Audi is the direct successor of the Auto Union Corporation of Saxony, Germany, founded in 1932 through the merger of Audi Automobilwerke of August Horch ("August Listen", in German, hence the Latin name Audi) and his other company, Horch, as well as DKW and Wanderer.
The company first produced Grand Prix racing cars, and its Silver Arrows were legendary in the pre-war races. After the war, with its factories destroyed or dismantled by the Soviets, the Auto Union AG was liquidated and relaunched in Western Germany but focused on building cheap DKW cars. The company was bought by Daimler-Benz in 1958, and then sold to Volkswagen in 1964.
The Audi brand was revived in 1965, with the Audi 72 model. The first true Audi was the Audi 100 model, launched in 1968. It was followed by the renowned Audi 80 in 1972 and the Audi 50 in 1974. Gaining sales momentum, the Audi bosses decided to try their hand in competitions and performance cars. Thus, the Audi Quattro was launched in 1980.
The Ur-Quattro was so successful in rallying (won the World Rally Championship in 1982 and 1984), that the company managed to build on its newly-acquired racing aura. The Audi 90, the new 100/200 models and the V8, launched at the end of the 80s, signaled a new focus on premium and sports cars.
Audi's modern line of cars started in 1995 with the A4 and the A6, while the return to racing saw Audi's drivers shine thirteen times at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (2000-2002, 2004-2008, 2010-2014), and several times in the German DPM Championship (1990, 1991) and DTM (2002, 2004, 2007-2009, 2011, 2013).
Audi's current lineup ranges from the A1 supermini to the A8 full-size luxury car. As one of the main German premium car producers, it has entries in almost all market segments, from city and family cars to big SUVs, sports cars, and the e-tron performance electric supercars.