Thursday, March 17, 2011


  The official "date of birth" for the first Porsche is considered being June 8, 1948. Number one, a two-seat 356 with a 1.1 litre centre engine, 40 HP weighing 650 kg. The following 50 speciemens of the so-called 356/2 were hand built in Gmünd/Kärnten (Austria). These cars almost resembled the classic 356 and are today, if at all to be found, almost priceless.
 In late 1949 the Reutter company in Stuttgart (Germany) are given the assignment to build 500 body works for an adjusted model of the 356. This became the classic 356. With a 1.1 litre engine and 40 HP, it reached because of the good aerodynamics a speed of 140 kph, and was sold at a price of DM 12.000. At that time Ferry Porsche thought that it was impossible to sell more than 500 cars, a more than pleasant mistake. On March 15, 1954 car no 5.000 left the factory.
 In 1953 the famous Porsche label badge is seen for the first time. In April 1965 the last Porsche 356 leaves the assembly line after 17 years of production. All in all 81.003 Porsche 356 were built together with about 1.194 in various Carrera versions.
 1959 saw the beginning of the development of a new Porsche. On September 12, 1963, a new generation Porsche designed by "Butzi" Porsche, a prototype called 901 was introduced at the IAA. Not until August 1964 did it become possible to deliver the first 901 (911) to customers. In late fall of 1964 the French car producer Peugeot objects to the name 901 because the combination of three - with a zero in the middle - was patented. Porsche responded right away, changing the name to 911 and offered the car to the German and international markets at a price of DM 21.900.
 The 911 was "born" in the year (1963) when JFK was assassinated and its look still survives. It became one of the biggest sports cars in the world and is - together with the 356 - the foundation of the success Porsche has had so far. On June 15, 1996 Porsche no 1.000.000 was delivered.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla History (FWD): 1987-1997

In 1984, the Corolla moved to the format pioneered by the Hillman Avenger: front wheel drive with a transversely mounted four-cylinder engine, and MacPherson struts up front and coil springs in back (the SR5 Coupe and hatchback and the station wagon would be converted later).
 A small number of diesels were sold in the US, but these were quickly cancelled; and a new version of the 1.6 liter engine, boasting dual overhead cams and four valves per cylinder, was added in mid-1984 to the rear wheel drive coupe and liftback, creating the Corolla GT-S. The fun to drive GT-S attracted a following; and the engine was used in the original MR2, introduced in 1985. Meanwhile, the standard Corolla was rated as one of the ten most trouble-free cars in America by J.D. Power.

With sales of its popular new front-wheel-drive Corolla rapidly rising in the United States, Toyota entered a joint venture with General Motors to create NUMMI, taking over a poorly performing General Motors plant in California and turned it into one of the highest quality plants in North America, at least partly due to an innovative system of implementing employee suggestions. The NUMMI plant built both the Corolla and the General Motors version, the Nova (later to be renamed Prizm), and remained active through to the present day.

In 1987, the last year of the fifth generation, the two Corolla choices (four door sedan or four-door hatchback) were supplemented by the new sporty Corolla FX Coupe; standard Corollas now came with the 1.6 liter engine, with a generous two-barrel carburetor, standard, as the only engine choice. Corolla trim lines (except FX) for this year were Deluxe (with reclining bucket seats, thick pile carpeting, tinted windows, map pockets, and rear window defogger) and the lower LE (with cloth trim, center console, four-speaker FM stereo, and intermittent wipers). Toyota could boast of some of the lowest maintenance requirements in the industry, with oil and filter changes at 10,000 miles and spark plugs lasting 30,000 miles, with coolant renewal at 60,000 miles, due to intelligent, efficient design, electronic-feedback carburetion, fuel preheating, and other features. The engine V-belts, according to Toyota, required no service under normal conditions.
 The Corolla Sport was considered a seperate model, with two versions: SR5 and GT-S. They provided buyers with a sporty appearance and multi-valve engines; the main buyers were female college graduates in their late twenties (except GT-S hatchback, which was single college-educated men, median age 28). SR5 and GT-S both came as coupes, and GT-S was also available as a hatchback; the SR-5 used the standard Corolla engine, while the GT-S used a higher-compression (9.4:1 rather than 9.0:1), electronically fuel injected, 16-valve powerplant with 112 horsepower and 97 lb-feet of torque. This latter engine used dual cams, a central spark plug (“semi-hemi”), and variable induction - a series of valves in the induction ports to improve intake velocity at low engine speed, andincrease airflow at higher speeds. An oil cooler was standard. Transmissions were the close-ratio five-speed stick and the four-speed automatic.

