The origin of the automaker we all know these days as Audi is an fascinating one. Horch, which was simply revived for an ultra-luxury trim degree, and Audiwerke have been based by engineer August Horch. These two firms then merged with DKW and Wanderer within the Thirties to create Auto Union. Then, Volkswagen acquired Auto Union from Daimler. That signifies that, sure, at one level, the mother or father firm of Mercedes-Benz owned the mother or father firm of Audi. Volkswagen then merged Auto Union with NSU, to create what we now know as Audi.
Though Audiwas once a reasonably unpopular luxurious model, they’ve skyrocketed as one of the vital fascinating premium automakers of right this moment. With their rallying success, relentless advocacy of placing AWD in regular shopper automobiles, and a deal with stately luxurious automobiles that straddle a line between engagement and dignity, it is no marvel why they’re doing so good. There are just a few fashions from their again catalog, nonetheless, that nobody appears to speak about.
10 RS5 (First Technology)
The RS model was simply getting began within the late 2000s, helped together with the introduction of the R8 sports activities automobile (which we’ll get again to). Alongside the opposite RS fashions within the secure, Audi introduced out the unique RS5 in 2010, based mostly on the A5 luxurious coupe.
That is simply one of many best-looking Audi fashions ever made, and it is also criminally underappreciated. This primary era RS5 featured a beautiful naturally aspirated V8, primarily the identical engine because the R8. It made 450 hp on this software, rocketing from 0-60 in 4 seconds with a high pace of 176 mph.
9 Q5 3.2 FSI
If you happen to’re an fanatic who’s available in the market for a crossover, as a result of modifications in your life that prohibit you from having a two-seater, you may have dozens and dozens of choices. However, for those who’re after one thing a little bit extra left-field and funky, the unique Audi Q5 3.2 FSI could also be up your alley.
This primary era Q5 was a fantastic all-around crossover package deal, and definitely a fantastic first try at a compact SUV from Audi. The three.2 FSI engine in query is actually the identical unit because the Golf R32 from the time, which is a unbelievable first scorching hatchback. If well-maintained, it is a reliable powertrain with some tuning functionality, besides that right here, it is packaged in a sensible, understated crossover package deal. That is a win-win.
8 A6 Allroad
After a bittersweet try with the hideously unreliable Allroad again within the early 2000s, Audi has determined to offer it one other go. Lifted station wagons are creeping up in reputation, and since Audi have been among the many first to check out that market, the Allroad is again.
The brand new A6 Allroad is actually simply an abnormal A6 Avant, outfitted with chunkier tires, some physique cladding and air suspension for higher functionality. Except for the RS6 Avant, that is the one option to have an A6 wagon in North America. Disgrace that it would not get a lot consideration. Perhaps as a result of old skool Allroad homeowners are nonetheless burned by attempting to keep up them.
This automobile, launched in 1988 and offered by means of 1993, represented a variety of firsts for Audi. It was their first true flagship luxurious automobile, it was their first automobile with a V8 engine, and their first automobile to mate the Quattro AWD system with an automated transmission. Amazingly, you might nonetheless get one in every of these with a handbook for those who needed to.
The V8 was a stately, easy luxurious sedan. Whereas it did not do all that nicely sales-wise, it shaped the premise of the unique A8 and S8, which went on to put in writing success tales of their very own. In the meantime, this V8 is a cool, used automobile purchase, if you could find one.
6 TT RS
The second era Audi TT arrived in 2006. Improved styling, dynamics and a brand new efficiency mannequin have been all on the desk. The three.2 Quattro mannequin was demoted, however that was solely to make room for an arguably much better efficiency spinoff; the TT RS.
This was the primary time the RS badge was slapped on a TT, and it was additionally the primary time that Audi gave the little sports activities automobile their magnum opus engine; the two.5-liter turbo 5 pot. On this software, it made 335 hp, although it was mated solely to a dual-clutch automated transmission. Audi did supply this TT RS in North America, and it is positively price a glance on the used market.
5 R8 (First Technology)
The primary era R8 is lastly beginning to acquire a little bit of traction amongst lovers, merely due to the worth proposition. That is one thing that the R8 has at all times had going for it; Audi launched it at a really aggressive price ticket, regardless of it being a correct sports activities automobile to rival the Porsche 911 and Aston Martin V8 Vantage.
Although most later R8 fashions used the Lamborghini Gallardo-spec V10 engine, the unique V8 affords a extra fascinating driving expertise. The high-revving V8 was additionally out there with a spectacular 6-speed gated handbook transmission. Early R8 fashions are very low-cost, though if the traction gaining continues, values may simply skyrocket.
4 This autumn E-tron
Audi is totally embracing the electrical automotive future, they usually’re rolling out new EVs throughout. The This autumn e-tron seems to be their most reasonably priced EV, and it makes use of VW’s MEB platform, slightly than the extra upscale platforms of the e-tron GT and the e-tron SUV.
It is also an electrical automobile that type of forgets that it’s one. It is all surprisingly regular, and whereas it’s fairly futuristic, it would not have something that may scare a possible shopper away. It additionally has as much as 241 miles of vary, as much as 300 hp, and it seems fairly cool, too.
Spurred on from the success of the Citroën DS3 Racing, the Mini Cooper JCW, the Fiat 500 Abarth and the Ford Fiesta ST, Audi determined to throw their hat into this ring as nicely, with the S1. Though it shares a part of its identify with the rally-winning legend of the 80s, this can be a very completely different animal.
Below the hood is VW’s EA888 turbo four-cylinder, tuned to 230 hp on this software. The S1 got here solely with a 6-speed handbook transmission, and it had one factor going for it that none of its rivals did on the time; on-demand AWD. It was a fantastic little scorching hatchback, and it is unhappy that it solely lasted 4 mannequin years in the marketplace.
2 A6 4.2 Quattro (C5)
Imagine it or not, this was really a factor. Within the late 90s and early 2000s, the C5 era Audi A6 was doing the rounds within the luxurious sedan phase. It was out there with a few dozen completely different powertrains, and slotting just under the S and RS fashions, there was the 4.2 Quattro.
In true Audi vogue, it wasn’t that straightforward to differentiate the 4.2 Quattro from different A6 fashions, other than the massively flared wheel arches. The 4.2-liter V8 made round 300 hp, sending this automobile from 0-60 in 6.9 seconds, on to a high pace of 155 mph. The 4.2 additionally had greater brakes, customary Quattro and a novel grille design.
1 S8 (D3)
The unique Audi S8 was powered by a high-output V8 engine. Audi turned up the ante for the D3 era with a naturally-aspirated V10. The mid-2000s appeared to be the period of V10 efficiency automobiles, and the D3 S8 was one in every of many.
This automobile supplied a distinct expertise, although. Despite the fact that it was massively highly effective, and it sounded nice, and whereas it did present a little bit extra leisure within the corners, it was nonetheless a really grown-up and stately luxurious automobile, and that was clear within the driving expertise. They’re getting very low-cost, so for those who’re prepared for the upkeep and occasional complications, now’s the time to purchase.