By on June 3, 2010

Ferdinand Piech is cultivating long standing traditions. He always liked to watch a good catfight between his people. In the olden days, he did let plants in Europe compete and bid for cars. Now for the battle royale:  Who will develop the basics on which all future sports cars in the Volkswagen empire will be built? Porsche or Audi? The answer should be obvious:

Audi.

At least that’s what would have been the case before Volkswagen swallowed Porsche after Porsche choked on Volkswagen.  Now, there is a new kid in town. Porsche’s genes are not only pure sports cars. Porsche is also genetically tied to the boss. The boss also came to power via Audi. So Audi doesn’t want to throw in the towel.

The catfight is over who will preside over the development of the kit from which all sportier models in the vast array of Volkswagen brands will be built. The times of “platforms” are ancient history at VW.  All cars at Volkswagen literally are kit cars.

There are two families of erector kits which can be assembled into all kinds of cars at Volkswagen. They have Teutonic names like “Modularer Querbaukasten” (MQB)  and “Modularer Längsbaukasten” (MLB). The MQB has the engine “quer,” or transverse (like in most Volkswagen, SEATs, Skodas etc.). The MLB has the engine “längs,” or longitudinal, like in the larger Audis, future Bentleys etc. The quer kit falls under the purview of Wolfsburg, the längs kit is under the guiding hand of Ingolstadt. So far, so good.

Cue sound of hand slapping forehead. Now what about the mid-engine kit? Who will be the father of that brood of Legos? Says Automobilwoche [sub]: “Mid-engined cars are the Porsche Boxster and Cayman and the Audi R8.” They overlooked a few high volume models such as the Bugatti Veyron or the Lamborghini  Gallardo.

Anyway, the fight for mid-engine kit design dominance is on. Says the Financial Times Deutschland: “In the end, Porsche will take the lead. To make both brands compete, and to pit engineers against each other, may not be the most noble form of management, but maybe it will be successful.”

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10 Comments on “Catfight In Wolfsburg: Audi v.v. Porsche In Re Sportscar Dominance...”


  • avatar
    dswilly

    I say Porsche since an Audi is just a VW with lock washers.

  • avatar

    First things first Bertel, the plural of Lego is Lego. ;)

    Back on topic, this sounds like bad news whichever side the coin falls surely? Audi and Porsche both make fine mid-engined joy-machines certainly, but they also make very different mid-engined joy-machines.

    If the VW group extends their über-platform policy to the likes of Lamborghini and Porsche won’t we lose whole swathes of potentially fun future cars? I mean nobody sheds a tear that you can’t tell a D-segment Audi from a D-segment Skoda from a D-segment Seat from a… etc. but shouldn’t sports cars retain a certain ich weiss nicht?

  • avatar
    ConejoZing

    Audi is pretty fancy and has some very solid engines. Though Porsche has a solid history and is so reliable that it sends Acura (and sometimes even Toyota) crying to the reliability gods.

  • avatar
    ctowne

    “Audi is pretty fancy and has some very solid engines. Though Porsche has a solid history and is so reliable that it sends Acura (and sometimes even Toyota) crying to the reliability gods.”

    WHAT? Own many porsches? The 2.7 Boxster motor is no peach (IMS Bearings), and when they punched it out to 3.2, it made the rod/stroke all wonky, and they got even worse. (rod bearing failures)

    Every 996 i’ve seen has had either oil pressure issues, leaks, or both, (and WOW do they hold a lot of oil to dump on a driveway) and the older air cooled ones were never known for not seizing every damn bolt the minute it was driven off the showroom floor. And then leaking. a lot.

    Honda and Toyota could sure use a lesson or two about those issues i guess…:P

  • avatar

    on a side note I do hope the US continues playing soccer like that idiot New Mexico team, specially the 15. Shows the level of your soccer. Where was the F.. referee? This way you’ll never reach the best in the sport, aka as Brazil, Argentina, Italy, Germany and maybe Spain and England.
    The World Cup is coming, and it is ours!

    • 0 avatar
      Morea

      A big problem with soccer is only 1 referee to cover a large field. There are two side judges but the don’t seem to do anything except indicate when the ball goes out of bounds.

      Adding more referees would make a better controlled game but FIFA refuses. Then the best athletes in the US would play soccer, instead of (American) football, basketball, and lacrosse.

    • 0 avatar
      Demetri

      No one in the US likes or cares about soccer, so it doesn’t matter. Even the refs don’t watch the game.

  • avatar
    mpresley

    Back in the day it was Porsche+Audi. As the erstwhile Viv Stanshall might quip: There’s so much incest in that family, even the dog has a club foot…


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