Apple poaches Porsche VP of chassis development for Apple Car development

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware
The Apple Car may be taking another step to reality, with Apple reportedly hiring Porsche's vice president in charge of chassis development.




Rumors and reports about the Apple Car are ramping up with claims it is edging closer to production. However, one new report suggests Apple is still working on refining the design of the vehicle itself.

Apple has allegedly taken on Dr. Manfred Harrer, the head of Porsche's Cayenne and chassis development boss, sources of Business Insider claim. It is unclear what role Harrer will take, but it is thought he would be involved in creating the chassis for the vehicle.

Harrer was formerly an engineer at Audi, then joined BMW to become an expert in steering, before moving to Porsche. By 2016, he was in command of overall chassis development at the car producer, and was promoted to Cayenne series manager months before his departure.

His move to Apple is said to be more for the challenge and opportunity than for the money. Sources say he earned more than 600,000 euro ($721,000) annually at Porsche, and is likely to be paid upward from a million dollars in his new role.

There has yet to be any announcement of Harrer's move, with his LinkedIn showing his continued employment at Porsche, but he was said to have said goodbye to colleagues at the end of 2020.

Harrer's not the only major hire to have moved from Porsche to Apple. In 2016, Apple brought on Porsche race car director Alexander Hitzinger to the project.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    Wow. That sounds like some of the most concrete evidence yet that Apple plans to develop an actual vehicle, and that they are devoting top-notch resources to the project.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 21
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 1,015member
    Whew.  This provides some much needed reassurance, especially after reading that Apple is considering using the E-GMP platform.  There’s still hope. 🤞
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 21
    JWSC said:
    Whew.  This provides some much needed reassurance, especially after reading that Apple is considering using the E-GMP platform.  There’s still hope. 🤞
    Hyundai/Kia's current EVs are quite well thought of by EV and general automotive journalists.

    The only problem I see with the E-GMP is the 310 mile range estimate is based on the rather unrealistic WTLP test cycle they love in Europe.

    https://www.jdpower.com/cars/shopping-guides/what-is-the-hyundai-e-gmp-platform-for-electric-vehicles
  • Reply 4 of 21
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,477member
    Why would they hire Porsche’s chassis design guru if they intend to use Hyundai’s BEV chassis, as the other rumor says. Conflicting rumors to my peanut brained mind.
    caladanianwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 21
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,477member
    mknelson said:
    JWSC said:
    Whew.  This provides some much needed reassurance, especially after reading that Apple is considering using the E-GMP platform.  There’s still hope. 🤞
    Hyundai/Kia's current EVs are quite well thought of by EV and general automotive journalists.

    The only problem I see with the E-GMP is the 310 mile range estimate is based on the rather unrealistic WTLP test cycle they love in Europe.

    https://www.jdpower.com/cars/shopping-guides/what-is-the-hyundai-e-gmp-platform-for-electric-vehicles
    And the revised Tesla Model S boasts a 510 mile range.
    caladanianwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 21
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,857member
    lkrupp said:
    Why would they hire Porsche’s chassis design guru if they intend to use Hyundai’s BEV chassis, as the other rumor says. Conflicting rumors to my peanut brained mind.
    Because, as I pointed out in that other thread, just because they’re building their automobile in a Hyundai plant, in zero way means it has to be based on one model or another. The original iPhone was made in a factory that made other smartphones; was iPhone like any other smartphone? 

    Hyundai will just be a contract manufacturer, making Apple’s products to spec. Simple as that. 

    Edit: and this is great news, btw.

    Edit 2: and if there was a thread I missed (v possible), just because they’re using a base platform doesn’t mean the entire suspension can’t be completely reworked. All this stuff is pretty flexible and modular these days.
    edited February 2 thtgregoriusmmike1radarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 21
    lkrupp said:
    Why would they hire Porsche’s chassis design guru if they intend to use Hyundai’s BEV chassis, as the other rumor says. Conflicting rumors to my peanut brained mind.