Both had front seats with adjustable headrest angle, fore-and-aft travel, seat cushion height, and lumbar support; analog speedometer and tachometer readouts; optional dual-stage air conditioning (with an economy setting); and standard power steering. The GT-S had an 8,000 rpm speedometer and a 150 mph speedometer; both had flip-up halogen headlights. Front and rear antisway bars were standard, with an optional antislip differential; GT-S got four-wheel disc brakes, stiffer springs, firmer dampening, low-pressure shocks, and larger diameter antisway bars, as well as 195/60SR13 radials (the SR5 got 185/70SR13 radials).
 Finally, the FX-16 was started as its own model, complete with the 16-valve 4A-GE engine. There were just two models, both two-door hatchbacks, called FX16 and FX16 GT-S; the base included reclining bucket seats, cloth interior, carpet, folding split rear seat backs, console, full instrumentation, and rear deck cover, while the GT-S added a more aggressive suspension, larger tires and rear sway bar, power remote outside mirrors, leather-wrapped wheel and shifter, tilt wheel, intermittent wipers, and rear window wiper-washer, along with a rear roof spoiler and other cosmetic touches. Both came with Eagle GT tires, either a five-speed stick or four-speed manual, four-wheel disc brakes, and the 16 valve engine, but tuned to 108 hp and 96 lb-ft rather than 112 and 97. That was a good-sized engine for a car that weighed in at just 2,350 pounds (five-speed FX16) or, at most, 2,436 pounds (automatic GT-S). 
 Sixth generation Toyota Corolla, 1988-1992
The sixth generation started in 1988. With sales still rising, Toyota opened a new facility in Canada which also produced Corollas. The quality of Toyota's new plants in North America was high enough to garner top (for its class) J.D. Power ratings in 1988, 1990, and 1992, and top ten ratings through 1994. The FX was available with either a single or dual cam engine (with the latter, it was called the FX16).

In 1993, the Corolla moved to its current compact size, garnering many awards. The Tercel was split off as a separate subcompact model to attract those who could no longer afford the increasingly upscale Corolla. The 1.6 liter 4A-F engine continued as standard equipment, with an optional stroked 1.8 liter version, the 7A-FE. A driver's side airbag was standard, and a passenger airbag was added in 1994. We expect to host a separate page on this landmark model soon. Also see technical details and drawings of the 1993-1997 models!
By 1997, all Corollas sold in the United States were built in North America — at NUMMI and in Canada. The wagon was discontinued, but side-impact protection was increased.
In 1998, a new generation was launched, which would last nearly ten years. Its distinguishing feature was a new ZZ-series 1.8 liter engine which produced about 120 hp, with (unlike Civic engines) torque to match. Yet, it achieved very good gas mileage and was quite quiet. This Corolla was critically acclaimed for having a luxuriously quiet interior, high levels of comfort, well designed switchgear and controls, and a responsive yet economical engine.
 In 2000, the engine was given variable valve timing for better gas mileage and more power. It also reduced emissions, so that the Corolla could be certified by the EPA as a low emission vehicle.
2001 saw a minor facelift of the sheet metal, making the Corolla look even more like a Camry. In 2003, the Corolla was expanded and cosmetically modified in a periodic redesign, while in 2004, a new generation was introduced that was larger inside - nearly matching the prior-generation Camry. In 2005, the Celica's engine was retuned for better mid-range torque (and lower horsepower) and put into a modified Corolla to produce the Corolla XRS.

The 2009 Corolla saw numerous cost-cutting moves, some of which detracted from the car’s feel; a new engine with roughly the same power was used. 2009 Corolla details.
In the thirty years since its introduction, Corolla has sold more cars worldwide than any other nameplate! (that was written in 1999 but is still true today.)

