Audi to oust R&D head: reports

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.
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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.