg

The Wankel engine wasn’t just used in cars, it was also used in snowmobiles, fire engines, power saws, motorboats and motorcycles. The exhibition shows a whole host of these products, as well as free-standing engines and cutaway models.

 photo Picture 262_zps9wxc46kw.jpg  photo Picture 261_zpsjliaabyf.jpg  photo Picture 260_zpsr6uqe9kf.jpg  photo Picture 263_zps2jx6lmwj.jpg  photo Picture 264_zpsci2dxzuz.jpg

There were also a couple of examples of cars with alternative propulsion technology here, the Audi A3 e-Tron from 2012 and an Audi 200 KKM prototype from 1979. This latter was conceived after the NSU Ro80 had ended production in 1977 and there were thoughts about continuing to use the rotary engine in the next top of the range car and 20 prototypes were produced. The engine developed 170 bhp but the decision was taken to produce the car with a Turbo version of the 5 cylinder conventional engine instead.

 photo Picture 254_zpsnq5nut3m.jpg  photo Picture 255_zpsdap5x2q1.jpg  photo Picture 259_zpshpheauwo.jpg  photo Picture 258_zpsh3h3cq2k.jpg  photo Picture 259_zpshpheauwo.jpg

Completing the display was the Italdesign Namir sports car from 2009. Namir is a concept car born of the collaboration between Italdesign Giugiaro and Frazer-Nash, a company specialised in the design, construction, and marketing of hybrid systems deeply rooted in the historical automotive manufacturing company founded in England by Archie Frazer-Nash in 1923.Presented at the 79th edition of the International Motor Show in Geneva, Namir represents the turning of a new page in the book being written by the Torino-based firm since 2004, opening with the Alessandro Volta project and followed up with the commemorative dream car – Quaranta – the result of research and development on sports cars fuelled by hybrid systems produced last year in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the company’s founding. The Arabian name Namir, meaning “tiger”, sums up the main features of the concept car: elegance and power, aggressiveness and litheness of lines. Without any doubt it is a sports car: a coupé with two bucket seats and an accurate equilibrium between style and mechanics, aesthetics and contents. The sophisticated mechanics as well as the avant-garde electric and electronics systems are wrapped up into an aggressive package with an exquisitely balanced proportion of volumes and a stunning contrast between the sharp accents of the rear end and the sinuous front lines that emphasise this supercar’s performance: over 300 km/h (187 mph) at maximum speed and an acceleration of 0 to 100 km/h in 3.5 seconds and from 0 to 200km/h in 10.4 seconds, making this the fastest hybrid car in the world.

 photo Picture 257_zpscvleyjul.jpg  photo Picture 256_zpshaauvhla.jpg

2018: 0 – 100

The 2018 special display was called 0 – 100 and marked 50 years of the Audi 100 with a collection of 14 different cars on show.

 photo Picture 154_zpswljcw5fr.jpg  photo Picture 153_zpswfgvh62s.jpg  photo Picture 155_zpsdhikrbjq.jpg  photo Picture 146_zpstoisxfgp.jpg  photo Picture 061_zpswpwdjpgg.jpg photo Picture 056_zpszhkgxhb5.jpg  photo Picture 060_zpsrhw6igiz.jpg  photo Picture 059_zpsxm4cpmue.jpg  photo Picture 063_zpsryqve6ld.jpg  photo Picture 062_zps1lu4apa8.jpg