Front wheel drive Toyota Corolla specifications over the years

2003-2008 1998-2002 1990-92 1987*** 1983***
Headroom, front 39.1 39.3 38.3 37.8 & 36.7
Headroom, rear 37.1 36.9 36.9
Legroom, front 41.3 42.5 42.4 42.1 & 41.6
Legroom, rear 35.4 33.2 32.0
Hip room, front 51.9 50.5
Hip room, rear 46.2 51.2
Tread (max) 58.3 57.5 52.4 & 53.0
Trunk space 13.6 cubic feet 12.1 cubic feet 11 cubic feet 12.7 c.f.
EPA interior space 90.3 cubic feet 88 cubic feet 84 cubic feet
Wheelbase 102.4 97.0 95.7 95.7 94.5 (both)
Length 178.3 174.0 170-172 166.3 166-169 (both)
Height 57.5-57.7 54.5 49.5-54.5 50.8-53.0 (both)
Width 66.9 66.7 65.2 - 65.6 64.4 63.4-64.0 (both)
Weight (lb) ~ 2,600 2414-2453 lb 2,390 - 2,436 2134-2167 2,080-2,178 (both)
Drag coefficient .296* 0.31
Ground clearance 5.7 4.7 5.3
* Reported as 0.30 starting in 2005 ** Except wagon, 1,731   *** Four door sedan
Engines (All figures for FWD) 2003-07 1998-2002 1993-1997 1990-92 1987
Base engine, horsepower 130@6,000* 120 @ 5,600 103-105 90-102** 72 @ 5,200
Base engine, torque 125@4,200 122 @ 4,400 100-102 95-101** 86 @ 2,800
Base engine, manual trans 32/40 31/38 28/33
Base engine, four-speed automatic 29/38 28/36 25/33
Base engine, three-speed automatic n/a 28/33 26/29
* Starting in 2006, engines were rated to 126 hp / 122 lb-ft of torque at the same engine speeds. Starting in 2005, gas mileage rose to 32/41 (manual), 30/38 automatic, 26/34 XRS.
** 1990: GT-S coupe got 130 hp/105 lb-ft (1990-91 only). 90 hp, 95 lb-ft are 1992 figures for Corolla.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Geneva Motor Show Highlights

 2012 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback
2012 Fiat Freemont

2012 Kia Rio

2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe

2012 Pagani Huayra

2012 Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid

BMW Vision Connected Drive

Ferrari FF
Hyundai i40 Wagon

Mini Rocketman Concept
Renault Captur Concept
Smart Forspeed Electric Concept


The Ford Motor Company is a U.S. multinational company which started in Dearborn, Michigan. The automobile maker was started by Henry Ford and integrated on the 16th of June 1903. On top of the Mercury, Lincoln, and Ford brands, Fords owns the Volvo Cars in Sweden as well, and a little venture in Aston Martin in UK and Mazda in Japan. The former United Kingdom sponsors of Ford, which is Land Rover and Jaguar, were traded in March of year 2008 to the Tata Motors in India. Ford has consented to trade Volvo to the Geely Automobile in a contract that is supposed to be done in the 3rd quarter of year 2010.
Ford launched techniques for large scale production of automobiles and large scale administration of a manufacturing workforce using highly engineered production cycles categorized by shifting assembly lines. By the year 1914, the methods of Henry Ford came to be popular around the globe as Fordism.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Suzuki Motors

Suzuki Motor Co. Ltd., now one of the big four, started over sixty years ago in Japan making spinning looms. Branching out into the motorcycle market, they have again branched out into cars, vans, trucks, outboard motors and many other types of manufacturing.
But it is motorcycles that Suzuki is best known for, and their arrival on the motorcycle market started in June 1952, with a little machine, called the "Power Free", a 36cc single-cylinder two-stroke. It had an unprecedented feature which was the double-sprocket gear system, which enabled the rider to pedal with the engine assisting, pedal without engine assist, or disconnect the pedals and run with engine power alone. The system was so ingenious, the Patent Office granted Suzuki a financial subsidy to continue research into motorcycle engineering.

Nine months later, the "Power Free" got a two-speed transmission, and was joined by a more powerful 60cc version called the "Diamond Free." It was simple and easy to maintain, with the engine mounted onto the front wheel of a bicycle. Suzuki employees, who had been making looms, were now making motorcycle parts.
By 1954, Suzuki had made their first "real" motorcycle, the "Colleda CO". They were producing 6,000 motorcycles per month; Suzuki was moving on to bigger, more powerful motorcycles. The Colleda CO was a lightweight 90cc single-cylinder four-stroke. Winning a national Japanese race in its first year of production ensured its future and made it an instant success.

n June 1954, the company changed its name from Suzuki Jidosha Kogyo (meaning Suzuki Automotive Industries), to Suzuki Motor Co. Ltd.

