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Stepping into the Home of the Four Rings: Audi Forum Ingolstadt

The sprawling site hosts around 400,000 visitors a year and offers delights for all - not just car enthusiasts.
James Wong
James Wong
17 May 2024
However, what was perhaps most interesting for me was the museum with a collection of over 100 cars and bikes - most of which we’ll never get to see in Singapore.

Just a short 1 hour drive from Munich, Ingolstadt is well worth a visit - especially for Audi fans. It is the headquarters of the storied brand that is also a place where 120,000 customers a year come to collect their brand new Audi cars. Of course, it also functions as a production site and factory tours are available on request.

Even for the casual visitor, there is something to see - an on-site cinema screens award-winning movies daily, while there is a Marche-style restaurant that serves simply delectable food - I’m not ashamed to say that I indulged a little in here. Ever so often, cultural events are also hosted here, like the “Jazz im Audi Forum Ingolstadt” which has been running since 2001.

However, what was perhaps most interesting for me was the museum with a collection of over 100 cars and bikes - most of which we’ll never get to see in Singapore. Together with in-depth historical write-ups and videos, I got to learn so much about the Audi brand.

Here are some of the highlights at the museum:

Audi Front Roadster (1935)

An amazingly beautiful car with a super long bonnet, the Front Roadster was so named because its gearbox had to be positioned in front of its engine. Using a front wheel drive Audi chassis and a six-cylinder Wanderer engine, only two were ever built due to its exorbitant price which kept buyers at bay.

DKW F5 MeisterKlasse (1935)

DKW was the volume-selling brand within Auto Union. The MeisterKlasse had a higher specification and a more elegant body than other F5s; it also had a wooden body covered in artificial leather to protect against the weather.

Auto Union Grand Prix Rennwagen Typ C (1936)

The third version of the racing car developed by Ferdinand Porsche (hence ‘C’), it featured a 6-litre V16 supercharged engine with a staggering 520 hp powering the rear wheels. It had a top speed of 340 km/h and was the most successful German Grand Prix car of 1936.

Horch 853 Sport-Cabriolet (1937)

Powered by a 5-litre straight-eight engine, the 853 Cabriolet was successful in its class. Unique for its two-tone finish, it also could be ordered with a glittering effect paint finish that was achieved by adding extremely finely grounded fish scales.

NSU Kettenkraftrad HK 101 (1948)

A combination of a motorcycle and a little tank, this NSU was used to carry light loads over hilly terrain. It had a top speed of 80 km/h.

Auto Union 1000 Sp Roadster (1965)

This car caught my eye for its beauty. Modelled after the Ford Thunderbird, it was first launched as a coupe and then as a roadster 4 years later. It had a 3-cylinder 2-stroke engine producing 55 hp, giving a maximum speed of 140 km/h.

Audi 100 Avant GLS (1978)

Based on the Audi 100 which was developed in secret, the Avant offered a third body style in addition to a two-door and a saloon. It was 10 cm shorter than the saloon and was available with the world’s first mass produced 5-cylinder petrol engine.

Audi quattro (1981)

Perhaps the most distinctive Audi of all time, the Audi quattro was first presented - rather appropriately - in an ice rink. The shortened Audi Sport quattro was homologated for the World Rally Championship (WRC), sealing its legendary status forever. The example you see here has a unique Saturn metallic paint colour.

Audi RS4 Avant (2001)

Produced in collaboration with Cosworth, the RS4 Avant had a 2.7-litre bi-turbo V6 producing 380 hp. Only 6,046 units were ever produced, which is twice the number of cars planned for production due to incredible demand.

Photos by James Wong

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