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Audi Sport Makes Another Huge Change

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How will it affect the future of the brand?

As formidable as its products may be, Audi Sport typically produces performance machinery with conventional portals – none of those fancy scissor, butterfly, or gullwing doors for Neckarsulm's finest. Its management, however, has been something of a revolving door in recent years. And now it's changing leadership once again, putting yet another new name (or two) at the top of its letterhead.

This time the German automaker's performance division will be lead by two individuals: Oliver Hoffmann (who will run all technical aspects of the operation) and Julius Seebach (who will oversee the commercial side of the business).

A longtime executive with Audi and Lamborghini, Hoffmann has been in charge of Audi Sport's technical development since last year, but now takes over as its managing director. Seebach has also been with Audi for several years, most recently taking charge of both the RS4/RS5 and RS6/RS7 programs.

In splitting the roles, Hoffmann and Seebach take over from Michael-Julius Renz, the outgoing chief executive and managing director, who is now retiring. Renz took over the job early last year from former Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann, who moved to the big office at Bugatti headquarters in Molsheim.

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Winkelmann in turn took over the position early in 2016 (when the division was still known as Audi Quattro GmbH) from Heinz Hollerweger, who retired after two years at the helm.

That makes three changes in leadership in as many years, which can't bode well for the stability of the department in charge not only of Audi's racing programs, but its most focused high-performance road cars as well. Audi Sport produces the R8 supercar as well as the S8 performance sedan and the entire RS lineup – including the RS3, RS4, RS5, RS6, RS7, RS Q3, and TT RS.