March 1955 saw the introduction of Suzuki's largest machine, the Colleda COX, a 125cc single-cylinder four-stroke with more modern styling. Also introduced was a redesigned version of the popular two-stroke Colleda, named the Colleda ST. It came with more sophisticated suspension and lighting. To meet the needs of the market, it was bored out from 90 to 125cc and a great many were sold. The forethought of the Suzuki engineers was shown when the last models of the Colleda, made in May 1959, were fitted with electric starters, astonishing their European competitors. 
In 1956, Suzuki technicians were developing a completely new competition machine, known as the TT. Based on the successful Colleda, it was the forerunner of the Grand Prix machines. It was a high-performance machine of its day, being able to do over 80 mph and capable of out-performing machines with far more powerful engines, despite making only 18bhp from its 250cc twin-cylinder two-stroke engine. With its indicators, and built-in, four-speed gearbox it was considered very advanced.

As 1958 rolled in, Suzuki Motor Co. Ltd. had 50, 125 and 250cc machines in its arsenal. In May of that year it introduced the "Suzumoped SM", using the successful Mini Free power plant mounted in a spine-type frame.  

In October of that year, Suzuki introduced their corporate "S" logo, which was used on all their bikes and is still used by the motorcycle division. 

June 1960 Suzuki takes their factory-prepared 125cc Colleda racers to the Isle of Man to compete in the lightweight TT. Although they did not win at their first attempt, they managed respectable fifteenth, sixteenth and eighteenth places. Suzuki was anxious to show the buying public their machines were fast and reliable.  
The 'Selped' moped was one of the company's biggest sellers; it was later boosted to 80cc, and was to become one of Suzuki's best sellers, the A100.

By the end of 1962, Suzuki had won their first World road racing Championship in the 500cc class, and in America, Suzuki was setting up their new headquarters under the "U.S. Suzuki Motor Corporation" banner. The company decided that it needed to test its prototype machines on a purpose-built track, construction was started in 1962 on its 5-mile Ryuyo test track near the factory and was completed in 1963.

Suzuki made steady progress in road racing and in 1964 they surprised the road-race fans by entering into the world of motocross Grand Prix. Entering the Japanese motocross champion, Kazuo Kubo, in the Swedish 250cc Grand Prix, but without the same success they had achieved earlier in road racing. Although their machines were fast, they did not handle well. Suzuki's engineers went back to the drawing board and returned to Europe in 1966, with completely redesigned machines, which saw moderate success. In 1967 Suzuki signed up their first non-Japanese motocross rider, the Swede, Olle Peterson. 
It was European, Joel Robert, who in 1972 won the World Championship, Suzuki's first. Suzuki won several more times, and won the 125cc class every year since 1975. October 1967 saw the introduction of the 500cc Titan road bike. This was known through its 11-year production as the Cobra, Titan and the Charger, finishing production as the GT500. It was a 500cc twin-cylinder two-stroke, which handled quite well and became very popular.

The trail bike, with its on and off-road capabilities, was the big success story for all the Japanese manufacturers and in March 1969 Suzuki launched their TS range, with knowledge gained from the motocross World Championships.

But it was with the two-stroke machines that Suzuki achieved their greatest successes, both on and off the track. In October 1969 they opened another factory at Toyama to produce small capacity two-strokes. 

A machine, which took the motorcycling world by surprise, was the astonishingly quick GT750 Two-Stroke triple cylinder capable of well over 110 mph with acceleration to match. At 540lbs, it was not a lightweight, but with 67bhp it could push itself from 0 to 60mph in only five seconds. 

With the confidence gained from producing the large capacity GT750 Two-Stroke triple, Suzuki announced to the world that they would introduce a totally new 500cc four-cylinder, Two-Stroke racer called the RG500. As a mater of fact, the RG500 was to become the single most successful racing machine of modern times, and by the time it had completed three racing seasons it had won two World Championships with Britain's Barry Sheene aboard.

