116 years of power and innovation
1. ABT on the road
116 years ago, Johann Abt from Kempten founded a blacksmith’s with a famous idea: he converted carriages, so that they could even be used in the hard Allgaeu winter. Since the time of its foundation the company has continued to develop and even kept on course in hard times. In the meantime the fourth generation of the company is now in charge with Hans-Jürgen and his brother, the former DTM driver Christian Abt. Both general managers have also successfully focussed on growth, even in the automobile industry's crisis years of 2008/2009 and have, for example, founded ABT ASIA Ltd., a subsidiary which actively looks after the South-East Asian region. New showrooms, for example in Dubai, Hungary, Poland and Singapore, are also an indication of the expansion policy, which the largest tuner of Volkswagen vehicles in the world is pursuing.
Innovations and constantly increasing know-how ensure that ABT Sportsline is able to set trends. “It is vitally important for our company to be able to adjust to the ever-changing conditions as quickly as possible, or even better to anticipate them”, says Hans-Jürgen Abt. As that is the case, the company from Allgaeu continues to invest in its own capabilities: The best example of this is the highly-modern performance test station, practically unique in Germany, which raises engine development to a new level. The engineers of the company prove that the company is able to build precision high-performance equipment, with, amongst other things, the ABT turbo chargers and compressors. ABT also takes ecological and economical changes into account, for example with its continuous down-sizing strategy, whereby smaller engines provide the performance of the next largest engine. This keeps the costs for the customer down, and still offers pure enjoyment on the road. Vehicles and individual components from ABT are characterised by maximum quality and are absolutely suitable for everyday use. Consequently the normal guarantee of mass produced cars is not affected and even with used cars a guarantee is provided for the performance increase. The quality of the bodywork components is proved by the tests on pedestrian impact protection, which ABT was the first company in the industry to successfully pass.
In 2009 and 2010 ABT Sportsline is also ready with a very interesting product range: with the new Golf VI GTI and GTD the focus is on a vehicle, whose predecessors have already been successfully tuned by ABT. On top of that another SUV highlight in the form of the Q7 facelift and an especially dynamic version of the ABT AS5 Sportback in the form of the A5 Sportback will come on the market. Successful creations of 2009, such as the Golf VI 1.4 TSI, Scirocco, AS4, R8 GT R or RS6 will also create a furore in the coming year.
2. ABT in motorsport
2009 was an extremely successful year, in which ABT Sportsline managed a hat-trick.
It was the year in which the company had its greatest commitment to motorsport in its history. Thanks to strong partners, ABT Sportsline was able to start in five different racing series. In addition to its commitment to DTM, ABT Sportsline is traditionally active for young talent. As a result – as has been the case in previous years – all the vehicles used in the Volkswagen Polo Cup, which is held within the scope of the DTM, are maintained in Kempten and “kept up to speed”.
After four years of abstinence, in 2009 two vehicles of Team ABT Sportsline took part in the 24 hour race on the Nurburgring once more. With technical support the team from Kempten took part in the traditional race on the Eifel with two Audi R8 LMS cars. And it did so with success. The Audi R8 LMS of Christian Abt., Jean-François Hemroulle, Pierre Kaffer and Lucas Luhr achieved a much-celebrated second place in the long-distance classic on the Eifel and was thereby the best-placed of four R8’s.
But ABT Sportsline did not just use the newly developed Audi R8 LMS in the long-distance classic. In the ADAC GT Masters Series the team started with two of the 500 HP strong racers. One of the drivers was well-know to all: Christian Abt. His experience and that of his team were decisive in the victory at the ADAC GT Masters in the end. “It was a great success which we didn't dare to dream of at the start of the season. That shows what a strong team has developed here.” commented team manager and brother Hans-Jürgen Abt on this exceptional performance of the experienced campaigner and added: “It makes me especially proud that Christian and Daniel have won their title with our Team ABT Sportsline.”
This is as Daniel Abt. had earlier secured the first championship in the 2009 title hat-trick. The son of Hans-Jürgen Abt drove a majestic season in the ADAC Formula Masters and secured the title early with eight wins in 14 races. This outstanding achievement was the basis for his second success this year. Daniel Abt won the Deutsche Post Speed Academy competition and was crowned the Motorsport talent of 2009. Next year the 16 year-old from Kempten will make the next step in his motorsport career by participating in Formula 3.
One weekend after the double success, the double became a triple following the title defence in the premium class of touring car racing, the DTM championship. After Timo Scheider’s triumph for Audi and ABT the previous year, where he won his second title in succession, the 2008 champion became the second DTM driver in history to successfully defend his title. The victory by the driver from Lahnstein was already the fifth title for ABT Sportsline following wins in 2002, 2004, 2007 and 2008 – and an incentive for the coming season. The strong community of drivers, mechanics and team members will again try to win as many DTM races as possible and to bring the cup back to Kempten.
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