    Apple has processor design gurus even though they don’t manufacture the processors. Having someone highly knowledgeable in an area is extremely helpful even if the entire design is not up to them. Knowing and understanding the design process and how it integrates into the rest of the product (car) would be invaluable. 
    mike1caladanianroundaboutnowcornchipradarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 21
    If this rumor is true, it confirms one’s again, that nothing yet is definitely decided and that Apple’s priority number one is stil the building of fully-self-developed AppleCar
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 21
    thttht Posts: 4,042member
    cornchip said:
    lkrupp said:
    Why would they hire Porsche’s chassis design guru if they intend to use Hyundai’s BEV chassis, as the other rumor says. Conflicting rumors to my peanut brained mind.
    Because, as I pointed out in that other thread, just because they’re building their automobile in a Hyundai plant, in zero way means it has to be based on one model or another. The original iPhone was made in a factory that made other smartphones; was iPhone like any other smartphone? 

    Hyundai will just be a contract manufacturer, making Apple’s products to spec. Simple as that. 

    Edit: and this is great news, btw.

    Edit 2: and if there was a thread I missed (v possible), just because they’re using a base platform doesn’t mean the entire suspension can’t be completely reworked. All this stuff is pretty flexible and modular these days.
    Yup. It'll go a lot further than Apple having Hyundai assembling Apple's design. Odds are good that Apple will design and own the assembly line equipment as well: the machines, processes, techniques to assemble their vehicles will all be custom Apple. Hyundai is acting like a contract manufacturer, where their chief contribution is the labor and facilities. Apple is going to own virtually everything significant with their vehicle.

    Same old, same old: the iPhone isn't a Foxconn phone (not to mention other companies assemble iPhones); or, it's Apple Silicon, not TSMC silicon.
    gregoriusmfastasleeplongpathcornchipradarthekatbyronlwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 21
    anomeanome Posts: 1,463member
    Well, at least we know he can work a photocopier.

    You see, because the 911 design doesn't really change much between models, Porsche has a reputation for just reusing their designs. Similar to how Apple is often accused of not doing any real innovation because the thing they shipped is a similar shape, despite what changes have been made inside...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 21
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,592member
    anome said:
    Well, at least we know he can work a photocopier.

    You see, because the 911 design doesn't really change much between models, Porsche has a reputation for just reusing their designs. Similar to how Apple is often accused of not doing any real innovation because the thing they shipped is a similar shape, despite what changes have been made inside...
    Yup -- a lot of people misunderstand design, thinking "design is what it looks like" rather than "design is how it works". 
    fastasleepcornchipradarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 21
    anomeanome Posts: 1,463member
    anome said:
    Well, at least we know he can work a photocopier.

    You see, because the 911 design doesn't really change much between models, Porsche has a reputation for just reusing their designs. Similar to how Apple is often accused of not doing any real innovation because the thing they shipped is a similar shape, despite what changes have been made inside...
    Yup -- a lot of people misunderstand design, thinking "design is what it looks like" rather than "design is how it works". 
    And you can get it both ways - complain of no innovation because the box looks the same, then when the box changes claim they're only making cosmetic changes to make it look like they've done something.

    Apple aren't the only company in that position, as I mentioned about Porsche above, but they do seem to cop it more than most in that regard.
    cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 21
    lkrupp said:
    mknelson said:
    JWSC said:
    Whew.  This provides some much needed reassurance, especially after reading that Apple is considering using the E-GMP platform.  There’s still hope. 🤞
    Hyundai/Kia's current EVs are quite well thought of by EV and general automotive journalists.

    The only problem I see with the E-GMP is the 310 mile range estimate is based on the rather unrealistic WTLP test cycle they love in Europe.

    https://www.jdpower.com/cars/shopping-guides/what-is-the-hyundai-e-gmp-platform-for-electric-vehicles
    And the revised Tesla Model S boasts a 510 mile range.
    The E-GMP platform still relies upon pouch type battery cells. To be frank, to get 310 miles with such limited cell design is impressive; but my sincere hope is that Apple has much better battery tech in mind.

