Cars are becoming more complex. As this happens, the words we use to describe them become more multi-faceted. Where thirty years ago two cars on the same platform or architecture may have been nearly identical, today that is not necessarily the case. Today a single platform, such as VW-Audi Group's MLBEvo, can underpin vehicles as diverse as the Bentley Bentayga and the B9 Audi A4.
An announcement made yesterday by Oliver Blume and Rupert Stadler, the Board of Management Chairmen of Porsche AG and AUDI AG, kicked off plans for further cooperation between the two brands. The cooperation is focused on increasing capacity for development, and giving both Porsche and Audi additional capabilities in terms of electrification, digitization and autonomous driving capabilities while increasing their competitiveness in an ever-evolving marketplace.
“Together, we will make faster progress in the race for the mobility of the future. We will utilize the expertise of both companies and take advantage of synergies,” said Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Board of Management of Porsche AG. “We will cooperate wherever it makes sense. But we will also be very careful to maintain the differentiation between our brands. A Porsche is always a Porsche, and that will remain so in the future.”
“The best brains of both companies will together set the technical course for the future,” stated Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG. “We are united by many shared values, above all, by our pursuit of the best solutions and the best offerings for our customers.”
The two brands, along with parent company Volkswagen, and others under the corporate umbrella, currently use the MLB platform. The Cayenne will be moving to MLBEvo in 2018, and the Macan currently uses the standard MLB platform shared with much of the Audi range.
In the near future, teams comprised of members from both brands will begin to define the roadmap for this cooperation as far out as 2025. Development will focus on vehicle architectures, modules and components. Each project will be jointly headed by a representative from each brand.
Though this does seem to follow from the principles of the MLB and MQB platforms, both of which improved efficiency and standardization across the corporate family, the emphasis on brand identity is important. While the Porsche and Audi do share values, it is important that each remains distinct and doesn't lose the essence of what makes them unique.