Audi will learn from Tesla in bringing products to market faster and taking more risks, according to new technical boss Stefan Knirsch

Audi can learn from Tesla by being “more agile, faster and taking more risks”, according to the firm’s new board member in charge of technical development, Stefan Knirsch.

Speaking in reaction to the VW Group’s announcement at the Geneva motor show that it would invest heavily in electric and autonomous car technology up to 2025, including developing a 500km (310-mile) range family car that can be charged in 15 minutes, but which won’t cost more than a conventionally-engine car, Knirsch said: “There are things we can learn from Silicon Valley, but also things they could learn from us.”

At the show, VW Group boss Matthias Müller said the company should “think more like Tesla”. In reaction, Knirsch said: “The point about learning from Tesla is increasingly less relevant in some ways: in Silicon Valley terms they are not considered fast moving or risk takers, and less so as they have to invest in manufacturing facilities and focus on profits. They are becoming more conventional in those ways.

“It’s also true that in some areas we are going very fast. Our MMI infotainment screen systems are leading the way, and we are working with leaders like Nvidia and Harmann to put systems in our cars that can have the hardware updated every few years. In a very short space of time, we have shown we can be agile on electronics; the key for us is to be more agile in every area.”

Our Verdict

Audi A8

The Audi A8 is a highly capable and desirable luxury saloon that's very easy to live with, despite its flaws

Join the debate

Comments
5

4 March 2016

They took a risk on emissions defeat devices and the deception of legislative authorities, and that all went well...

4 March 2016

Wasn't it VW's willingness to take risks that led to Dieselgate?

4 March 2016

Are you having a laugh? Risk could result in a change. And change is not allowed in Wolfsburg and Inglostadt. I'll believe it when I see a VW-Audi that looks different from the other guzzilion Volkswagen and Audis congesting our road view.

4 March 2016

VW/Audi probably hasn't taken a risk since creating the Golf Diesel in the 1970's.

They should have kept innovating after they made small diesel cars successful. While Toyota, Honda, Nissan and new starters have been taking risks with hybrids, fuel cells and EVs, VW has stagnated.

But it's good that they've finally woken up. Maybe they can make a new start.

5 March 2016

Taking risks - like leaving some exposed/painted metal inside the Q2? Edgy.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Mini Countryman Cooper S
    First Drive
    18 January 2017
    All-new bigger Mini continues to make a curious, flawed crossover hatchback, though it’s more compelling to drive than some and more practical than it used to be
  • Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid
    First Drive
    17 January 2017
    Plug-in petrol-electric Panamera makes a better case than ever to supplant the diesel best seller, but it still appeals more to the head than the heart
  • MX-5 RF 2.0 160
    First Drive
    17 January 2017
    The distinctive 'retractable fastback' roadster promises typical MX-5 dynamics coupled with better refinement. It achieves the former, but the latter isn't quite there yet
  • Hyundai i30 1.4 T-GDi Premium
    First Drive
    17 January 2017
    Facing increasingly formidable opposition, the Hyundai i30 has been overhauled for 2017. The result is a recognisably mixed bag
  • 2016 Infiniti Q50 Country Road
    First Drive
    12 January 2017
    Infiniti’s premium mid-sized saloon packs a serious punch, but lacks the dynamic prowess of European rivals