    That being said, the effort these hires suggest is going into chassis design seems odd to me given a largely self driving stylish minivan/crossover, as I keep seeing claimed. Hopefully Apple is able to hit a sweet spot between driver engagement/enjoyment and self driving when desired.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 21
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,765member
    lkrupp said:
    Why would they hire Porsche’s chassis design guru if they intend to use Hyundai’s BEV chassis, as the other rumor says. Conflicting rumors to my peanut brained mind.
    I can't imagine Apple will be taking Hyundai's word that it's a good chassis, they'll want knowledgeable people on board who can judge that.  And even if v1 using the BEV, that's not to say that v2 will too.
    gregoriusm
  • Reply 15 of 21
    lkrupp said:
    mknelson said:
    JWSC said:
    Whew.  This provides some much needed reassurance, especially after reading that Apple is considering using the E-GMP platform.  There’s still hope. 🤞
    Hyundai/Kia's current EVs are quite well thought of by EV and general automotive journalists.

    The only problem I see with the E-GMP is the 310 mile range estimate is based on the rather unrealistic WTLP test cycle they love in Europe.

    https://www.jdpower.com/cars/shopping-guides/what-is-the-hyundai-e-gmp-platform-for-electric-vehicles
    And the revised Tesla Model S boasts a 510 mile range.
    One version of the revised Tesla Model S has a 510 mile range - the most expensive model Plaid + model.

    The basic Plaid model has a 320 mile range, but that's likely on the much more accurate EPA test cycle.


    gregoriusmradarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 21
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,527member
    Will Apple's cars use Tesla's charging system, or Blink's, or someone else's?

    Of course we don't know, but which one SHOULD they use?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 21
    thttht Posts: 4,042member
    Will Apple's cars use Tesla's charging system, or Blink's, or someone else's?

    Of course we don't know, but which one SHOULD they use?
    With a smile on my face, Apple will have dongles. Tesla's is the most-Apple option if Apple does not go custom. They may settle on using a CCS J-plug port as that is the most common worldwide. As it stands, having dongles will be the best option for awhile until consolidation sets. At minimum, dongles for some combination of CCS, Chademo, and Tesla. I wouldn't mind Apple custom if they invest in a charging network.
    muthuk_vanalingamradarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 21
    robabarobaba Posts: 163member
    Apple is likely working on the second iteration of the Apple Car.  Not that the first won’t benefit from having a competent systems integration s guy, but where this hire will really shine is in the development of a cohesive, well thought out automotive IP portfolio.  Apple will pay royalties when they must, but they’ve shown their propensity to moving to their own stack ASAP.
    radarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 21
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,440member
    lkrupp said:
    Why would they hire Porsche’s chassis design guru if they intend to use Hyundai’s BEV chassis, as the other rumor says. Conflicting rumors to my peanut brained mind.
    Perhaps because there will be an Apple car v2?
    Rayz2016watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 21
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 2,048member
    lkrupp said:
    mknelson said:
    JWSC said:
    Whew.  This provides some much needed reassurance, especially after reading that Apple is considering using the E-GMP platform.  There’s still hope. 🤞
    Hyundai/Kia's current EVs are quite well thought of by EV and general automotive journalists.

    The only problem I see with the E-GMP is the 310 mile range estimate is based on the rather unrealistic WTLP test cycle they love in Europe.

    https://www.jdpower.com/cars/shopping-guides/what-is-the-hyundai-e-gmp-platform-for-electric-vehicles
    And the revised Tesla Model S boasts a 510 mile range.
    Yep Tesla sets the gold standard with respect to EV range and availability of EV charging infrastructure (in US anyway).

    Apple looks to be contract manufacturing a car two generations behind Tesla.

    Apple is re-gearing up the Titan project that they put on the back burner.    Seems more motivated to satisfy Wall Street than making a great product.   I figure they need to get this out within two years or they won’t be able to catch Tesla.
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