History of Auto Union
German carmaker "Auto Union" was founded in 1932, by combining four brands - "Wanderer", "DKW", "Horch and Audi. Each of the brands have their own niche in the market. Audi and Wanderer positioned ourselves as manufacturers of middle-class models, which, however, had its own technological developments. At the same time, under the brand Horch was produced machine class-premium, as a response to the model Daimler. In this Quartet DKW acted as a budget manufacturer, which engaged in the production of vehicles with two-stroke engines and low price.
However, in 1933 the company "Auto Union" refused to solution development hire several brands. Thus, was born the first model, which included joint efforts of all departments of the concern. The first model of them became Audi Front - front-wheel drive auto with a 2.2 liter six-cylinder power unit from Wanderer. Then it was followed by the Audi 920, which had rear-wheel drive design and a 3.2 liter engine from Horch.
The first model had the power of the engine of 50 horsepower and options body included a version of the sedan and convertible. And in 1937 Audi Front got triple sports version, which had the engine in 63 horsepower. In 1938 Auto Union became the first automotive company in the world, which is mandatory was not only road tests their cars, but also safety tests, which included the study of behavior models in emergency situations and in collisions of different forces.
Since its inception the "Auto Union" was one of the most important and largest suppliers of military equipment for the German army, it is not surprising that in 1940 by Hitler's order, the company was fully transferred to the manufacturing of military equipment and maintenance of tanks and planes of other German companies. The most famous of them were armoured all-wheel drive vehicles Leichter Panzerspahwagen, which had a 3.5 and 3.8 liter diesel powertrain Horch, a power of 90 horsepower. In addition, there was high demand for light armored car Sdkfz that had a number of modifications: they could bear a few small guns or one large-caliber gun, and there were versions with mobile radios. In addition, on the basis Leichter Panzerspahwagen produced armored Sdkfz 247, which had an eight-cylinder, 3.5-liter gasoline engine, developing 110 horsepower.
Nevertheless, the company was not only one of the creators of terror and horror that prevailed in Europe during the Second World War. Along with "Mercedes-Benz", "Auto Union" has dominated all racing pre-war period.
In 1933, it was decided to advertise a new car brand through sports competitions, which were popular among the common population of Europe, and the best racers were as famous as movie stars and musicians. Having received a subsidy from the German government, which tried to show the planet their greatness, "Auto Union", in collaboration with Atelier Ferdinand Porsche, has released his first racing car. The model has a 4.3-liter power unit, with a capacity of 295 horsepower. Not having to worry about lack of experience, "Auto Union" has paid the requisite fee to participate in the most prestigious races of the pre-war period - Grand Prix racing, which in 1951 became known as the Formula 1. A year later known racer Hans-Joachim Pieces have set a speed record on his Auto Union Type A. In 1934, when the team's pilots took part in all three races of the season, "Auto Union" used diagnostic methods of the behavior of the car at high speed, which in the future became the ancestors of the modern telemetry. As a result, the pilot company August Momberger at advanced Auto Union Type B conquered race Germany, the Czech Republic and Sweden, where one of the main competitors of the team were such giants as "Bugatti", "Alfa Romeo", "Maserati" and "Mercedes-Benz".
In parallel with the success of the new model, the company's engineers decided to use to further Refine the race cars of the aircraft wind tunnel, which allowed for maximum accuracy to evaluate the effectiveness of certain decisions, and to monitor indicators of resistance to air these items.
In 1935 and 1936 on the enhanced Type C, received 375-HP engine, were consistently won two Grand Prix of Italy, Germany and Switzerland. And in 1937, the model has already received sectility power unit, with a capacity of 520 horsepower, becoming the first successful experiment of the company for the production turbocharged motor.
In 1938 hardened competition with the new child "Mercedes-Benz", but the team's pilots "Auto Union" was able to win the Grand Prix of Italy, Belgium, great Britain, USA and France. However, after the departure of Ferdinand Porsche in 1937 and development of the new Type D, victory faded into the background. After 33 successfully won the race, the engineers put all their strength in order to break as many records for maximum speed. Last year's racing team was 1939, when the team still continued to fight for victory, but the outflow of capital from sports programs in the military made itself felt.
In 1940 was completely collapsed sports team "Auto Union", and all events will be discontinued beginning in 1939 the Second World War. Factories "Auto Union" were suspended several prototype vehicles for future seasons, and the company began to concentrate on the development of military equipment for the German army. However, the outcome of the war is well known to all. In 1945, the Soviet command decided to completely destroy the factories of the company "Auto Union", and all the prototypes and technologies are transported in the United States and the Soviet Union. The latest brainchild of the company, which saw the light, became the Soviet model car for racing in the class Formula-2 Falcon 650 on which worked surviving engineers "Auto Union". However, success on the racetrack, the car was not achieved.
However, the symbolism of the "Auto Union" as its heritage exist in our time. Once well known symbol of the four companies - four rings, was known throughout Europe as the emblem of the most ambitious German company. Now this symbol belongs to the group "Audi", which is part of Volkswagen Group, fully bought shards "Auto Union". And now, looking at the logo Audi, few remember that these rings are a symbol of an era, long before she became the Executive producer and sports cars luxury.