A model worthy of mention is the RE5. This was Suzuki's attempt at producing a rotary-engine machine. Based on the Wankel design from Germany, it proved to be a costly and expensive failure.  

In 1976 Suzuki made a bold decision to introduce a range of four-stroke machines. The first machines were the GS400, a 400cc twin, and the potent four-cylinder 750cc GS750, with double-overhead camshafts.

In 1977 Suzuki dropped its line of large street going Two-Stroke triples. This was a sad year for the Two-Stroke. 
In October 1978 Suzuki unveiled the powerful shaft-drive GS850G. They also introduced a completely new look and styling for a new and revolutionary range of Superbikes. Called "Katana", it promised a performance and handling never before seen on a road-going bike. Featuring Twin-Swirl combustion chambers and many other highly advanced technical features, the first Katana was the GS1000S.

March 1982, saw the introduction of the XN85 turbocharged 650cc superbike. By the end of the 1982 road-racing season, Suzuki had won the 500cc road-racing World Championship for the eighth consecutive time, the 125cc motocross World Championship, and their sixth 500cc motocross World Championship.

Limousine Cars

Since the 1700s

In some form or another, the concept of a chauffeured vehicle has been in existence since the 1700’s.  Developed with the wealthy in mind, they started as horse drawn carriages, gilded in gold and pulled by only the finest animals.The word limousine is the feminine adjective formed from the word Limoges which is the province in France that started it all.The notable feature that makes limousines different from other vehicles (or in this case carriages) is that the driver is in an entirely separate compartment from their fare.
Engine powered limousines

The first automobile limousine developed in 1902 was designed so the driver sat outside under a covered compartment.  Thus bringing us back to the origin of the word limousine, called that because this covered compartment physically resembled the cloak hood worn by those that resided in Limoges.

The first stretch
The first actual stretch limousine was created in Arkansas around 1928. They were often reffered to as “big band buses” because the were mainly used to transport famous big band leaders, their orchestras, as well as their instruments to various parts if the United States.

Growth in the 30s 
In the 1930′s Limousines really started to take off. They were used to transport guests of hotels from the airport to the hotel and also on different sightseeing tours.Thus, the name “Airporter Stretch Coach” was born. After seeing the growing popularity of the vehicles, the movie industry immediately jumped on board. They used limousines to carry film crew and stage personnel around movie sets. During that time, limousines also became a common accessory for movie actors and actresses. You weren’t considered “it” unless you arrived in a stretch limousine.

High end transportation
Soon after, the six-door limousine was invented. These were typically funeral cars and were built on Cadillac Chasis’. Over time, limousines continued to become more and more popular. They were used to transport everyone from movie stars to the President of the United States wherever they needed.

No drinking & driving
Along with the comfort, style & other luxury benefits, limousines useage have grown in many countries (especially in the US) due to “no drink – drive” policies implemented by governments, meaning that travellers in vehicles can not have open alcohol containers and must be seperated from the driver.

Recent trends
Today, limousines are still used to shuttle the rich and famous, but are also designed to carry much larger numbers of people. The addition of new technologies and different types of vehicle available to stretch has led to a rise in the “new style” limos. Perfect for shuttling large numbers of people around to parties, clubs, weddings & wine tours.


The origins of Jaguar can be traced back to the northern seaside town of Blackpool in the early 1920s. It was here that a young motorcycle enthusiast, Bill Lyons (b. 1901), not yet 21 years of age, met William Walmsley (b. 1891) who was building attractive motorcycle sidecars and attaching them to reconditioned motorbikes. Walmsley had not long arrived in Blackpool with his parents from Stockport, and both families happened lived in the same street – King Edward Avenue.

As soon as William Lyons came of age, he and Walmsley formed the Swallow Sidecar Company on 4th September 1922 with a bank overdraft of £1,000. Securing first and second floor premises in Bloomfield Road, Blackpool, they commenced commercial production of the sidecars together with a small team of eight employees, including a young Arthur Whitaker. Although initially employed to help with sales, Whitaker’s strength lay in purchasing and he was to remain with Lyons for some 50 years, proving himself to be one of the most shrewd purchasers in the business.

