In its new special exhibition ‘Der fünfte Ring’, the Audi museum mobile in Ingolstadt is providing a comprehensive overview of the long-established NSU brand’s history and commemorating the eventful past of Audi’s ‘fünften Rings’ with numerous exhibits. The new Audi Tradition app will also be launched on February 2 to coincide with the new special exhibition. It serves as a virtual tour guide for visitors to the museum and, as a digital companion, allows them to enjoy the museum experience while on the road or at home. ‘Der fünfte Ring’ will be on display at the Audi museum mobile from February 2 through September 24, 2022.
In 1932, the four companies Audi, DKW, Horch, and Wanderer merged to form Auto Union AG – and they selected the four rings as their logo. In March 1969, Auto Union GmbH, headquartered in Ingolstadt, Germany, merged with NSU Motorenwerke AG, headquartered in Neckarsulm, Germany. This resulted in the retroactive founding of the new Audi NSU Auto Union AG, headquartered in Neckarsulm, Germany, as of January 1 of the same year. This makes NSU the oldest predecessor brand in the history of today’s AUDI AG, and it is still inextricably linked with the Audi site in Neckarsulm – the three letters NSU stand for the town where the Neckar and Sulm rivers meet. NSU was founded in 1873 in Riedlingen, Germany, as a “mechanical workshop for knitting machine manufacturing.” Audi Tradition is now dedicating a new special exhibition, ‘Der fünfte Ring’, to the storied brand. The exhibition features eleven automobiles, 23 motorcycles, a bicycle, and a knitting machine – which can also be seen somewhere else...
New Audi Tradition app: launching in conjunction with the special exhibition
The new Audi Tradition app will also be released to coincide with the opening of the exhibition. On the one hand, it serves as a digital tour guide in the Audi museum mobile, providing visitors with in-depth content about the exhibited vehicles in written form and via an audio guide or even a 360-degree-panorama-view at selected models. What visitors aren’t allowed to do in the museum, they can experience on the screen of their smartphones: They can for example go into the car and have an in-depth look at the interior. The Audi Tradition app offers plenty of exciting content even while on the road or at home. On top of the content associated with the exhibits in ‘Der fünfte Ring’, the app will also feature additional multimedia content related to the show, such as a drone flight through the exhibition. The app also provides information about exhibits that are permanently on display at the Audi museum mobile and offers access to the Audi Tradition store for accessories, literature, and spare parts for Audi’s classic cars. The new Audi Tradition app can be downloaded from all major app stores for iOS and Android smartphones.
“Even though the coronavirus pandemic is making many social activities impossible or only possible with restrictions at the moment, we decided to stick to our exhibition launch date – this is how we want to put the spotlight on culture and history. I’m very pleased that we have a digital feature with our new Audi Tradition app. And thanks to this app, we are not only making visits to the museum even more interactive and engaging through the use of multimedia, we are also making it possible to experience the exhibition digitally while out and about or simply from the comfort of your couch at home. At the same time, we are, of course, hoping that the app will spark people’s interest in visiting the museum. Enjoying the exhibition with all your senses live on location is and will always be a truly special experience,” said Stefan Trauf, general manager of Auto Union GmbH.
2023: 150th anniversary of NSU with exhibition in Neckarsulm
NSU’s path leads from knitting machines to bicycles to motorcycles and automobiles. The history of this brand reflects the evolution of mobility in Germany. According to the curator of the exhibition, Stefan Felber: “The NSU brand impressively demonstrates just how much mobility has changed over the past 150 years. Our special exhibition in Ingolstadt is also a prologue to next year’s anniversary of the NSU brand – which we will celebrate in 2023 with a major exhibition in Neckarsulm.”
The current special exhibition in Ingolstadt features eleven automobiles, 23 motorcycles, a bicycle, and a knitting machine. One highlight is the NSU Wankel Spider, the first automobile standard-equipped with a rotary piston engine. The two-seater convertible, designed by Italian design legend Giuseppe Bertone, was a sensation at the 1963 IAA. Also on display is a Volkswagen K 70, the last model developed at NSU. The four-door sedan with three side windows and a harmonious design was the brainchild of Claus Luthe, NSU’s chief designer at the time, who also gave the Ro 80 its pioneering shape. A Ro 80 from 1977 is also on display in the special exhibition.
Other highlights of the special exhibition: the fastest motorcycles of their time
Among the many motorcycles on display, the exhibition features the highest-displacement motorcycle ever built at NSU. The two-cylinder bike from 1914 has eight horsepower and was the most powerful, fastest, and most expensive production motorcycle of its time. Back then, a worker had to work for almost two years to pay the 1,575 German marks it cost to purchase the machine, as they earned an average of just 900 German marks a year. The fastest motorcycle of the 1950s – NSU’s record-breaking Delphin III – is also on display at the new special exhibition. It reached a top speed of 339 km/h in 1956. In addition to the individual exhibits, large-sized display walls and four multimedia stations offer visitors further information.