Porsche’s head of research and development has resigned as a result of the ongoing dieselgate investigation.
Wolfgang Hatz has left his position as member of the Porsche executive board with responsibility for research and development, replaced by Michael Steiner, effective immediately. Hatz was originally suspended last September, following Volkswagen’s announcement that it has been cheating on diesel emissions tests. He also served as the head of engine and powertrain development for the Volkswagen Group prior to becoming head of R&D for Porsche.
Hatz is allegedly at the center of the dieselgate investigation, although no direct link has been made to him, Porsche said in a statement. The German automaker claims his resignation was voluntary.
As Porsche’s R&D boss since 2011, he helped guide the development for the Porsche 918 Spyder, the company’s Le Mans race program and the development of the Mission E concept that will result in a production car. His career includes stints at Audi, BMW, Opel and Fiat and Hatz is widely considered the father of BMW’s S14 engine that was used in the E30 M3.
His replacement, Steiner, has been with Porsche since 2002 and has helped lead Porsche Panamera development and was most recently in charge of complete vehicle engineering.
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