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For four years, Audi employees have been working on a new model. What was originally planned as the Q1 morphed into the Q2.

Just what happens in this long period of development and what happens in the final stages? We find out....

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Every time Jens Kosyna sitting at his desk, he looks at a small poster of PEP. PEP is the product development process of a new Audi. Kosyna has the PEP plan as technical project always in view. It shows from left to right, the milestones on the road of a new Audi model, from the idea to the finished car.

Far left is "PS" for project start. That was in March 2012. "We are now on the home stretch," said Kosyna. Middle of this year will be the start of production, the final sprint running.

In the final sprint stage, it is all about one thing: test, test, test. The pre-production vehicles are in continuous operation. A life of the car is thereby unwound in fast motion. "We are testing the car through its paces," says Kosyna. In practice, this means that the developers hunt secret testing grounds the Vorserienautos hundreds of thousands of kilometers over bumps, slopes and full-throttle sections.

The toughest tests are for Kosyna but others - the crash tests. "In this watch," said the developer, "this is already a little bit sore." But not only the cars are tested, and the components. The series tools with which Audi manufactures the items of the new model, are finished.

Four years in development

Review: almost four years ago was the start for the development of the new Audi. The crucial question then: Which model we can best complement our product range?

The research began with their extensive investigations, designers created the first models, strategists developed a profile of technical properties. Early 2014 they were for the first time at the wheel of a handmade concept vehicle. "This is a sublime feeling, being able to drive the car," the technical project recalls. Subsequently, the fine-tuning began. It has been designed, tested, secure, tested, measured, simulated and from all evidence finally emerged the prototype.

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The new Audi is integrated into the existing assembly line of the Audi A3.

The day of reckoning came in October 2015. The first pre-production went into the assembly hall - without complications and to the great relief of Kosyna.

For Oliver Sander it was an important moment when the first model went off the assembly line. Because as the focal coordinator in the Assembly, he ensures that the processes in the construction of the car is running smoothly. "The biggest challenge is to integrate the new model into an existing line." In the so-called production test series which began towards the end of 2015 to run some models of the new Audi on the assembly line of the A3. Here Oliver Sander and the staff of the assembly sample series production. That is, they optimize processes and check whether the sequence of cycles and the paths fit.

In the production test series it concludes the phase of pre-production and passes as a final test run with a series production. Until then, the processes, the resources and adjusting tools have to be ready for mass production.

What will the new Audi look like?

It is not just a new model; for Tarashti (Audi's designer) it also defines a new segment. Thanks to high grill, flat and broad rear of the new Audi is very bulky. A designer once compared him with a football player. "I thought that was very apt."

Tarashti is currently working on the framework for a successful launch this Autumn. With the sales regions it defines, for example each Country demands a different type of vehicle. There are the 5,000 cars that go first to the dealers. Then we look at Country specific features. For example, the British lean towards more athletic equipped models, Italians more design-oriented. An important milestone is Geneva: There, the new model can be seen at the motor show in early March for the first time. "Then everything has to be," says Tarashti, "and the car has all embody what is to ideas and innovations in it."
 

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