Mega Factories: AUDI R8

Audi traces its history back to 1899 when August Horch established a brand, Horch, to compete with Benz and Mercedes. Horch had a dispute with his business partners and he left the company. Since he no longer owned the rights to his own name, he started a new company, naming it “Audi,” Latin for horch or “hark.” In 1932, Audi joined forces with three other companies to form Auto Union. The original four companies of Auto Union are represented by the overlapping rings of the Audi logo.


  • Just 120 of the Audi factory’s best employees qualify to work on the prestigious R8 assembly line. More than half of R8 workers are over 40. It is said that the easiest way to spot them is to look for the gray hair. The factory calls them “silverliners.”

  • On an average day, the Audi factory in Neckarsulm, Germany, turns out just 20 R8s.

  • It takes eight days or 70 hours of time on the assembly line to transform the R8 from raw aluminium to one of the fastest cars on the road.

  • The R8 has an all-aluminium body, slashing the frame weight to just 209 kilograms – less than half the weight of a steel frame.

  • Each R8 requires over 5,000 different parts, fitted mostly by hand.

  • The R8’s V-10 engine rockets to 96 kilometres per hour in just 3.8 seconds – making it one of the fastest cars on the road.

  • The racing R8 has won the Lemans five out of six starts.

  • Producers for the movie, Ironman, cast the R8 as the ideal sports car for its protagonist, high-tech billionaire, Tony Stark. The R8 space frame was so well-built, it changed the ending of the film. The stunt directors originally planned to collide the R8 with Ironman’s adversary, and flip it over. But it wouldn’t flip. The filmmakers tried a different stunt, but the Audi R8 still prevailed.
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