Online Extra: Big Turns in Audi's History

1899: Engineer August Horch founds A. Horch & Cie. at age 32 in Cologne. Horch presents his first car two years later

1909: Horch falls out with his board and starts another car company. Banned from using his own name again, he chooses Audi, the Latin translation for the word that means "hark!" in German

1932: The four Saxon motor-vehicle brands -- Audi, DKW, Horch, and Wanderer -- merge, forming Auto Union AG, based in Chemnitz

1934: Auto Union's reputation soared on a successful racing car designed by Ferdinand Porsche. A 16-cylinder engine was installed behind the driver, boosting the vehicle's aerodynamics

1945: The Soviet military dismantles and expropriates Auto Union's plants in Saxony as war reparations

1949: Horch and his partners set up a new car company, Auto Union GmbH in Ingolstadt

1964: VW takes over Auto Union GmbH. The Audi brand is reintroduced a year later

1972: The Audi 80 becomes a smash hit, selling over a million cars within six years

1980: Audi Quattro, a sports coupe, becomes the first high-performance vehicle with four-wheel drive

1986-87: Audi is slammed in the U.S. by customer charges that unintended acceleration caused accidents

1988: The new premium Audi V8 (250 hp) throws down a gauntlet to Mercedes and BMW

1994: The launch of the first Audi A8 with an all-aluminium body, a first for a passenger car

1998: Audi TT coupe debuts

2002: Walter de Silva recruited to Audi as chief designer from Italy's Alfa Romeo

2002: Audi launches second-generation A8 luxury sedan, winning accolades as best car in class

2004: Redesigned Audi A6 debuts, a direct challenge to BMW's successful 5 Series

Data: Company

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