It was revealed in January that the head of Audi’s quattro performance division, Franciscus van Meel, was being reassigned to an R&D role in China. No reason was stated but it was rumored at the time that more senior Audi managers were displeased with van Meel’s progress on the second-generation R8 and its e-tron electric variant.

Car and Driver is now reporting that van Meel will be joining BMW, without citing a source. The magazine also reports that there are rumors van Meel has been specifically hired to aid the M division, which in recent years has failed to keep up with not only Audi’s quattro division but also Mercedes-AMG in launching exciting new performance cars.

If the M division were ever to start work on its on again/off again flagship sports car, having the man that previously oversaw R8 development onboard would certainly prove helpful.


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