The era of Porsche and VW has ended with the death of Ferdinand Piech in August 2019. Piechi, a talented engineer and father of Porsche 917, was both respected and feared by those who worked with him. Looking back on the life of Piechi, an uncompromising personality who has left an indelible trace on everything he touches.
Ferdinand Piech, the grandson of Dr. Ferdinand Porsche, who has grown Porsche into the best racing machine in the world, died suddenly in August 2019. Piech retired from his hometown of Austria after resigning as chairman of the Volkswagen Group. He was dismissed as chairman in March 2015, half a year before a severe earthquake hit Wolfsburg due to diesel fraud.
Piehi acknowledged the reincarnation of his genius grandfather. My mother is Dr. Porsche's eldest daughter, Louise. He was given the paternal surname, but believed he was the one who inherited and led Porsche from the ferry. In fact, its fulfillment was imminent. After graduating from college, he worked as an engineer with Metzger in the development of the Flat 6, and in just five years, climbed to the obvious number two, heading the technical and motorsport divisions. The road to succession was closed because the ferries and mother Louise decided not to give the children managerial status. Thus, Piech left Porsche in 1972, by which time he had corrected the unpredictable handling of the 911 and produced a surprisingly lightweight 911R. The Flat 6 [2.4] cylinder head has also been improved to meet US emission regulations.
But the biggest achievement of Piech is the shocking Porsche 917. Probably the most dramatic racing car in history, both in looks and performance. Nothing could compete with the overwhelming strength of the 917 until it was shut out by regulation.
Piech left Porsche at the age of 35, but his success has only just begun. First, he designed a five-cylinder diesel engine for Mercedes-Benz, and then became the head of the engineering division at Audi NSU. He continued his research on the five-cylinder engine and installed the gasoline version on the Audi 100. The Audi 100 boasts a state-of-the-art body with a Cd value of only 0.30, boasts innovative looks and phenomenal speed, but in fact most of the components were Audi's unnecessary items.
Not only as an engineer, but also as a businessman, he was a very talented person. The ability to achieve both the introduction of advanced technology and the reduction of manufacturing costs is reflected in the early adoption of a common platform. In the 1990s, when VW became the leader of the group, Skoda and then SEAT were affiliated, and all models of both brands shared the same platform with VW and Audi. It is a living example of economies of scale.
Audi will be reborn as a high-margin luxury car brand with a 100, but Piech preceded it with an extraordinary advertising effect. An elegant but sober Audi 100-based coupe equipped with a turbocharger, converted to four-wheel drive and named the Quattro. Quattro's success in the rally has proven to be excellent for its muscular appearance and sound.
Piech was also known for being ruthless. At Porsche, the staff worked a 48-hour shift to complete the 917. Thirty years after VW's top position, GM Vice Chairman Bob Rats praised Golf Mk.6's stunning panel fit, and Piechi taught the following "secret measures": He invited a body engineer and told him he would get fired if the panel gap was not reduced to 3mm within six weeks. Later, Lutz argues that this style of fear domination may be a distant cause of software tampering. If Piech is given an incompatible target for performance and fuel economy, it is much less likely that fraudulent cheating in Europe's lax emission tests will be more than risking boss anger and crushing his career. It's not surprising that engineers think.
For his reinvention of VW into an enormous profit-making organization, Piech has finally become the chairman of the company his grandfather had created. He began to run satisfactorily and built an unrealistic supercar up to 250mph, the Bugatti Veyron, with a loss of € 4 million per vehicle. Competition-loving Piech also dares to bring the neat Audi R8 to markets that compete directly with the 911.
Despite having to give up Porsche's position of commanding him on a daily basis, Piechi was a major shareholder of Porsche and was constantly on the lookout as a member of the Supervisory Board.