Franciscus van MeelAlthough it may not have the brand recognition that Mercedes-AMG does or BMW's M division, Audi's Quattro GmbH department is responsible for its most exciting products – including the RS line of performance models and the R8 supercar. For the past year and a half, Quattro GmbH has been led by Franciscus van Meel, but soon it will get a new leader.

According to reports, van Meel (46, pictured right) is being reassigned to head up the Audi R&D center in Beijing. In his place, Audi is promoting Heinz Peter Hollwerweger (60, pictured above) to the post. The move is expected to be confirmed in advance of the Geneva Motor Show, at which point we can expect Audi to claim that it was part of a planned rotation. However sources suggest that van Meel's departure came at the behest of R&D boss Ulrich Hackenberg, who was apparently unhappy with how van Meel has been handling development of the next R8 and of the R8 E-Tron project.

Why Hackenberg would have van Meel reassigned to run one of his own R&D centers is beyond us, but Hollerweger is apparently expected to be able to get the job done faster and better. Whether he'll have any major changes in store for the Quattro division and its products is another matter, but we're looking forward to finding out.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      imag
      • 11 Months Ago
      Perhaps he can fix their steering issues. That seems to be one of the primary complaints about all the Quattros. I'm sure the motor locations in front of the front axle don't help, but surely something could be done.
        johnnyhedwardsjr
        • 11 Months Ago
        @imag
        You actually get used to it and learn to compensate for it after a while. It took me a few months but I have the hang of it now. Now BMW's and Porsche's... those things are just natural to drive.
        fran
        • 11 Months Ago
        @imag
        Exactly my biggest complaint whenever I get to drive Audi is there dead steering feedback. Also I find the build quality of their cars very much less than MB and BMW. (Just my two cents)
      MorePower!
      • 11 Months Ago
      It's actually quattro GmbH. Audi doesn't capitalize the q in quattro on everything because of the iconic Audi Quattro and the legacy it created. Thats why all of their road cars have a "quattro" badge and not a "Quattro" badge and why nothing they release or use for advertising has a capital Q.
        NEISJO
        • 11 Months Ago
        @MorePower!
        Yes, the above is all true. May want to consider Google or looking at street cars in the future. Just sayin'
      johnnyhedwardsjr
      • 11 Months Ago
      Hopefully we can get past this whole prototype stage with 90% of the models that Audi shows these days. Do they ever make anything new anymore? Other than baby Audi's? What's the last new big car that Audi has introduced outside of the 7 Series?
        fran
        • 11 Months Ago
        @johnnyhedwardsjr
        7 series is BMW.. I think you meant A8.
          Mike
          • 10 Months Ago
          @fran
          I think they were referring to the A7/S7/RS7. To answer their question, changing the name of your models does not refresh it (see BMW 3 being now a 4 to compete in the marketing of an A4 vs. a 3 series being compared to the A3). Things VW/Audi did that others realized afterwards is a good idea. 1) AWD cars. 2) Diesel compact cars. 3) dual-clutch gearbox in road going cars. 4) Revolutionizing the manufacturing of automobiles to be more efficient. Basically taking what Ford did almost 100 years ago and making it even better. MQB
          johnnyhedwardsjr
          • 10 Months Ago
          @fran
          And yes I was talking about the A/S/RS7
          johnnyhedwardsjr
          • 10 Months Ago
          @fran
          AWD is nothing new for Audi... Quattro is basically their second name. Audi wasn't the first to offer DCT, Your number 4, you may have to show some references or web links to back that up. I'm not saying that you're wrong, but I'm just saying that I don't know what you are referring to.
      Wes
      • 10 Months Ago
      What can someone even do, realistically, in a year and a half in an industry, where it takes a lot longer than that to develop a model, change direction in design or implement new technologies... ?