The Audi Front UW 220 was introduced early in 1933 and was a landmark model in the company's history. It was Europe's first car to combine front-wheel drive with a six-cylinder engine. The UW 220 remained in production for slightly under two years before it was replaced by the Audi Front UW 225 which featured a larger 2.25-liter engine. This new model was introduced in 1935 and remained in production until 1939.
The UW 220 was powered by a straight-six cylinder overhead valve engine that displaced 1950cc. Power was rated at 40 PS at 3500RPM.
The 'UW' in the vehicle's name represented 'Umgekehrter Wanderer' and was in reference to the Wanderer engine that had been 'umgekehrt' (turned around) through 180 degrees in order to drive wheels which were actually ahead of the engine. The pushrod six sat behind the four-speed gearbox, while the ZF cam-and-peg steering was power assisted by an American system manufactured under license.
Another, more recognizable vehicle, the Citroen Traction Avant was introduction around the same time, but it was the Audi that beat its French rival into production by a year. Approximately 4,500 of these front-drive Audi models were produced at the Horch plant in Zwickau between 1933 and 1938, of which some 1,800 were Type UW 220.
Together with Horch, Wanderer and DKW, Audi formed part of the 'Auto Union', symbolized by the marque's emblem of four linked rings.By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2012