Michael-Julius Renz becomes head of Audi Sport GmbH

“With his international experience, Michael-Julius Renz will further drive the growth of Audi Sport worldwide. Under his leadership, we want to firmly establish the brand as a global player in the market,” explains Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management at AUDI AG. Renz has a degree in Business Management and has held managerial roles at AUDI AG for over 20 years. As President of the Audi Sales Division China since 2015, he has been responsible for sales and brand awareness in one of the world’s most important markets. Renz also previously managed sales in Europe along with centralized marketing of the Audi brand. The new CEO will take over the operational activities of Audi Sport GmbH from March 1 onwards.

He succeeds Stephan Winkelmann as head of Audi Sport GmbH, who will take over as President of Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. in Molsheim, France, on January 1, 2018. Winkelmann has been CEO at Audi Sport GmbH since March 2016. Before coming to Audi Sport, he was president of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A., an Italian subsidiary of Audi, for more than 11 years. “I would like to thank Stephan Winkelmann for his commitment and his successful contribution to the company”, says Audi Chairman of the Board of Management, Stadler. “He has positioned Audi Sport as an independent and forward-thinking brand, and has made a decisive impact in terms of setting the course for the future growth of the company. Michael-Julius Renz will inherit an excellent legacy.”

Audi Sport GmbH is a wholly owned subsidiary of AUDI AG based in Neckarsulm, Germany. The brand focuses on development, production and sales of the Audi R and RS models, customer racing, Audi-exclusive vehicle personalization and the accessories in the Audi collection. Over the last six years, Audi Sport has more than doubled its sales figures, seeing out 2017 as another record year. By 2020, the company will have expanded its range from 11 models to 16. The path towards continued growth is also already set.

Audi extends trade-in bonus for switching to latest efficiency technologies

The bonuses offered by Audi are aimed at all drivers of diesel cars that comply with the Euro 1 through Euro 4 emissions standards – regardless of the model or brand. The end-of-life vehicle is taken off the road and scrapped. It does not necessarily have to be a new car as the company is also offering attractive conditions for customers who change over to a late-model used Audi. Approval of the bonus financed by AUDI AG is granted directly through the Audi dealerships without customers having to make separate applications.

Customers who decide to buy an Audi with technology facilitating especially low emissions, such as an e-tron model with plug-in hybrid drive, enjoy additional benefits. If the conditions for the German government’s “environmental bonus” are fulfilled, customers receive that bonus in addition to the Audi bonus. This also applies for Audi A3 e-tron.

For future drivers of an Audi A4 Avant g-tron* or an Audi A5 Sportback g-tron**, the trade-in bonus increases to €9,500. In gas mode and with S tronic, both models produce almost a fifth less CO2 than a gasoline-powered car. This figure is increased further with the green fuel Audi e‑gas; the Audi g-tron models thus produce 80 percent less CO2 than a gasoline-powered car in the same performance class. ***

Audi customer service will gladly answer any queries on the conditions of the environmental trade-in bonus (E-mail: kundenbetreuung@audi.de).

Audi A4 Avant g-tron:
CNG consumption in kg/100 km: 4.4 – 3.8;
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 6.5 – 5.5 (36.2 – 42.8 US mpg);
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km (CNG): 117 – 102 (188.3 – 164.2 g/mi);
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 147 – 126
(236.6 – 202.8 g/mi)

**Audi A5 Sportback g-tron:
CNG consumption in kg/100 km: 4.3 – 3.8;
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 6.4 – 5.6 (36.8 – 42.0 US mpg);
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km (CNG): 115 – 102 (185.1 – 164.2 g/mi);
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km (gasoline): 144 – 126 (231.7 – 202.8 g/mi)

*** In pure e-gas mode (CNG) with a well-to-wheel analysis (a life cycle assessment that includes fuel production and normal driving of the automobile), in comparison with an equivalent model in the same performance class with a conventional gasoline engine

Fuel consumption and CO2 emission figures given in ranges depend on the tires/wheels used as well as the transmission version.

Further information on official fuel consumption figures and the official specific CO2 emissions of new passenger cars can be found in the “Guide on the fuel economy,CO2 emissions and power consumption of new passenger cars models,” which is available free of charge at all sales dealerships and from DAT Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH, Hellmuth-Hirth-Str. 1, 73760 Ostfildern-Scharnhausen, Germany (www.dat.de).

Audi production: working without backache with the exoskeleton

The lifting aid is worn on the body and weighs approximately three kilograms. A metal frame with elements on the upper body, lower back and thighs is connected with a support structure. To fit the exoskeleton, the worker first pulls it over his or her head like a pullover and straps it to the hips. Two hand‑sized plates that spread the load are then placed on the thighs.

The exoskeleton provides support especially with activities that require bending forward to pick up or put down components. Carrying heavy materials is also easier with this ergonomic construction, because it transfers the load of the heavy elements from the back into the stronger thigh muscles. This reduces the strain on the back by 20 to 30 percent and also promotes a healthy posture. The ergonomic construction helps the assembly workers in their daily work without restricting their freedom of movement. Thanks to the exoskeleton’s flexible structure and low weight, the workers can walk, turn and stretch as normal.