The Audi 100 won the “Golden Steering Wheel” award five times, was crowned “Car of the Year” twice and was also voted “World Car of the Year” by a panel of motoring journalists. In all, 3.2 million units were sold which demonstrates the success which this model experienced. The premiere of the Audi 100 in 1968 was preceded by a turbulent history because its development was actually started in secret.In the mid-1960s, Volkswagen AG acquired Auto Union GmbH and prevented the company from developing any new models. This stipulation to only look after the existing models was ignored by Ludwig Kraus, then Technical Director at Auto Union GmbH. In 1965, Kraus wanted to expand the range of vehicles which the resuscitated Audi brand offered. He saw adding a model in the executive segment as the only way to keep an independent Auto Union GmbH afloat in a time when the Ingolstadt plant was being used for production of the VW Beetle. Without informing Volkswagen, Kraus developed and subsequently presented the concept before it was eventually given the go-ahead from the team in Wolfsburg. The Audi 100 debuted at the Frankfurt Show in 1968 in two-door and four-door sedan form. Rupert Neuer headed the design team, achieving a modern and aerodynamically efficient shape that managed to be visually lighter than the BMW and Mercedes-Benz competitors of the time while also distancing itself from the visual themes of its two rivals. The 100 had its own unique look, and the four rings were positioned prominently on the grille, signalling the re-emergence of the Audi marque. The 100 was initially powered by a longitudinally mounted, Daimler-based 1.7-litre four-cylinder, good for 115 hp and 119 lb-ft of torque, and was later joined by a 1.8-litre unit. Offered with a choice of a four-speed manual or a three-speed automatic transmission. “With the Audi 100, the Volkswagen Group suddenly added a car in its range that appealed to the up-and-coming Beetle buyers,” Audi says. “In addition, Audi managed to win many customers with the Audi 100 who identified themselves with other brands. The fact that from 1971, the large Audi could optionally be supplied with up to 112 hp also contributed to its success. Thanks to its lightweight construction, the Audi 100 GL was so appealing that customers increasingly switched from competing six-cylinder models to the new Audi.” Very quickly, the capacity of the Ingolstadt plant was pushed to its limits and thus Auto Union shifted the entire production of the Audi 100 to the Neckarsulm works in 1970. Volkswagen made an effort to push the model upmarket, in time setting its sights on offerings BMW and Mercedes-Benz, and the stylish Coupe was one manifestation of that ambition. It was not the only up-market car, of course, as there was still the NSU Ro80 as a stable mate, and there had been the ill-fated VW K70 but by 1976, however, it was clear which model had won out, and with nearly 800,000 produced, the Audi 100 pointed to a path forward for the entire Audi lineup, working to cement its place as Volkswagen’s upmarket division. From the first series alone, the company sold 800,000 units. There were four examples from the first generation here, a rare 2 door saloon and an even rarer 1969 Cabrio, the very stylish Coupe and a prototype electric car from 1976 which had a boot full of batteries.

 photo Picture 112_zpsimc5kmzk.jpg  photo Picture 057_zpsdcllfi9a.jpg  photo Picture 111_zpspfeqnovy.jpg  photo Picture 110_zpsjihna1pk.jpg  photo Picture 107_zpsjjxmgezw.jpg  photo Picture 108_zps8bxpt4xm.jpg  photo Picture 109_zps3dyb6joe.jpg  photo Picture 106_zpsnwidr1tc.jpg  photo Picture 105_zpstigh8yzo.jpg  photo Picture 104_zps8glnmzjd.jpg  photo Picture 102_zpsleybys0l.jpg  photo Picture 139_zps9rxfvnai.jpg  photo Picture 140_zpsjeizkghj.jpg  photo Picture 115_zps3dxlk1lw.jpg  photo Picture 116_zpsfkntjhqn.jpg photo Picture 058_zpshct4fdsp.jpg  photo Picture 053_zpsxhi2gqmp.jpg  photo Picture 055_zpsoncioxvw.jpg  photo Picture 052_zps2cqlfxka.jpg  photo Picture 064_zps8pnq91ot.jpg  photo Picture 054_zpsvr0l9yrx.jpg  photo Picture 051_zpsfyg3cqc9.jpg  photo Picture 138_zps2vij6cmf.jpg  photo Picture 136_zpsxfkqcpxl.jpg  photo Picture 137_zpslctfzdei.jpg  photo Picture 135_zpsyydlew97.jpg  photo Picture 134_zpswthsvua7.jpg  photo Picture 090_zpsitf1jaio.jpg photo Picture 084_zpsk0fzyhwh.jpg  photo Picture 085_zpskw0omugr.jpg  photo Picture 083_zps8lyn1tk5.jpg  photo Picture 082_zps4op0u11t.jpg

The second generation debuted in 1976 and immediately attracted attention when Audi announced that the top engine would be an in-line 5 cylinder unit.

 photo Picture 118_zpsrjqb2fbx.jpg  photo Picture 114_zpsgzeppvs2.jpg  photo Picture 113_zpso0e9llhp.jpg  photo Picture 117_zpskpxbz0mk.jpg  photo Picture 125_zpslpalhqck.jpg  photo Picture 121_zpswddivmwr.jpg  photo Picture 122_zpsa6qooryy.jpg  photo Picture 124_zpsc7kh5kub.jpg  photo Picture 123_zpsrosxeh4q.jpg  photo Picture 119_zpsizpv8fbv.jpg  photo Picture 120_zps7ebaikhj.jpg  photo Picture 148_zpscru01frk.jpg  photo Picture 149_zpsdxwfjac0.jpg  photo Picture 151_zpsvv6llft1.jpg  photo Picture 147_zpsgg3uvm6d.jpg  photo Picture 142_zpsw3g3okqd.jpg  photo Picture 141_zps767107ln.jpg

