Ulrich Hackenberg has replaced former Audi technical boss Wolfgang Dürheimer, it has been revealed
20 June 2013

Audi's technical boss, Wolfgang Dürheimer, was replaced at Audi because "he couldn't cope with the complexity of the brand" company boss Rupert Stadler is reported to have told journalists at the Le Mans 24 Hour race.

It was announced this week that Durheimer has been replaced in the role by the VW brand's head of development Ulrich Hackenberg. Stadler has confirmed that Hackenberg has a five-year deal with Audi, and that he will continue in his other VW Group roles as well.

Hackenberg has been a member of Volkswagen’s technical development board since February 2007. He joined Audi in 1985, and later became responsible for the technical project management of the entire product range.

In 1998 he moved to Volkswagen with responsibility for the areas of  “Superstructure Development” and “Concept Development”. He also restructured technical development at Rolls-Royce Bentley Motor Cars and planned the new Bentley model range. In 2002 he rejoined Audi, heading up a number of developmental areas

Audi boss Rupert Stadler said: “We are delighted that Ulrich Hackenberg, an outstanding engineer and Audi expert, is returning to our brand, and he will also be responsible for the technical development of all the car brands within the Volkswagen Group. This strengthens the role of our brand within the overall Group.”

Dürheimer moved to Audi last September, having been CEO of Bentley and Bugatti since 2011. He was widely regarded as one of the emerging stars of the VW Group, and at one point had been tipped as a potential successor to VW Group boss Martin Winterkorn.

After completing his studies in engineering and applied sciences, Dürheimer joined BMW AG as a trainee, moving through the company to take up management positions in the road car and motorcycle divisions prior to taking up a board position as manager of research and development.

In 1999 he moved to Porsche, where he took charge of the 911 range of models and played a leading role in pushing the highly profitable Porsche Cayenne through to production. Two years later he joined Porsche's board, in charge of research and development. He remained at the firm until 2011, when he took control of Bentley and Bugatti, as well as steering the VW Group's motorsport involvement, including its highly successful Le Mans effort, which he was set to oversee again this weekend.

Audi has not commented on Dürheimer's reported departure, but well-placed sources are speculating that his reluctance to pursue a dedicated strategy for all-electric cars may have played a part in the decision. During his short time at Audi the Audi A2 Etron and Audi A8 Etron projects have been canned, and Dürheimer has frequently spoken of his belief that plug-in hybrid technology offers a better medium-term solution to low-emission motoring than all-electric vehicles. It has also been recently reported that the forthcoming launch of the next-generation Audi A4 has been delayed recently, although only by a matter of weeks.

Hackenberg will continue his role as the VW Group's head of development alongside his new role at Audi. It is not confirmed what role Durheimer will be given within the VW Group.

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Comments
9

20 June 2013

Well, I've noticed VW / Audi are running a bit behind on hybrid technology. They pushed on Diesels for the past 10 years. 

www.KOOOLcr.com

 

20 June 2013

Considering his successful experience with Porsche, it could be great to see him at Lotus or Aston Martin

 

289

20 June 2013

...well, if this is true, clearly Audi can't stand the truth...Hybrid tech has a future All electric doesn't.

I am amazed that BMW are sinking so much money into the I-range.

 

I think Durheimer is right and Audi wrong...time will tell if they have egg on their faces!

20 June 2013

First high profile casualty of Tesla's success in north america...

20 June 2013

Audi technical boss ousted

Highly regarded technical boss of Audi, Wolfgang Durheimer, is said to have left the company

Has he been ousted or has he left? are two different things. There's a huge difference between the two?

Clarify, please.

21 June 2013

Li-ion Batteries do not cut the mustard for as a single source of  energy for Private cars.

Insufficient power, Heavy Weight, Excessive Recharging time.

In my book, a private car requires a range of several hundred miles between refuelling stops.  These key criteria should be combined with an "anywhere" recharging cycle of no more than the time of a long lunch - maybe one to one and a half hours.

NaS (Sodium Sulphur) batteries - also called "liquid metal' batteries originally operated at extremely high temperatures - 350°C.  However recently, NGK Japan has refined this product to operate below 100°C and ha achieved 2,500 recharge cycles.

If these batteries, offering twice the performance of a Li-ion battery, could be further refined to meet the key criteria of Power, Weight, Recharging time and WITHOUT fire risk, I might be inclined to consider that battery power has a place as a possible propulsion system for private cars.

There will always be a weakness attached to a stationery recharging time associated with electric vehicles.  Again in my opinion, this is a killer issue.  Chevrolet's Volt has provided a mobile recharging system that makes some sense - but at this time it is a fossil fuel based system. 

This is a rather long winded way of saying that I am 100% with Herr Durheimer opinion regarding pure Electric vehicles in 2013.

But who knows what is possible in the future.

Electric energy has its place in Hybrid technology solutions especially with a an addition of KERS system as a performance booster when extra shove is required....................

This is just an opinion, you are entitled to a different view.....

Malo Mori Quam Foedari

22 June 2013

Applicants must know their way around a photocopier !

Cmon Audiphobes Im just having a laugh .

On a more serious note it seems you have to fit in the motortrade just like anywhere else . Could be a pity as mavericks often come up with the best ideas . 

24 June 2013

complexity of the brand? Audi is the simplest brand there is to understand, make every damn car they make look like an A4 and sell it to morons with huge bonuses and charge extra for nonesense like park assist

twitter @anikadamali, @notPCnairobi

24 June 2013

iamnotbritishandthereforeunbiased wrote:

complexity of the brand? Audi is the simplest brand there is to understand, make every damn car they make look like an A4 and sell it to morons with huge bonuses and charge extra for nonesense like park assist

Have to agree with you here, I nearly choked on my tea when I read 'complexity of the brand'.

Nothing overly strenuous with rebodying and rebadging VW products and putting a high price sticker on it. The sheeple flock to the steel and glass showrooms, filling out fleet hire contracts like they're going out of fashion.

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