“Ergonomic working practices have high priority in all areas at Audi – including production and logistics of course. With the exoskeleton, or the ergoskeleton as we also call it at Audi, we promote healthy working conditions, avoid excessive strain and maintain our employees’ performance,” stated logistics planner and head of the ergoskeleton project, Vinzent Rudtsch.

At present, employees at the Audi plants in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm are testing the first devices suitable for industry in various applications. In CKD (completely knocked down) logistics, the exoskeleton assists assembly workers when they take parts out of crates for example. In production, the exoskeleton eases the installation of the central console and the carrying of heavy material boxes. During the test phase, usage time gradually increased from two to seven hours each day during a day shift.

The pilot project is being supported by an interdisciplinary team of process and workplace planners and also medical experts. The tests are being carried out in collaboration with the manufacturer Laevo, which specializes in exoskeletons. The goal after the test phase is to integrate the device gradually into series production at all Audi plants worldwide. With the exoskeleton, Audi is supplementing its wide range of measures for ergonomically designed workplaces in production. Its employees’ health and wellbeing are already improved by aids such as the ergonomic assembly seat (the “chairless chair”) and wrist‑friendly gloves (the “production orthosis”). 

Audi Sport customer racing confirms drivers for 2018

Initial programs for 2018 confirmed: Audi Sport customer racing in 2018 will again tackle the Intercontinental GT Challenge. Next year, the only global GT racing series will encompass one round each in Australia, Belgium, Japan and the United States. Having clinched drivers’ and manufacturers’ titles in 2016 and 2017, Audi has been unbeaten in this young racing series to date. Audi Sport customer racing also supports teams in the 24-hour races at the Nürburgring and at Spa.

Three one-make cups under the banner of the four rings: In the 2018 season, race drivers relying on Audi will have the opportunity to confirm their skills in three different one-make cups for the first time. The Audi R8 LMS Cup will be held for the seventh year. In 2018, the Cup will feature a new format permitting only privateer drivers. Besides the GT3 version, the GT4 version of the race car will be seen at rounds in Australia, Germany, China and Malaysia for the first time. The Audi Sport ABT TT Cup will continue the one-make cup commitment for up-and-coming drivers under private direction. New will be the Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup that offers an attractive entry-level platform for GT4 racing in Germany. 

A present for Wolfgang Land: Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing, and Dirk Spohr, Head of Customer Management, surprised Wolfgang Land with a pre-Christmas gift. They presented the team principal of Land-Motorsport who won the Nürburgring 24 Hours for the first time this year with a copy of the winner’s trophy. The original of the challenge cup is on display at Audi Sport customer racing but now Wolfgang Land’s collection of trophies includes a memento of his so far greatest victory on the Nordschleife as well.

Admission ticket for life: Racing organizer SRO (Stéphane Ratel Organisation) in cooperation with Audi Sport customer racing surprised Audi’s longtime head of sport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich with a lifelong ticket for the 24-hour race at Spa. On behalf of SRO, Anthony Comas, who is responsible for Marketing and Business Development, presented the retired head of sport with the ticket on the occasion of the Audi Sport customer racing Race Night. Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich has not missed a single edition of the iconic endurance race for many years. 

A unique farewell gift: Stephan Winkelmann received a one-of-a-kind gift on being farewelled. Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing, on behalf of all motorsport members of his organization, presented the outgoing CEO of Audi Sport GmbH with a full-face racing helmet sporting a Signature design.

Customer sport annual: Anyone who would like to delve into the world of Audi Sport customer racing can look back on the season once more in an annual. On 208 large-size, 23.5 times 33 centimeter, pages, the volume is dedicated to racing series and single events in America, Asia, Australia and Europe. Fans of the Audi R8 LMS Cup and the Audi Sport TT Cup will get their money’s worth as well. The annual created in collaboration with Audi Sport customer racing is available on the internet at www.adrenalin-verlag.com.

First customers take over new Audi R8 LMS GT4

Stephan Winkelmann, CEO of Audi Sport GmbH, and Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing, personally welcomed the customers at Audi’s Neuburg location. Five race cars went to customers from the USA and two each to customers from Asia, to Team Bourguignon from the Netherlands, to Phoenix Racing from Germany and one to an Australian customer.

“A new project always symbolizes new beginnings. The first deliveries mark a special moment for our customers as well as for us. We wish the teams the best of success with the new Audi R8 LMS GT4,” says Chris Reinke. The race car delivers up to 364 kW (495 hp) and has been directly derived from the production model. It shares 60 percent of the assemblies with its road-approved “brother,” and, like the road-going car, is built at the Böllinger Höfe site. The GT4 category in North America, Europe and Asia has become an established element as an overall classification or class in more than 15 racing series and major individual events. Additionally, from 2018 on, the new GT4 model will be fielded in the Audi R8 LMS Cup.