This not a production model, but the Audi research car from 1981 which was shown at the 1981 Frankfurt Show. The clear attention to aerodynamics was a foretaste of the production C3 generation Audi 100 which would follow a year later.

 photo Picture 097_zps4mxh9eif.jpg  photo Picture 101_zpslol7jpqt.jpg  photo Picture 098_zps8jvddyv7.jpg  photo Picture 100_zpsqle2uo6c.jpg  photo Picture 096_zpslr263dsj.jpg photo Picture 099_zps0thpikwi.jpg

Launched in 1982, the third generation car gathered the headlines for its particularly drag coefficient. Later advances on this generation would include the offer of the quattro permanent four wheel drive even when combined with some of the less potent engine choices, and then for having a fully galvanised body.

 photo Picture 150_zps6prbhwv6.jpg  photo Picture 145_zpsolw5fnjq.jpg  photo Picture 094_zpsuuk4zgyo.jpg  photo Picture 095_zpsooye2geq.jpg  photo Picture 093_zpskblo8y1i.jpg photo Picture 076_zpsecetodcp.jpg  photo Picture 077_zpswz5vdl4i.jpg  photo Picture 078_zpsoagqiiqx.jpg  photo Picture 079_zpsczfstxqi.jpg  photo Picture 081_zpsyabzw4zu.jpg photo Picture 080_zpsicio33jq.jpg

This is the Audi Duo, which not only features a 136-hp five-cylinder engine, but also an electric motor, thus making it the first hybrid vehicle of the Audi brand. At the Geneva Motor Show in March 1990 Audi presented its first iteration of the Audi Duo (or Audi 100 Avant Duo) experimental vehicle, a plug-in parallel hybrid based on the Audi 100 Avant quattro. This car had a 12.6 bhp (9.4 kW) Siemens electric motor which drove the rear wheels. A boot-mounted nickel-cadmium battery supplied energy to the motor that drove the rear wheels. The vehicle’s front wheels were powered by a 2.3-litre five-cylinder engine with an output of 136 PS. The intent was to produce a vehicle which could operate on the engine in the country and electric mode in the city. Mode of operation could be selected by the driver. Ten vehicles are believed to have been made; one drawback was the extra weight of the electric drive, making vehicles less efficient when running on their engines alone than standard Audi 100s with the same engine. In late 1991,Audi unveiled the second Duo generation – likewise based on the Audi 100 Avant quattro. Once again this featured an electric motor, a 28.6 PS (21 kW; 28 hp) three-phase machine, driving the rear wheels. This time, however, the rear wheels were additionally powered via the Torsen differential from the main engine compartment, which housed a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine.

 photo Picture 092_zpsskxjzmvl.jpg  photo Picture 091_zpssr1ryb0g.jpg  photo Picture 086_zps3kpncwec.jpg  photo Picture 088_zps3llt19ex.jpg  photo Picture 087_zpssbg5yrtz.jpg photo Picture 089_zpsg3lvhqjx.jpg  photo Picture 144_zpsofhdzwx6.jpg  photo Picture 143_zps9cgj9c6o.jpg

Since 1995, the Audi A6 has continued the success story of the Audi 100. An Audi A6 2.8 quattro from the first model series rounds out the new “From 0 to 100” special exhibition.

 photo Picture 068_zpsfd4scra4.jpg  photo Picture 073_zps5r6xf1eq.jpg  photo Picture 075_zpsbtn9hwhz.jpg  photo Picture 074_zpskrcer1pg.jpg  photo Picture 072_zpsun1msw6p.jpg  photo Picture 070_zpsa09tv5bh.jpg  photo Picture 069_zpsj1zhdtxf.jpg

Adjoining the museum is a combined showroom and Audi Collection Centre which those who come to take delivery from the car at the factory receive their cars. There was quite an array of different vehicles here, ranging from a Formula E race car. an RS5 from the DTM championship and a Q7 which had been shown at the WortherSee event.

