In 1969 Volkswagenwerk AG engineered the merger of Auto Union GmbH and the Neckarsulm-based NSU Motorenwerke AG. The new company was known as Audi NSU Auto Union AG and had its registered offices in Neckarsulm.
Due to the extensive range of Audi and NSU models that covered a wide variety of engines and drive concepts, in 1971 a new advertising slogan was coined: "Vorsprung durch TechnikVorsprung durch Technik"Vorsprung durch Technik" is Audi's tagline in Germany. Literally translated, it means "advancement through technology"; however, English cannot fully capture the meaning of "Vorsprung" which means "to leap ahead."Vorsprung durch Technik ". And since the coining of this term it’s effectively been adopted as the company's mantra to the present day.
Loosely translated, "Vorsprung durch Technik" means “Advancement through Technology”, and it was entirely in this spirit that the first-generation Audi 80 (B1 series) was launched in 1972. With a glittering array of new technical features such as a new series of OHC engines and self-stabilizing steering roll radius, more than a million cars had been built by the time production of this first generation ceased.
In 1974, Ferdinand Piëch was appointment as Head of Technical Development, replacing Ludwig Kraus. During the "Piëch era" Audi really was transformed into a highly innovative car manufacturer, as well as a gradually raising of the brand’s overall positioning. The five-cylinder engine (1976), turbocharging (1979) and quattro four-wheel drive (1980) are great examples of success during this period.
In 1985, the company underwent a change of name from Audi NSU Auto Union AG to AUDI AG, and since then, the company and the products it builds have shared that name. The company's headquarters also moved back to Ingolstadt. Subsequent progress has seen a sensational range of technical innovations including fully galvanized bodies, the most aerodynamic volume-built saloon of its time, the extensive use of turbocharged petrol engines, the development of economical direct-injection diesel engines, the aluminum bodyAluminum BodyThe Audi A8 is the first North American car with an aluminum body built according to the Audi Space Frame® principle. Aluminum Body , the first hybrid vehicles, direct petrol injection and the manufacture of luxury-class cars with eight and twelve-cylinder engines. These really are just some of the many milestones that document the emergence of the Audi brand as a manufacturer of premium cars.