It’s a bit surreal when you discover that the Audi A4 was born within a few years of yourself. Celebrating its 20th birthday this year, the Audi A4 was introduced in November 1994 and has since gone on to sell more than six million units around the world, making it “the most successful Audi of all time.”

“When the Audi A4 superseded the successful Audi 80 series 20 years ago, it became a bestseller soon after its launch. It was the fastest production ramp-up in the company’s history,” says Dr. Hubert Waltl of the Board of Management Member for Production at Audi AG.

From left: Audi A4 B5, B6, B7 and B8

Despite stiff competition from BMW and Mercedes-Benz, the current A4 has proved to be extremely popular, with two million units sold. No surprise when one in every five new cars delivered in Germany is an Audi A4. In 2013 alone, one third of 576,680 models produced were multiple variants of the A4.

Audi cites an ever-growing demand for the Audi A4 in markets like China, Germany and the United States as the main catalyst for their success with the current model, which has been in production since 2007. At the main plant in Ingolstadt alone, more than 700 A4 units are produced to keep up with global demands.

Mind you, that’s discounting the additional 40,000 units of the Audi A4 sedan that were produced at the Neckarsulm site. “The A4 secures the utilization of capacity in our German plants, and thus also employment, on a long-term basis,” adds Peter Mosch, chairman of the general works council of Audi AG.

With the A4’s success, it’s no surprise that Audi is already hard at work on the next-gen Audi A4, which is due to make an appearance next year. Major renovation and upgrading works are already in motion, with a new body shop built – which comes complete with 1,300 different machines – to accommodate the increased load.

GALLERY: B8 Audi A4 1.8 TFSI

Audi A4 B9-generation spyshots