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Porsche wins internal struggle with Audi

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Porsche wins internal struggle with Audi

December 7, 2010 - 11:45 pm ET

After months of uncertainty, Porsche has been told by Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn that it will take the lead in developing sports cars and big luxury sedans for VW group. That was a blow to Audi, whose executives and engineers had strongly lobbied for those roles.

Winterkorn's announcement, which came just before Porsche's annual meeting on Nov. 30, will allay fears at Porsche that the Stuttgart-based carmaker would be sidelined as it becomes VW group's 10th brand.

In the future, Porsche will develop VW's so-called "modular standard matrix" that will underpin the Porsche Panamera and future Bentleys. It will also be responsible for a sports car platform for front-mid- and rear-mid-engine cars for Porsche, Audi and Lamborghini.

VW initially wanted Porsche to use a VW-developed sports car architecture for cars such as the 911, a move that was strongly resisted by Porsche engineers, who feared VW underpinnings would not have the stiff handling for which Porsche cars are renowned.

"Porsche is clearly the leading sports car brand in the VW group. This is a brilliant solution -- Porsche gets the chance to develop VW's sports car architecture to its standards, but VW gets tighter control of Porsche's engineering," says Christoph Stuermer, an IHS Global Insight automotive analyst.

As part of its new role, Porsche will add a wind tunnel, design center, electronics integration center and about 100 engineers at its development center in Weissach, near Stuttgart.

Audi will continue to have responsibility for developing VW group's so-called "modular longitudinal matrix," which was introduced in 2007 and underpins cars such as the Audi A4, A5 and Q5. Winterkorn says the number of cars using the architecture will increase to 15 in the mid term.

VW brand is developing the “modular transverse matrix,” which debuts on the Audi A3 in 2012 and will eventually underpin about 40 models and 3 million units annually, including the next VW Golf.

VW says building cars on shared underbodies, which it calls its "modular toolkit strategy," gives it a key competitive advantage in its bid to topple Toyota as the world's No. 1 automaker in sales and profitability.

The strategy reduces development, procurement and production costs by 20 percent and engineered hours by 30 percent, the company says. It also allows increased production flexibility so the automaker can create more model variants without adding high costs.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20101207/BLOG09/312059991/1295#ixzz17WgejC7h

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Porsche To Head Development Of Sports Cars And Luxury Sedans For VW Group

By Viknesh Vijayenthiran


December 8th, 2010


As hard as it is to believe, there were higher ups within the Volkswagen Group that wanted to see the iconic Porsche 911 adopt a modular vehicle platform engineered by another of the Group’s brands, most likely Audi, to help reduce development costs and streamline production.

We can gladly report that such sacrilege will no longer occur as the man at the top, Volkswagen Group CEO Martin Winterkorn, has told Porsche that it will lead in developing new platforms for the Group’s next-generation of sports cars and luxury sedans.

The latest announcement will come as a major blow to Audi, which had lobbied significantly for the opportunity. It also quells fears that the role of the Porsche brand would be reduced now that it is under the control of the ever-expanding Volkswagen Group.

One of the new platforms Porsche is to develop is the future "modular standard matrix" that will underpin the next-generation Panamera and a new entry-level sedan for Bentley. With any luck it will also spawn a future Lamborghini four-door.

Porsche will also be responsible for the development of a sports car platform that will be capable of spawning front-mid- and rear-mid-engined cars for Porsche, Audi and Lamborghini.

To supplement its new duties, Porsche’s development center in Weissach, just outside of Stuttgart, will get a new wind tunnel, design center, electronics integration center and about 100 engineers.

As mentioned, another Volkswagen Group brand was originally meant to develop the sports car platform but this strategy faced strong resistance from Porsche engineers, who claimed the design would not be able to meet the strict criteria, namely stiffness and handling prowess, Porsche’s cars demand.

The additional vehicle platforms, both the modular standard matrix and the new sports car platform, will join existing designs such as the “modular longitudinal matrix” found in cars like the Audi A4, A5 and Q5 and “modular transverse matrix” that will underpin the next-generation Audi A3 and MkVII Volkswagen Golf.

For the Volkswagen Group, using a common modular platform helps reduce development and production costs by 20 percent and new models take about 30 percent less time to engineer. It also enables increased production flexibility, allowing even more models to be spawned from a single platform.



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Thank God. This is awesome news, vice-versa would have been a freekin' disaster!!!

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Report: Porsche will develop sporty VWs, not Audi

by Jeremy Korzeniewski (RSS feed) on Dec 8th 2010 at 7:25PM


Sometimes, the children just refuse to get along, leaving it up to the parent to swoop in, clean up the messy bits and make a judgment. Such is the case at the Volkswagen Group, where corporate stepchildren Audi and Porsche were both fighting for the right to develop future sports cars and luxury sedans for the German auto conglomerate's portfolio of brands.

In the end, Porsche won the heart of Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn. This means Porsche will develop the platforms that will underpin future high-performance machinery using front-mid and rear-mid-mounted drivetrains for itself, Audi and Lamborghini. Porsche will also be tasked with the next generation "modular standard matrix" platform for its Panamera sedan, which will also be shared with Bentley.

Audi won't be left out of the engineering process, though, and will take the lead in the development of the group's "modular longitudinal matrix," which makes up the guts of such vehicles as the Audi A4, A5 and Q5. Finally, Volkswagen will continue work on its volume platform, the "modular transverse matrix" that is used by such models as the Volkswagen Golf and Audi A3.

The goal of all these specific engineering assignments? Financial savings, of course. By consolidating multiple platforms into a few modular structures will cut the VW Group's procurement and production costs by 20 percent and engineering costs by 30 percent.



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