Lack of factory space soon became a problem, and two further Blackpool sites were taken over – in Woodfield Road (mainly for despatch purposes) and, shortly afterwards, in John Street which was fortuitously situated close to the main Swallow premises.

n mid-1926, plans for producing motor-car bodies were well under way, and this – together with the year-by-year increase in production of the sidecars – made it necessary for Swallow to move into a larger building. Lyons had heard that a building erected specifically for coachbuilding was coming on to the market. The previous occupant, Joseph Street, had run into trouble and the property was now up for sale, but at a price beyond which the partnership could afford. Fortunately, Walmsley’s father had just sold his coal business and was looking for somewhere to invest the proceeds, offering to purchase the building and lease it to Lyons and Walmsley junior at an annual rent of £325.

The entire removal to 41 Cocker Street took just one weekend with no assistance from outside sources, other than the unofficial assistance of one pantechnicon and driver, which on the Friday had delivered new sidecar chassis frames from Haywards of Birmingham.

It was in late 1926, and announced to the public in May 1927, that the Swallow Sidecar and Coachbuilding Company first diversified by taking an existing car and bodying it with more fashionable coachwork. The first model to benefit was the popular, but basic, Austin Seven. Intended to bring motoring to the masses, the Austins were cheap and easy to run, but Lyons believed “… that it would also appeal to a lot of people if it had a more luxurious and attractive body.” Lyons persuaded Stanley Parker, a dealer in Bolton, Lancashire, to supply him with a new Austin Seven chassis and the result, largely thanks to the efforts of Cyril Holland, a coachbuilder who had been hired from the Midlands, was the Austin Seven Swallow – a distinctive open tourer, with its own cowled radiator, and at £175 (£185 with the hinged hard top) remained well within the budget of many Austin owners.

The Austin Swallow proved popular and was followed in 1928 by the Austin Seven Swallow Saloon – a car that looked much more expensive than it actually was. By aping the style of the more luxurious cars of the era, the Swallows allowed their owners to “keep up appearances” at a time of economic hardship for many. 

1928 also saw the brief introduction of the Morris Cowley-Swallow. Relatively few of these cars were produced. Although the price was right, the Cowley-Swallow was very slow, and would have struggled against the Oxford-MG. This was not the only Morris connection, however. Produced as a “one-off”, was the Morris Minor-Swallow.

In 1928 the business was moved from Blackpool, where there was a serious shortage of skilled labour, to an old ammunition factory at Foleshill, Coventry. Capable of only producing 2 cars per day in the existing factory, an order from Henlys for 500 Austin Swallows effectively forced this move. With a fivefold increase in floor space, Swallow production could be upped from twelve to fifty cars per week. The move also reduced costs as it was no longer necessary to transport the chassis from their manufacturers in the Midlands up to Blackpool.

At the annual London Motor Show in 1929, three new Swallow models appeared for the first time. These were based on the existing Standard Big Nine, Swift Ten, and Fiat Tipo 509A chassis. The Standard Swallow was a rather larger saloon than the previous models, selling for £245, but still offered a more extravagant body style than the manufacturer’s own car.

In 1931 the larger Standard 16 hp six-cylinder Enfield chassis received the Swallow treatment, introducing the company to the 2054cc sidevalve engine, which they were to utilise for their next ambitious step forward. Meanwhile a model of rather more sporting pretensions was introduced with the Swallow version of the Wolseley Hornet, and in 1932 the even more sporty Hornet Special.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


The Automotive history of Audi. 
Audi can trace its company origins back to the turn of the century in 1899 with a German engineer called August Horch.

In 1910 at Zwickau, Germany, the first Horch automobile was launched but by 1910 August Horch was pushed out of the company he craeted. August decided to stay in Zwickau and form a new company that would still use the brand name Horch. This would lead to a law suite for the trademark Horch by his former partners too which they would win. Frustrated that Horch was unable to use his own family name for his business Horch which translate to "listen" decided to use the Latin translation of the family name which was "Audi". Many people believe that Audi is an acronym for "Auto Union Deutschland Ingolstadt" because the main factory is in Ingolstadt, Germany.

The first Audi vehicle was a 2.6 liter model and would later be followed by a 3.6, 4.7 and 5.7 four cylinder models. All models had great success.

In 1920 August Horch decide to leave Audi.

In 1924 a 4.7 litre six cylinder model was produced.

