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Audi's links to Mercedes (in the murky past)
In a message dated 96-04-30 01:07:47 EDT, firstname.lastname@example.org (Cobram)
>I posted a question about Mercedes's involvement with
> Di> Audi in the late 60's and early 70's. We had a '73 100ls and I was
> Di> told at that the car was modeled after a Merc model, and it even had a
> Di> Merc engine in it. Is this true?
> Di> -Adam
> I find this highly dubious. Mercedes of this vintage look
> absolutely nothing like the Audi's of the time.
The link to Mercedes-Benz comes from the fact that in 1958 Daimler Benz AG
took over 88% of the outstanding shares in Auto Union GmbH (now known as
Audi). They effectively controlled the company until the end of 1964, when
Volkswagenwerk AG acquired Daimler's shares plus newly issued stock to become
the majority owner. (Today, Volkswagen AG controls just short of 99% of Audi
AG's share capital.)
During the time of Daimler ownership, the 100LS and Super 90 were in the
early stages of development. There is some Mercedes "flavor" in the cars,
but by the time of their launch (90 in 1966, 100 in 1968), any markings were
gone. No doubt the Benz folks didn't want any lingering identification with
the Audi product.
As to the engine, it was a Mercedes design, produced under license after the
VW takeover. As far as I am aware, this engine had no relationship to the
engines used at that time in Mercedes' own production cars.