If we had shown you the rear- and interior view of a DKW F102, you would only have recognised it by looking at the name-plate. Is the first Audi built after the war actually a DKW with a different radiator grill? Of course it isn't. While the DKW, as the last in a long chain of ancestors, enjoyed an established position, the Audi was a car between two worlds. This was also reflected by its characteristics.
It is no longer a DKW, because the Auto Union, to which DKW belonged, was taken over in 1958 by Daimler-Benz and in the meantime, the usual two-stroke engine had been replaced by a four-stroke unit. It then no longer belonged to Mercedes either, because they sold out to VW. Only then did VW rename Auto Union DKW into Audi. Apparently, a four-stroke engine bearing the DKW trademark, was just not possible.
However, the car did not belong to VW for long enough. Thus, we are shown it, with an exceptionally successful basic concept, indeed, somehow it lacked finesse. E.g., it was not described as having a normal four-stroke engine, but somewhat pompously, as having a 'medium-pressure engine', so as to latch onto the thrifty Diesels. It's compression ratio amounted to a, for premium petrol very impressive 11,2:1, which however, did not correspond to the middle-value between 9:1 (premium petrol engines) and 23:1 (Diesel engines of that time).
The heavy engine increased the tendency to understeer ...
It should actually, have turned out to be a throttled engine, with all sorts of swirling tricks in the intake area. Indeed, that was not the case. Instead, it seemed to simply pull its performance out of the hat. Indeed, the fuel-saving qualities were also not what the new description promised. Compared with the two-stroke engine of its predecessor however, it was an enormous step forward.
The drive-influence on the steering was very noticeable.
Apparently, there was simply a lack of fine-tuning. The heavier engine did nothing to make the car more agile and the thus harder damping, didn't make it any more comfortable either. Obviously, after an euphoric start, Mercedes appeared to lose interest in this car. Indeed, the developer who was responsible, Ludwig Kraus, would remain with Audi and would lay the corner stone for a development which would make the Daimler company regret the decision to sell out. 04/15