The Ingolstadt car company ventured into motorsport for the first time with the Audi 80 B1 and support from ABT Sportsline
“We have taken care of all generations of the Audi 80/A4, which is now one of the most important pillars in our vehicle tuning division, and we have been able to offer customers a tailor-made package in each case over the many years,” explains Hans-Jürgen Abt, Chairman of the Board of Directors of ABT SE. While the first B1s still had to make do with 95 tuning HP (70 kW), the spectrum for the current Audi RS 4 – standard output 450 HP (331 kW) only ends at 530 HP (390 kW). The associated ABT Power R performance upgrade consists of the high-tech ABT Engine Control unit, additional water radiator kit and air intake cover.
ABT Sportsline in Germany is the world’s largest tuner for vehicles of the VW Group, especially for Audi models. The product line ranges from more engine power to body kits, over suspensions and interior design, to an extensive collection of alloy wheels. The ABT Individual program allows even for exclusive tailor-made solutions. The Bavaria-based company also competes in racing activities at the highest international level: For example as a privateer team at the DTM (German Touring Car Masters) or also very successfully at the Formula E. The first steps in the electric racing series were already taken in 2014 and crowned with the championship title in 2017. But the topic of electromobility is also playing an increasingly important role elsewhere in the company. The in-house ABT e-Line GmbH, whose roots already go back more than a decade, has specialised in e-mobility and alternative drive technology.
At the cutting edge of technology since 1896
The roots of ABT Sportsline go back to a farrier’s shop which was founded in Kempten, Bavaria, in 1896. Their most innovative product: A carriage which, thanks to a clever folding mechanism, could be used as a sled. Soon after, the focus turned to motor vehicles: From approx. 1920 on, AUTO-ABT sold and repaired the former brands, which later gave birth to the Audi AG. This set the stage for the company’s situation today. In 1950, Johann Abt, the founder’s grandson, won his first car race and laid the foundation for the company’s racing activities. But he also enjoyed fast cars in everyday life. For this reason he founded ABT Tuning in 1967, in 1978 he tuned the first VW Golf and already in 1980 he brought the first chip tuning product to the market. After that, things went very quickly. Finally, in 1991, the new prestigious company headquarters, which also includes an own museum, were established in the “Johann Abt”-Street. In 2014, a motor sport center was added.