Auto Union, which would become Audi NSU Auto Union AG in March 1969 afterwards a alliance with NSU Motor Works, invites dealers and the media to the burghal amphitheater in Ingolstadt, Germany, on Nov. 26, 1968, for the admission of the all-new 100. The 100 apparent Audi’s access in the affluence midsize car bazaar and bound became a best-seller and eventually helped authorize Audi’s ability aural Volkswagen Group.
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Development of the Audi 100 began in clandestineness in the mid-1960s. Auto Union had aloof been acquired by Volkswagen Group from Daimler in 1965. Volkswagen banned the Ingolstadt, Germany, assemblage from ablution new agent programs. Wolfsburg’s official appointment for technicians in Ingolstadt: accommodate abutment aloof for accepted models and annihilation more.
But Ludwig Kraus, abstruse administrator at Auto Union, abandoned the orders. He believed acerb that Auto Union had a greater adventitious at actual as an absolute aggregation if a midrange car archetypal with abreast administration supplemented the archetypal alternation Auto Union alien in 1965.
PHOTO GALLERY: 50 years of the Audi 100
Auto Union’s top executive, Rudolf Leiding, apparent the assignment on the new flagship car accidentally afterwards encountering a archetypal in the architecture studio. Afterwards deliberations with Auto Union’s top technician, Leiding gave the ambitious for connected development.
The front-wheel-drive 100 was advised a change in the upper-middle-class car articulation at the time. The 4.59-meter-long 100 excelled in alley tests with a solid, failing body. The aboriginal Audi 100 advised aloof a little added than a ton — giving its 80-hp abject agent an accessible task.
The Audi 100 debuted at the Frankfurt auto appearance in 1968 as a two-door and four-door sedan. Rupert Neuer headed the architecture team, which created a modern, aerodynamically able appearance that managed to be visually lighter than BMW and Mercedes-Benz rivals at the time, while additionally establishing new beheld themes. The 100 had its own different look, and Audi’s four rings were positioned acutely on the grille, signaling the re-emergence of the Audi marque.
The 100 enjoyed a added aerial 1970 admission in the U.S. for a host of reasons, conspicuously styling, but it was acknowledged in ablution the cast in America. Audi’s aboriginal U.S. archetypal — the Super 90 four-door — had fared ailing due to blah styling.
“Even in the USA, the country of alley cruisers, Audi accomplished a admirable success with the Audi 100,” Audi acclaimed while appearance the car’s 50th ceremony this year with a appropriate display in Germany. “Until the closing was replaced by its almsman in 1976, Audi put 827,474 units of the aboriginal Audi 100 on the road.”
The additional bearing of the 100 benefited from added abreast styling, front-wheel drive, a five-cylinder agent and failing materials. The 100 was renamed the Audi 5000 back it went on auction in 1977.
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