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Reports out of Germany suggest Audi is set to replace its head of research and development, Wolfgang Duerheimer, after only 10 months in the role.

An unnamed source told Reuters that Duerheimer would be fired, confirming an earlier report from German publication Spiegel.

Duerheimer, who previously held a similar position at Porsche from 2001 and was CEO of Bentley and Bugatti before moving to Audi in 2012, is understood to be facing criticism from Volkswagen Group executives over the brand not ‘advancing through technology’ as its marketing slogan suggests.

According to reports, Duerheimer’s likely replacement will be Volkswagen’s head of development, Ulrich Hackenberg – a former Audi employee between 2002 and 2007.

Ulrich Hackenberg

Duerheimer, the man behind the apparent cancellation of the all-electric Audi R8 and A1 e-tron models, was appointed to the position last September after taking over from his predecessor, Michael Dick.

The management change could bring into doubt projects supported by Duerheimer, including the possibility of a road legal version of the Audi R18 e-tron Le Mans racer – codenamed the Audi R20 – aimed at challenging the new LaFerrari and McLaren P1.




  • D B Cooper

    Sounds like the management team want more unproven tech in VAG cars… Steer clear of VAG.

    • Doctor

      Perhaps he wants to perfect technology before moving to new unproven stuff…

      • Dr sheldon cooper

        Correct. This guy worked on Porsches and headed Bentley and Bugatti – companies that gave us the world the Veyron, Continental GT, etc… They should KEEP HIM!

        Wait! Is he responsible for the ugly Panamera? HANG HIM!!!!

    • Josh K

      Having to replace the Head of R&D twice in 12 months can’t be a good thing for Audi

    • dr sheldon cooper

      The person VAG should fire is whoever came up with the acronym VAG. I shudder to think what acronym he comes up with Porsche (United States) Subsidiary Industry.

  • Dirk

    What are they smoking? Duerheimer’s the man! I say they should keep him considering the work he actually does.

  • Andrew Cowley

    Audi do R&D? R8 aside, all their cars look the same.