 photo Picture 004_zpsrul0ttwv.jpg  photo Picture 003_zps9fkfs4qq.jpg  photo Picture 005_zpsdeth4hxq.jpg  photo Picture 006_zpsq6mcgnro.jpg  photo Picture 007_zpskwhgvpnn.jpg photo Picture 008_zps4jqpa9mv.jpg

Also here was the AI:CON concept which was unveiled on the eve of the 2017 Frankfurt Show. As well as being electrically powered, this is one of a couple of Audi concepts looking at a future with autonomous cars. Conceived to show how a self-driving Audi model may look beyond 2025, the AI:COM eschews what Ingolstadt officials describe as the ‘robot taxi’ theme evident on many recent autonomous driving concepts for a bold exterior design incorporating reinterpreted elements from its current line-up, including a newly wrought single-frame grille, prominent wheel houses and a rounded glasshouse. A low waistline and glass roof are included to maximise visibility out of the new concept. The top of the side windows also angle outwards, so the widest point of the Aicon is at the eye level of its occupants. Hinting at a car in the same class as the A8, the Aicon stretches to 5444mm in length, 2100mm in width and 1506mm in height. It also rides on a wheelbase that is a considerable 240mm longer than that of the new Audi flagship, at 3470mm. Entry to the concept is via opposed doors that open to the front and the rear to reveal a generous aperture devoid of a traditional B-pillar. The lack of a traditional dashboard and steering wheel frees up space in the front of the cabin, which features two individual seats that can be adjusted by 500mm back and forth and swivel through up to 15deg to ease entry and exit. The rear is equipped with a bench-style seat shaped to accept two occupants. Picking up on the autonomous qualities of the new concept, Audi’s design team has taken further licence by equipping the AI:CON with a mini drone. It acts as a so-called “light companion” when passenger’s exit the interior in the dark by illuminating their path. Power for the big Audi concept is delivered by four electric motors. The brushless asynchronous units are mounted low down at each corner where they provide direct drive to each of the AI:CON’s 26in wheels and the basis for electronically controlled variable four-wheel drive. In what Ingolstadt insiders suggest hints to the power output of Audi’s first dedicated electric powered model, the upcoming production version of the earlier e-tron quattro concept due out in 2018, Audi quotes a combined output of 350bhp and 299lb ft. Energy for the electric motors is stowed in what Audi describes as a solid body battery. Mounted within the Aicon’s flat floor structure, it is claimed to provide more than double the energy capacity of a similarly sized lithium ion battery used today. While theoretical in nature, Audi’s vision for an autonomous driving car of the future boasts a zero-emission range of up to 497 miles. Recharging is via an 800V system, with the battery capable of being charged to 80% capacity in less than 30 minutes. As well as supporting conventional plug-in charging, the Audi concept is also equipped with an inductive system that allows it to pull up to a charging station on its own and charge its batteries without the need for a driver.

 photo Picture 009_zpsppmt33fp.jpg  photo Picture 010_zpstnfof0yo.jpg  photo Picture 011_zpsp3cnsjph.jpg  photo Picture 012_zpsepftn7cu.jpg  photo Picture 013_zpshoyexzcz.jpg

Outside there were a number of brand new cars, with a special focus on RS models, with the very desirable RS7 seen with the RS4 Avant and RS6 Avant as well as an Audi Q5.

 photo Picture 165_zps5gezuawc.jpg  photo Picture 163_zpsvpsyo9ul.jpg  photo Picture 159_zpsokriiulu.jpg  photo Picture 166_zps5srsaht8.jpg  photo Picture 164_zpsze6v5h4u.jpg  photo Picture 157_zpsrx6fvixf.jpg  photo Picture 156_zpsd2pstfmt.jpg  photo Picture 158_zpsmuixxmp2.jpg  photo Picture 162_zpsmptir4ib.jpg  photo Picture 161_zpshblh8s2c.jpg  photo Picture 160_zps2gbrcyvc.jpg

And a final sighting was this rather splendid Auto Union 1000 which I came across in the car park.

 photo Picture 001_zps983tyue1.jpg  photo Picture 002_zpscz84bjg4.jpg

I enjoyed every visit to this site, as you might conclude from the fact that I have been several times in recent years. Although the core of the museum has not changed much over that time, there are enough changes in the temporary and special exhibitions that mean there is bound to be something you’ve not seen before. With an entrance fee of a nominal €2.00, the museum represents excellent value, too. And I should also point out that the restaurant on-site does serve excellent food at a sensible price.

More information including details of the current special displays can be found here:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *