24h Le Mans 2015

Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi AG’s technical boss and father of the MQB platform, has stepped down from his role in the company. Audi announced that Hackenberg and its supervisory board had come to a “mutual agreement” resulting in Hackenberg’s dismissal.

Playing an active role in the Volkswagen Group since 1998, the technical boss is credited for being the mastermind behind the complete renewal of the Volkswagen product range and development of the modular transverse (MQB) and longitudinal (MLB) toolkits.

Matthias Müller, Volkswagen’s new CEO said, “above all, the modular toolkit system is inseparably connected with the name of Ulrich Hackenberg. He had that idea already in the early nineties at Audi. Today, the entire Group profits from it.”

Audi Chief Technical Officer Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg on sustainability, mobility and the future at Stanford University

Hackenberg is also credited for the development of the ultra-efficient XL1, 0.9 litres per 100 km car, and for spearheading the Volkswagen Group’s entry into motorsport events such as the World Rally Championship and Le Mans.

Autocar reports that Hackenberg may have been one of the key persons suspended by Volkswagen since the company’s diesel scandal first began. He was also believed to be a “close ally” of former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn. Audi has since announced that its head of powertrain, Stefan Knirsch, will replace Hackenberg as the board’s new head of technical development.