The permanent exhibition is the heart of the museum mobile. From entrance level 0, the lift as a "time machine" takes you back to 1899 on level 3, where the tour begins. The two levels for the permanent exhibition, 1899 to 1945 and 1946 to 2000 are each divided into seven sections. Each section has an overview of the single epoch. Text and images address the relationship between automobiles, technology, and society.
The exhibits are the highlights of the permanent exhibition. More than 100 cars and motorcycles illustrate the history of the company. Regularly changing automotive treasures are presented on a Paternoster which moves constantly through all levels of the building. Great events of the history of the four rings, such as the merger to form the Auto Union in 1932, are explained in multimedia productions and make you an eyewitness to history. The art gallery with interactive hands-on exhibits additionally give an overview of the most significant milestones in the development of the automobile.
As part of the "From 0 to 100" special exhibition, Audi museum mobile is presenting one of the most exciting moments in the history of AUDI AG: the company entering the upper executive class with the Audi 100. Visitors can expect to see 15 variants of this historically important model which the company premiered 50 years ago.
The Audi 100 won the "Golden Steering Wheel" award five times, was crowned "Car of the Year" twice and was also voted "World Car of the Year" by a panel of motoring journalists. In all, 3.2 million units were sold which demonstrates the success which this model experienced. The premiere of the Audi 100 in 1968 was preceded by a turbulent history because its development was actually started in secret.
In the mid-1960s, Volkswagen AG acquired Auto Union GmbH and prevented the company from developing any new models. This stipulation to only look after the existing models was ignored by Ludwig Kraus, then Technical Director at Auto Union GmbH. In 1965, Kraus wanted to expand the range of vehicles which the resuscitated Audi brand offered. He saw adding a model in the executive segment as the only way to keep an independent Auto Union GmbH afloat in a time when the Ingolstadt plant was being used for production of the VW Beetle. Without informing Volkswagen, Kraus developed and subsequently presented the concept before it was eventually given the go-ahead from the team in Wolfsburg. Very quickly, the capacity of the Ingolstadt plant was pushed to its limits and thus Auto Union shifted the entire production of the Audi 100 to the Neckarsulm works in 1970. From the first series alone, the company sold 800,000 units.
A car from this model generation is also on show at the "From 0 to 100" exhibition, as are a further 14 variants from the different model series. Among the vehicles exhibited are the Audi 100 Cabrio from 1969, the Audi 100 C1 electric passenger car from 1976 and the Audi research car from 1981. These shed some light on previously little-known facets of the model and demonstrate both a ground-breaking design and a number of technical innovations. Highlights of the Audi 100 include its world-best aerodynamics value, the first fully galvanized body on an executive sedan and the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system. Equally on show is the Audi Duo, which not only features a 136-hp five-cylinder engine, but also an electric motor, thus making it the first hybrid vehicle of the Audi brand. The brand with the four rings presented this concept study on the basis of an Audi 100 at the Geneva International Motor Show in March 1990. Since 1995, the Audi A6 has continued the success story of the Audi 100. An Audi A6 2.8 quattro from the first model series rounds out the new "From 0 to 100" special exhibition.
14 Le Mans racing cars are the new showpieces on the paternoster in the Audi museum mobile in Ingolstadt. 13 times the brand with the four rings finished at the top of the podium in France, in the world’s most famous endurance race. The special exhibition can be seen in the museum now for a full year.
With the R8R, Audi entered the Le Mans 24-hour race for the first time in 1999. As a newcomer to the event, the premium brand placed its trust in a V8 biturbo engine with 3.6-liter displacement, finishing third and fourth. Audi Tradition is presenting the R8R on the paternoster along with 13 further Le Mans racing cars with the four rings. Their chain of victories remained practically unbroken from 2000 to 2014. Only in 2003 (when the brand did not enter a works team) and in 2009 (3rd place) was the winner not an Audi.
The paternoster moves the racing cars through the four levels of the Audi museum mobile, presenting the viewer with the history of the four rings at Le Mans and the evolutionary steps of the sports cars. One milestone, for example, is FSI technology with turbocharging, which was successfully employed in the Audi R8 in 2001. The gasoline direct injection system reduced fuel consumption and was introduced into series production models soon after. In 2006, the Audi R10 TDI was a technical revolution: the first Le Mans winner with a diesel engine. Four years later, the Audi R15 TDI beat the 39-year-old distance record. The record set by the R15 TDI in 2010 still holds firm today.
Also on show at the Audi museum mobile is the R18 TDI from 2011. The rules for this season stipulated that the engine displacement had to be reduced from 5.5 to 3.7 liters. The closed sports car consumed considerably less than its predecessor and crossed the line first thanks to its optimized aerodynamics. One year later, the four rings were represented in France by the first hybrid sports car: the Audi R18 e-tron quattro. The exhibition organizers are displaying the champion from 2012 and its victorious successors from 2013 and 2014.