German auto manufacturer Audi is the luxury brand of the popular Volkswagen automobile company and is today known for all sorts of vehicles- from its supermini models to its family-friendly crossover SUVS. Audi as a brand began with founder August Horch's company HORCH & CO, which he established in 1899. In 1901, Horch built his first vehicle through his own efforts and with the help of fifteen workers. This car had a maximum speed of 32 kilometers per hour. This wasn't the first true Audi, however. Horch had disputes with the supervising board of his company and decided to leave shortly afterward. He went on to establish another company, "Audi," which was his last name translated from Latin. Horch wanted his own company under his own name, and by 1910 he had it.
From 1910 until World War I, Audi race cars won several events and aided in the establishment of the company's name on a global level. When the War hit, however, Audi was commissioned to produce vehicles to be used for German efforts. After the war, the tremendous German recession was a huge financial burden for the company, and August Horch decided to leave because of it. Audi joined with four other companies at this time to keep itself alive, and represented this union with a four-ring symbol. Today this symbol still signifies the Audi brand. Similar to many other German manufacturing companies, Audi was again used for military production during World War II. Audi factories became targets for Ally bombers, and left the company in pieces. The company had trouble regaining its composure, and it underwent several merges within the Auto Union. In the late 1960s, the company was known as Audi NSU Auto Union AG. This merger laid the groundwork for many popular Audi and Volkswagen models today, including the Audi 80 (which became the Volkswagen Passat) and the Audi 50 (which became the Volkswagen Polo and the was the basis for the VW Golf concept).
In the 80s and 90s, the company's name was shortened to Audi AG. Several innovations involving all-wheel-drive were produced and the Audi 80 and Audi 89 sold well. Audi started to look towards a more elevated target market to challenge German automakers BMW and Mercedes-Benz with the unleashing of the 1990 Audi V8. A new grille was the most obvious adjustment from previous Audi models, as well as comfort upgrades. By the next year, Audi had several popular models, including the five-cylinder Audi 90, the Audi 100, the Audi V8, the turbocharged Audi 200, and the four-cylinder Audi 80. Despite setbacks due to recalls in the 90s, Audi reestablished the popularity of its vehicles by the 2000s and now has seven manufacturing plants around the world. Today, Audi continues to compete with other high-scale German automakers. One of the most popular Audi models is the Audi A4- a family-friendly sedan with a ton of styling and character. The 2012 Audi A4 has an MSRP range of $32,500 - $36,400 and was first introduced in 199. It was most recently redesigned in 2009.