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March 10: Audi gets its name back on this date in 1968


The name Audi dates to the birth of the German auto industry; history says it was the son of company founder August Horch who in 1910 came up with translating "horch" — German for "hark!" — into its Latin form, "audi." After the creation of Auto Union from Audi and three other early German automakers, the name disappeared from use before World War II. It was only in the mid-1960s that Volkswagen, needing a name for some of the models it was selling from the troubled Auto Union it now owned, reached back for Audi. By 1968, Auto Union engineers had developed the company's first modern Audi, the 100, and on this date in 1968 Auto Union merged with NSU, and the new company took the Audi name as well, launching as a separate brand from Volkswagen. Last year, Audi sold 1.58 million vehicles worldwide, and has targeted surpassing BMW as the world's largest seller of luxury vehicles by the end of the decade. Here's what the most advanced Audi today — the R18 e-tron Quattro that won Le Mans last year — sounds like from behind the wheel: