Durheimer's Future Uncertain With Volkswagen Group Audi has fired its head of research and development, Wolfgang Dürheimer, Germany's Der Spiegl magazine said in a recent report.
Audi has fired its head of research and development, Wolfgang Dürheimer, Germany’s Der Spiegl magazine said in a recent report.
Dürheimer had only held the position since September 2012, following an impressive stint as head of R&D at both Bugatti and Bentley, as well as time serving as development chief at Porsche, where he is credited as helping to get the original Cayenne into production.
During his time at Audi, Dürheimer was at the forefront of the automaker’s efforts to launch an SUV, but this came at the cost of other more expensive projects such as the R8 E-Tron, as well as the rotary range extender for the A1 E-Tron engine.
Car and Driver reports that there were also substantial disagreements between Dürheimer and Volkswagen Group CEO Martin Winterkorn, both in the stylistic direction Dürheimer wanted to move Audi, and with his conservative E-mobility strategy. Tension on a personal level between the two also reportedly could have been a factor in Dürheimer’s dismissal.
It is not clear what Dürheimer’s future will be with Volkswagen Group, but for the time being his position will be filled by the group’s R&D chief, Ulrich Hackenberg.