Since 1999, a fixture of the Audi Sport (then known as Quattro GmbH) subsidiary has been Stephen Reil. He helped launch the original Audi RS4 and was the Chief Engineer responsible for every new Audi Sport product ever since. So it’s safe to say that Reil was a huge part of the brand and largely responsible for some of the fantastic cars that have come about since. However, his time at Audi Sport is now over, as Reil is leaving.
Reil will remain with Audi but will be at an undisclosed position. So Audi is keeping the details of Reil’s leave under wraps. It’s sad to see Reil go, considering he had done so much for the Audi Sport brand. While he oversaw every Audi RS model since the first-gen RS4, he was also chiefly responsible for the creation of the first-gen Audi R8. We all know what that car did for the brand. Reil was also the one that pushed for the second-gen R8 to keep its naturally-aspirated engines and not go with turbocharging.
Replacing Reil at Audi Sport will be a man by the name of Oliver Hoffmann. Apparently, Hoffman is a proper gearhead and previously worked at Lamborghini. In fact, Hoffman was responsible for the Gallardo, Huracan and even the 5.2 liter V10 engine in the Audi R8 V10. He also headed engine development at Audi’s Hungarian plant, in Györ.
This is the second high-level executive move at Audi Sport, with former CEO Stephan Winkelmann leaving for Bugatti most recently. There seems to be a bit of a shakeup going on at Audi Sport and we wonder if any of it has to do with the fact that the most recent Audi Sport models have received less than stellar reviews. The new Audi RS5 is a good car but it’s be heavily criticized for being a too soft and not aggressive enough.
We don’t know any of that for sure and we’re just speculating a bit. However, it is interesting to see two different high-level execs of Audi Sport to leave, especially Reil who was with the brand for so many years and was so pivotal in the brand’s development.