The events that took place directly in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on Thursday evening were extremely revealing. At 19:00 h, AUDI AG, official partner of the initiative “Germany – Land of Ideas”, and FC Deutschland GmbH unveiled a giant car sculpture on the “Platz des 18. März”. “The Automobile”, a 2.5:1 scale sculpture, is part of the “Walk of Ideas” which comprises six sculptures at prominent locations in Berlin that will be on show until the autumn. The evening continued in spectacular fashion when the Ingolstadt brand presented the new Audi TT Coupé to the world public for the first time, also in front of the Brandenburg Gate.
Around 500 invited guests attended the event in Germany’s capital. As well as a number of international journalists, guests included the German Vice Chancellor and Minster of Labour and Social Affairs, Franz Müntefering, the Bavarian Prime Minister Dr. Edmund Stoiber, the Hungarian Economics Minister Dr. János Kóka, footballers Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane from Real Madrid and Andreas Görlitz from FC Bayern Munich, FC Bayern Munich Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and former German football star Gerd Müller, who now trains the FC Bayern Munich amateurs.
The guest list also included Olympic biathlon champions Michael Greis and Ricco Groß, racing driver legend Jacky Ickx, his daughter Vanina Ickx, who will be driving for the Audi team in this year’s DTM, and her team-mate Mattias Ekström.
The guests were welcomed by the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, Jürgen R. Thumann, Chairman of the Federation of German Industry (BDI), Mike de Vries, Managing Director of FC Deutschland GmbH, Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, and Stephan Grühsem, Head of Communication at Audi.
The automotive sculpture stands as a symbol for “Germany, the car-making nation”. As Winterkorn explained: “The initiative ‘Germany – Land of Ideas’ fits in excellently with our brand essence ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’. 45,000 highly qualified and motivated employees at our German plants in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm make our success possible. Audi is committed to Germany as a location. Our commitment therefore fits in extremely well with the objectives of the initiative. After all, we develop and produce fascinating cars here in Germany with a passion and a wealth of ideas.”
With Audi’s assistance, the giant sculpture took just eight weeks to build. The shell is made from the innovative foam Neopor and sits on a steel supporting structure. The sculpture consists of 16 different segments, is 10.20 metres long, 3.25 metres high, 4.50 metres wide and weighs around 10 tonnes. Its surface, which covers 150 square metres, has been coated with a metallic gold-silver paint. A heavy-haulage low loader with police escort took it through the night from Fulda, where it was created, to Berlin.
As far as colour, material and clarity are concerned, it matches the style of the other sculptures in the “Walk of Ideas” – but is more realistic and less abstract. Audi Design was responsible for its styling. Details such as a tank cap or door handles were deliberately omitted, as was a brand logo.
Following the unveiling of the sculpture, Audi had another sensational premiere to offer: the eagerly awaited Audi TT Coupé, which was presented to the world public for the first time. Three examples of this new sports car drove up to the Brandenburg Gate where they were presented to the international media.
Then the guests, including actors Daniel Brühl, Thomas Heinze, Benjamin Sadler, Gedeon Burkhardt and TV presenter Kai Pflaume were taken by the Audi shuttle service to the “Audi TT Night” which was held at the permanent representation of the State of Baden-Württemberg in Berlin. The evening event there was hosted by Désirée Nosbusch, who conducted interviews with, among others, Audi Chairman Winterkorn, the chief designer of the Audi brand group Walter de’ Silva, the famous designer Richard Sapper and Audi’s head of concept development Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg.