This year Audi will celebrate its 100 anniversary. To celebrate, the company is going to unveil a new mystery model on July 16th. Audi’s Chairman, Rupert Stadler only gave one hint, "You have to be aware of your roots if you want to shape the future with new ideas and innovations."
The new cars we expect from Audi include the A5 sportback , RS5 and R8 spider . But the car that would fit Stadler’s hint the closest would probably be the pure speculation of the Quattro comeback . What ever the mystery is, we’ll have to wait until this summer to find out.
This is not exactly Audi’s 100th anniversary. It’s founder August Horch, started his first company which carried his name a century ago. He then lost it, and started a new company called Audi (Horch sounds like “listen” in German, which was then translated into latin as “audible” or “audio”.) In 1932 Audi joined Horch, DKW and Wanderer to become Auto Union (symbolized by four interlocking rings.) After World War II, the other names under Auto Union faded away, and Audi is the one that remains today.
Press release after the jump.
The brand with the four rings will kick off the celebrations marking its 100th birthday with a grand opening ceremony at the Audi Forum Ingolstadt on July 16. The ceremony, which will be attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, will launch a four-day series of events.
The premium manufacturer with the slogan “Vorsprung durch Technik” will mark its centennial by once again offering a compelling demonstration of its core competencies – attractive design and innovative technology. A world premiere awaits the guests in Ingolstadt on July 16: Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the AUDI AG Board of Management, will unveil a new Audi model in front of around 2,500 invited guests. “We are proud of the tradition of the Audi brand and our company’s history of success. You have to be aware of your roots if you want to shape the future with new ideas and innovations,” says Stadler.
The ceremony will open with a performance by star pianist Lang Lang. The Chinese virtuoso has served as a global brand ambassador for Audi since 2006. Another highlight: Munich-based musician and producer Leslie Mandoki has composed a commissioned work for Audi to mark its 100th birthday. Under the baton of Paul Momberger, the Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt will debut the classical work before the invited guests on July 16.
The internationally renowned Swiss lighting artist Gerry Hofstetter will provide the visual accompaniment to the opening ceremony: an exciting lighting installation highlighting the architecture at the Audi Forum Ingolstadt. Hofstetter has enchanted people the world over with his lighting art, and has previously illuminated a number of famous buildings including the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and the Pyramids of Giza.
A top-tier pop concert is scheduled for July 17. “Die Fantastischen Vier”, one of the most popular bands from the German-speaking countries, will be playing live and unplugged, accompanied by an international 60-piece symphony orchestra. The band’s MTV Unplugged concert in 1998 was a musical milestone for the four rap artists from Stuttgart, and the live show on July 17 is set to be another dazzling highlight in the group’s history. At the “Audi rocks 100” concert, they will celebrate 100 years of the Ingolstadt premium brand with a large-scale open-air performance in the Audi Piazza.
Advance ticket sales open at the time of the official press conference at 2 p.m. on April 23, 2009. Tickets can be obtained from www.eventim.de or by calling the hotline on +49 (0)1805 570070 (€0.14/min from German landlines; prices from mobile phones may differ). On the same day, the organizing agency GA Events will be available to assist with queries from the press regarding the artists performing during the pop concert and accreditation matters. Contact information can be found at www.ga-events.com.
Motorsports fans especially should mark July 18 on their calendars: that Saturday, Audi Tradition will celebrate the centennial at the historic Donau Ring in Ingolstadt’s old city. Nearly every race car in the history of the brand will hit the road for demo runs. In addition to DTM (German Touring Car Championship) and STW (Super Touring Car) racers, the victorious Le Mans sports cars – the Audi R8 and the R10 TDI – will also put in some laps. The Audi R15 TDI racing prototype – the latest development from Audi Sport – will make its public road debut on the Donau Ring in Ingolstadt.
Outstanding drivers from Audi’s history are expected, with the attendance of two-time world rally champion Walter Röhrl, DTM champion Hans-Joachim Stuck and European rally champion Harald Demuth already confirmed. Just one week later, on July 25, Audi Tradition will also hold an historic car event in Zwickau, the birthplace of the brand.
Four historic race cars will put in some laps around the Platz der Völkerfreundschaft. “I am pleased that AUDI AG will once again honor its place of birth in Audi’s centennial year,” says Dr. Pia Findeiß, Mayor of the City of Zwickau.
Audi is inviting its employees and the people of the Ingolstadt region to a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in Ingolstadt’s Klenze Park on Sunday, July 19, the last of the four days of celebrations. The free open-air concert will feature the Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno and the Philharmonic Orchestra of Brno under the direction of Peter Altrichter. The grand finale of the centennial celebration will be a spectacular fireworks display following the concert. Ingolstadt Mayor Dr. Alfred Lehmann is already looking forward to the event and praised the excellent cooperation shown during its preparation. “Organizing cultural events is a largely a community responsibility, but we couldn’t do it without partners. AUDI AG has proven exemplary with its dedication to this partnership over the last few years.”
The sporting highlight of the centennial celebration is the Audi Cup in Munich’s Allianz Arena. AUDI AG has invited FC Bayern München, AC Milan, Manchester United and Club Atlético Boca Juniors to play in the Audi Cup, a two-day soccer tournament on July 29 and 30. Tickets for the Audi Cup start at 12 euros, with the best seats going for 60 euros. The tickets are valid for one entire game day, i.e. for two games. The tournament will open with Boca Juniors facing Manchester United and FC Bayern München taking on AC Milan. On Thursday, the losers of the first two games will play for third place before the winners compete for the title in the final.