J.S. Rasmussen the owner of DKW bought the company in 1928 and later that year also bought what was left of Rickenbacker a United States automobile manufacturer, included in this purchase was the technology and equipment needed for eight cylinder engines that would be later used in the Audi Dresden and Audi Zwickau models in 1929. During this time, four and six cylinder vehicles were produced with a licence from Peugeot for the engines.

Audi became well know for its high standards producing superior bodywork and luxurious features.

Just before WWII the "Auto Union" company was formed in 1932, this comprised of four companies Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer, this merger would lead to the introduction of the familiar rings that exist on the badge today. With four rings interlinking each one would represent one of the merged businesses. The badge was only to be used on the racing cars for Auto Union as the individual vehicle brands were used for their own models. As time grew Audi models started to use Horch and Wanderer engines as the businesses continued to merge.

The bombing in WWII destroyed parts of the Auto Union factory and Zwickau became part of the German Democratic Republic forcing the head office to be moved in 1949 to Ingolstadt. During this time the rings and DKW badge were used together on an unpopular range of vehicles.

Daimler-Benz stepped in by 1958 to acquired a large portion of the Auto Union company, 88%, and by the end of the year would own the whole business.

A 4 door sedan with 72 Break horse Power and a four stroke engine was produced by Daimler-Benz in 1965 to re-launch the company, this model would later be labelled the Audi 72.

In 1964 Volkswagen bought the company which led to a complete technology update for VW this would prove crucial in the development of water-cooled vehicles.

Another merger was looming in 1969 with NSU, in Stuttgart, Germany they were previously the biggest producer ofmotorcycles in the world but wanted to move into the car manufacturing business and went on to produced the NSU Prinz.

The new rotary engine was the new focus for NSU which was the brain child of Felix Wankel and the NSU Ro 80 was produced in 1967, it was a futuristic car which was so far ahead of its time taking into account the safety features a light weight frame and aerodynamic shaping, but the engine had problems and this led to NSU no longer being independent.

The end of the NSU brand as a separate name was made when Volkswagen took the K70 car that NSU had designed and introduced it into its own range.

In 1968 the Audi 100 was launched and would be followed in 1972 with the Audi 80/Fox this would later be the foundation for the Volkswagen Passat in 1973.

1974 would see the introduction of the Audi 50 known today as the much loved Volkswagen Polo.

Audi had a conservative image at this time and Jorg Bensinger an engineer proposed the development of four-wheel drive for a racing car and a production Audi performance turbocharged coupe later to be labelled the "Quattro". The Quattro became the first vehicle to be produced on a large scale with full-time all-wheel drive through a centre differential. The vehicle was commonly know as the "Ur-Quattro" meaning original Quattro, the "UR-" was also used in mentioning the original sport sedans Audi S4 and Audi S6. All the vehicles were hand built buy a small team resulting in very few being made, the cars were used in rally driving and proved to be a huge success with many high profile wins that would contribute to the viability of all-wheel drive race cars. The Audi brand name became synonymous with automotive technology and the advances being made at the time.

The Audi type 89 was produced in 1986 when Audi realised the Audi 80 needed an image update this would prove to be a great success with strong sales. The issues with this vehicles where poor engine performance and the base model was very sparse in extras.

The Audi 90 was released in 1987 with a multitude of standard features compared with previous models.

By the early 90''s the Audi 80 series sales started to drop and there were construction issues.

A 60 Minutes report in the United States didn''t help sales with reports that Audi cars suffered from "unintended acceleration" this was due to the brake and accelerator pedals being to close together for the US market where a majority of drivers where using gearboxes that were automatic. Europe had no such problems as a manual transmission was widely used.

Audi sales were crushed when 60 Minutes fixed a car to perform erratically at this point Audi were thinking of leaving the US market but sales started to recover in the mid 90''s. In 1996 the Audi A4 would prove to be the saviour and along with the Audi A6 and Audi A8.

Europe is currently seeing strong growth for Audi and is well known for its build quality and understated style which has made it a desirable brand.

The Audi brand still doesn''t have the prestige of the BMW or Mercedes-Benz but in 2003 the new Audi A4 was released and the new Audi A6 was launched in 2004 both received praise from high profile news reviews and critics upstaging BMW and Mercedes-Benz.