Volkswagen Group is an enormous conglomerate that houses Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini, Bentley, Bugatti, Ducati, and many others. Any business with that many branches is bound to have some infighting, so Volkswagen often plays the role of parental mediator to its subsidiary siblings. German designers think their concepts are better than everyone else’s? Who would’ve thought?
Volkswagen Group has appointed Porsche as the lead designer for all of its sports and luxury cars in the coming years, and this doesn’t sit well with Audi, who some might label a competent architect in its own right.
This has prompted Audi to fast track the next-gen R8 to a 2016 release, before Porsche’s replacement platforms take over. Until Stuttgart takes the reigns in 2021, the next R8 will use the mid-engine chassis from Lamborghini’s latest fighting bull, the Huracán.
Porsche believes its version of the R8 platform will be lighter, leaner, faster, and cheaper than the current version. Audi believes Porsche should stop touching its stuff.
As for the A8, Porsche has some suggestions as well. The German sports car maker believes its Modular Standard Platform (MSB), which will underpin the next Panamera, should carry the next gen A8, as well as the A7 and A6. Audi, of course, isn’t as enthusiastic.
A Volkswagen Group strategist, clearly taking the ‘Mom and Dad’ role to the Porsche/Audi sibling feud, explains that if Volkswagen Group is to move forward, its subsidiaries need to learn to get along.
“If we don’t call the shots here at HQ, Audi and Porsche will never get their acts together,” the strategist explained to Automobile Magazine. “What these guys fail to understand is that they have to cooperate, not fight each other. We need to prevent individual sports car architectures and excessive proliferation, and to make Porsche’s MSB mandatory for both brands.”
“It’s as simple as that,” the source continued, with an almost audible sigh of parental frustration. “And as difficult.”