Vorsprung anniversary

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The news that Audi is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its famous Vorsprung durch Technik slogan – apparently that's when it started being used in German, though it was more than a decade before it made it to the UK – may be slightly contrived, but it offers a golden opportunity to show the VAG Group's 1971 range in all its techno-glory.

If you are interested in the Vorsprung stuff, however, read on. Audi says it "encapsulates the Audi philosophy just as perfectly now as it did way back in 1971". And adds: "It was first used by Audi in its UK advertising in 1983, and at a time when the origins of the nascent brand weren't widely known here, London-based advertising agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) is credited with realising its potential as a means of emphasising German quality and engineering integrity.

"Today, it is not only indelibly linked to the brand, but also one of very few 'foreign' phrases to have become firmly ingrained in British popular culture. It can be heard in everything from tracks by Blur and U2 to films such as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels...

"The newly-formed Audi NSU range was so impressively diverse – it included rear-engined, air-cooled NSU 2- and 4-cylinder cars, front-wheel-drive Audi models with 4-cylinder water-cooled engines, the lightweight Audi 100 and the aerodynamically wedge-shaped and rotary-engined Ro 80 – that a unifying brand claim was needed to epitomise what all models had in common. 'Vorsprung durch Technik' united the new range and summed up the brand's philosophy in one."

There you have it, then.

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