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Audi loses powertrain development chief

Stefan Knirsch has left on his own accord, though it is unclear if he has been poached by a rival.

Audi has reportedly lost its powertrain development chief, Stefan Knirsch.

The executive is said to have resigned after spending less than two years as the director of powertrain engineering, though his time at Audi dates back approximately 25 years, according to Auto Motor und Sport.

Knirsch is credited with leading development of Audi's latest powertrain innovations, including various E-tron hybrids and electrically-driven forced induction, after the company faced criticism for years of apparent technological stagnation.

The executive previously spent time at Porsche, eventually heading engine development, and served as the top quality boss.

Audi reportedly tried to keep Knirsch, who left on his own accord. It is unclear if he was poached by a rival or left for other reasons.

The company will presumably continue its electrification push without Knirsch, with imminent arrival of the A3 Sportback e-tron to US showrooms. A new electric crossover is also rumored to be unveiled next fall at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Image by Ronan Glon.

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