Ingolstadt, Changchun, 2013-03-12
Research and development
Audi and its Chinese partner FAW have been active in local automobile development in China for over 20 years. Those activities include country-specific car trials based in part on local geographic requirements, such as suitability for deserts. The joint venture is also involved in the pre-qualification and testing of locally sourced parts.
Special extended-wheelbase versions for the Chinese market (Audi A6 L and Audi A4 L) were also developed in close cooperation with FAW. The additional space in the back addressed the preferences of Chinese customers. Audi was the first premium manufacturer to develop an extended-wheelbase version explicitly for the Chinese market.
Since 2008, Audi engineers have been successfully developing infotainment concepts tailored to the requirements of customers in China, Japan and Korea, including a touchpad for the navigation system. This allows the input of handwritten Asian characters.
On February 1, 2013 Audi established a Research & Development Center for Asia in Beijing. In close cooperation with the partner FAW-VW, the teams at the R&D Center will deal mainly with the product requirements of Asian customers. The developers will create advanced electronics and connectivity technologies there, as well as components for innovative, efficient drive systems. The R&D Center Asia is housed in the new Audi China building in Beijing’s art district. Audi Design China is part of the R&D Center and has designers for the areas Exterior, Interior and Color Schemes. The designers will also provide feedback on new trends in Asia to the headquarters in Ingolstadt, which have global responsibility for design.
The new Research and Development Center now increases the number of developers in Beijing from 40 to over 300. They are engaged in the areas of engine, body, electronics and battery development. A prototype hall and test facilities have also been set up. The laboratories and workshops cover a total floor area of around 8,000 square meters.