According to a recent report in Automotive News, Porsche will lead the development of sports cars within the Volkswagen Group, as well as large and premium sedans.
Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn has informed executives of the brand’s new role within the organization, a role that Audi believed it would be given, as they lobbied for it and have been a long-time contributor to development within the company.
With Audi being pushed aside, Porsche will now take control of the development of various models, which include the next-generation Porsche Panamera and future Bentley models. The company will also develop a platform of mid-front and mid-rear engined sports car for Audi, Lamborghini and Porsche.
This latest role should put the company’s fears of being sidelined within the group to rest. These fears came about when Porsche was taken over last year by the VW Group, a company that consists of 8 different car brands. These fears were well-founded, as VW had once suggested using a VW platform in the next 911, something that Porsche engineers heavily opposed.
On top of these new responsibilities, Porsche will also get some new toys to play with, including a new wind tunnel, design center and electronics integration center. The company will also be able to hire an extra 100 engineers.
Audi will remain in charge of the mechanical and structural pieces that will underpin current models like the Audi A4, A5 and Q5. This platform will also be used on the 2012 A3 and the next Volkswagen Golf.
The use of these shared underbodies, VW believes, will help it topple Toyota as the world’s largest automaker, something it hopes to accomplish by 2018.