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Porsche Beats Out Audi For VW Sports Car Design

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On: Fri, Dec 10, 2010 at 10:09AM | By: Chris Weiss

Porsche Beats Out Audi For VW Sports Car Design

The Volkswagen family sure has a lot of siblings. And like any big family that tends to mean a little sibling rivalry. Both Audi and Porsche desired to take a lead role within the VW group in designing future platforms for sports cars and large luxury sedans, but only one will take that role: Porsche. That's good news for the future sportiness of VW brands.

Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn told Porsche the good news last month.

Volkswagen originally planned to use VW architecture to underpin future sports cars like the 911, but Porsche resisted, feeling that it was better suited to crafting platforms for its own vehicles. It's hard to argue with that, seems like Porsche is the natural choice for development of sporting platforms. Meanwhile, Audi was lobbying Volkswagen execs to be the designate for design of VW's sports car and large sedan architecture.

Porsche's sedan work, officially called the "modular standard matrix", will underpin such models as the Panamera and Bentleys. Perhaps it will also serve as the platform for the rumored Lamborghini sedan recently publicly supported by CEO Stephan Winkelmann. Porsche will also be charged with the group's sports car platform to be used on future mid-engined cars from Porsche, Audi and Lamborghini.

Volkswagen's strategy of using shared platforms between its brands will play a key role in its attempt to take the world's largest automaker designation from Toyota. According to Automotive News, the sharing of platforms helps the auto group cut 20 percent of development, procurement and production costs and 30 percent of engineered hours.

Porsche's recently announced upgraded facilities in Weissach will help it in undertaking its new role in developing platforms. The upgrade will give Porsche a new wind tunnel, electronics integration center and design center to work with.

Given past tensions between Porsche and Volkswagen, I'd imagine Stuttgart is overjoyed that it still gets the final say over its sports car and sedan platforms.


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