Auto Union


Auto Union

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Jorgen Skafte Rasmussen experimented with Dampf Kraft Wagen (DKW), or steam powered automobiles, around the first world war. These were not successful and he turned his attention to the two-stroke petrol engine, building toy ones of 18cc capacity, as The Boy's Desire, or Das Knaben Wunsch (DKW). Later he built larger units of 1hp to 2.5hp, as The Little Wonder, or Das Kleine Wunder (again DKW!), to power bicycles.

1921: DKW started to manufacture a motorised `scooter' called the Golem.

1922: A line of successful, light-weight motorcycles soon followed.

1928: Rasmussen purchased Audi.

1928: The P15 2+2, light car was unveiled, with rear wheel drive and powered by a 2-cylinder, 2-stroke engine from the ZW500 motorcycle.

1930: A larger V4, 2-stroke powered car was released.

1931: A front wheel drive car, the DKW Front, or F1, was released, powered by a water-cooled, 2-stroke, 2-cylinder engine of 500cc or 600cc capacity. It achieved considerable success in motorsport.

Auto Union

1932: Auto Union was formed in 1932 from the four German automobile manufacturers Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer -- (hence the four-ring logo which is still used by Audi today).

1934: Auto Union entered Grand Prix racing (the 750kg rule) with distinctive (rear) mid-engined cars, eventually 6-litre V16s.

1938: The Auto Union type-D Grand Prix car had a mid-mounted supercharged 3-litre V12 engine.

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