Audi celebrates 50 years of progress through technology
“Vorsprung durch Technik,” which roughly translates to “progress through technology,” is more than a slogan for Audi—it encapsulates the company’s mindset. As Audi marks the 50th anniversary since it first verbalized its corporate philosophy via this slogan, Oliver Hoffman, Audi AG Board Member for technical development, speaks about developments that defined—and which continue to define—Vorsprung durch Technik.
1. Audi 80 breathed life into Vorsprung durch Technik
When Audi dominated rally racing in the early 1980s with the Quattro, and later on with the Quattro Sport S1 and Quattro A2, the Vorsprung durch Technik slogan was already a decade old. The first model to capture this was the Audi 80 (B1), which was available with an engine so advanced for the time that descendants of this are still presently used. The model also featured lightweight technology—just like current Audi vehicles do.
2. quattro-powered motorsports pushed Vorsprung
The all-wheel drive quattro technology not only drove Audi’s rally successes, but also pushed Vorsprung by transferring knowhow gained from motor racing to series production cars. Audi considers racing as a kind of test lab under extreme conditions, from where it draws inspiration for new ideas and components. This was true of the quattro drive and hybrid racecars at various 24-hour championships in the past—and that is not going to change. quattro is and will always be synonymous with Audi.
3. Design plays key role in Vorsprung
Design, or the interplay between form and function, is becoming more important than ever as the world—and consequently, vehicles—become increasingly digital. Design revolves around connectivity in the digital world, and in this process design will continue to gain importance. Just as there is a technology side, there is also a design aspect to Vorsprung. This means high-quality, innovative solutions that significantly improve everyday life, such as EV stations that, when paired with the right infrastructure, are capable of fast-charging; intelligent lighting technology; and lightweight construction achieved through a combination of materials.
4. Vorsprung leads to end-to-end mobility solutions
Audi develops new cars and services at the kind of pace the 21st-century digital society expects—meaning shorter development cycles. To translate Vorsprung durch Technik into this new age of mobility is to interpret it as state-of-the-art engineering, design and digital experiences. Audi’s focus will increasingly be on end-to-end mobility solutions that also encompass the necessary infrastructure. One example is the fast-charging hub pilot project that is scheduled to launch soon. This solution, which can be flexibly rolled out in different locations, could cater to spikes in demand in the future. In pursuing Vorsprung, Audi aims to contribute to society’s development.
5. Vorsprung transitions to electromobility
The shift toward electromobility is the most dramatic transformation the auto industry has ever undergone, and Audi is aiming to be the best in its class. Audi has been systematically expanding its scope of electrification as it plans to offer more than 20 all-electric models by 2025. One of these models is the new Audi RS e-tron GT—the flagship for electric premium mobility at Audi, and which is now currently available. The car distills 50 years of Vorsprung durch Technik expertise in a fully electric package. If the RS e-tron GT is a statement for tomorrow’s mobility—which Audi believes it is—the future looks bright.