I think it is well deserved. They did not succumb to cost cutting like BMW and MB, and unlike the Japanese makers, they have an excellent lineup of engines (but BMW is better there).
If their cars were a bit more reliable/dependable, they would have overtaken BMW. Right now, almost any Audi owner I talk to says they loved the car but got rid of it before it got out of warranty because of the number of issues that they faced during warranty.
I would be really tempted to try an S4 if I heard more people vouching for its reliability.
2014 328i / Liquid Blue / Beige Leatherette / 4 DR / 6 MT / Moonroof / Rear Camera + PDC / Xenons / DHP / 9K+ Miles / Bought 10-16-2013
2003 325i / Gray Green / Beige Leatherette / 4 DR / 5 MT / Moonroof / 219K+ Miles / Bought 12-21-2002 / Sold 10-21-2013