Audi is one of the most well known luxury car brands to come out of Germany. The company was officially established on April 25, 1910, but its roots go back to a venture started in 1899 by August Horch, A. Horch & Cie. After trademark infringement claims were made by Horch's former business partners, the company's name was changed to Audi Automobilwerke GmbH Zwickau. The same year the brand released its first model under the Audi name, the Type A. In the decades since then, the Audi name has remained associated with great engineering and cutting edge technology.
Here are the top 10 Audi models of all time.
1. 1907 Horch 26/65
This car was produced back when Audi was still A. Horch & Cie, and it brought forth an important innovation: the six cylinder engine. Mid size cars today wouldn't be the same without it, and the Horch 26/65 started Audi's legacy of being at the forefront of auto technology. If you could find this legendary classic at auction today, you'd likely pay over $1 million to get it.
2. 1938 Auto Union D-Type
Audi's D-Type, introduced in 1938, had a V12 engine that produced nearly 550 hp and a suspension that made for a ride much smoother than other cars in its class. Yes, the Auto Union D-Type was a project commissioned by Hitler. Still, it's a historic car with a huge value. At a 2009 auction, bids for the super rare D-Type went past $6 million.
3. 1956 DKW Monza
The DKW Monza set five world records in 1956. Its polyester body reinforced with glass fiber made the DKW Monza very lightweight, which gave it superior aerodynamics and the edge it needed to make a mark on the auto world. It's exceedingly difficult to find this model in good condition these days, and even the parts go for several thousand dollars apiece at auction.
4. Original Quattro (1980 - 1991)
When many car enthusiasts think of the classic Audi, they envision the Quattro. This one model embodies what the brand is about: turbocharged engines, sporty profiles, and leading technology. Not only was the Quattro built to be an excellent performer, the masses loved it because it was such a pleasure to drive. First generation Quattros are still being privately bought and sold over 20 years after they stopped being produced -- that's how well this car was designed and built. Today they can be found in running condition for $5,000 or more.
5. 1994 RS2 Avant
The Audi RS2 Avant is a hatch wagon that was designed to be fast -- very fast. The car can go from 0 to 30 in 1.5 seconds and 0 to 60 in 4.8 seconds, which is faster than the MacLaren F1 and Maserati Granturismo, respectively. Its performance is just one reason that this model is a sought after used luxury car. It was only sold in Europe, South Africa, Brazil, New Zealand, and Hong Kong, which adds even more residual value to the models still in working condition. If you can find a RS2 Avant, expect to pay at least $18,000.
6. Ur-TT (1998 to Present)
Audi has been known for its technology and quality engineering since the brand's inception, but style didn't come into the equation until much later. The Audi Ur-TT changed that and made people start paying attention to the looks of the brand's offerings. One glance at this model, and you'll instantly be able to see where the small coupes of today got their style inspiration. The price for a used 1998 Ur-TT typically costs at least $10,000.
7. 2000 R8 Le Mans Prototype
The R8 Le Mans Prototype is one of Audi's best racers to date. Out of 79 races that the diesel powered car has been entered into, it won 63. The R8 Le Mans Prototype also won five out of the seven 24 Hours of Le Mans races that it entered, and was the champ of the American Le Man Series from 2000 to 2006. Its carbon fiber and aluminum chassis, brilliant suspension, and V8 twin turbo engine combined to make a seriously powerful and speedy race car. At a 2012 auction, an Audi R8 sold for over $1 million.
8. 2002 C5 RS6
How many other wagons have the distinction of winning the North American SPEED World Challenge GT Series three years straight? The C5 RS6 did just that. This Audi model produces 444 hp and it not only performs beautifully, it also looks great. The C5 RS6s that weren't built for racing are also powerful and good looking, and this is one car that effortlessly combines innovative technology with top of the line styling. Finding one of these cars used will set you back at least $10,000, which is a bargain considering all of its features.
9. R8 (2006 to Present)
When Audi released the R8 Le Mans Prototype and it started racking up accolades, people practically begged the company to produce a road version. That happened in 2006 with the R8. This car's looks are gorgeous, and it definitely has the amenities of a luxury vehicle. Some would pay for its sleek profile alone, but there's much more to the R8 than aesthetics. The mid engine supercar handles like a dream, is quite comfortable, and is perfectly suitable for everyday driving. Few cars do better at melding practical usability and performance, which is why the R8 still has a high value. A second hand 2006 R8 can be found for well over $60,000, and the latest Audi R8 costs over $162,000.
10. 2012 R18 Ultra
Developing the R18 Ultra enabled Audi to become a leader in engine technology, which has only boosted the value of the brand's production cars. It looks incredible and performs even better than it looks. The R18 Ultra is a racer with a 3.7 liter turbocharged V6 diesel engine, a chassis comprised of one single piece, and smartly designed rear wheel arches. In 2012, the R18 Ultra won the 24 Hours of Le Mans along with the R18 Ultra E-Tron Quattro, a hybrid version of the car. The latter was Audi's first racer to be powered by hybrid technology, and since its debut the R18 has been continuously tweaked to make it even more powerful. If the 2012 R18 Ultra were ever auctioned off, it would surely fetch several million dollars.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker