As part of the “From 0 to 100” special exhibition, Audi museum mobile is presenting one of the most exciting moments in the history of Audi AG: the company entering the upper executive class with the Audi 100. Until June 24, 2018, visitors can expect to see 15 variants of this historically important model which the company premiered 50 years ago.
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. 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. From the first series alone, the company sold 800,000 units.
Highlights of the Audi 100 include its world-best aerodynamics value, the first fully galvanized body on an executive saloon and the Quattro permanent all-wheel drive system.