Apple hires Porsche racecar engineer

“Computer and mobile phone giant Apple hired Alexander Hitzinger, former head of Porsche’s racecars program, Manager Magazin said, poaching a skilled project manager who helped engineer the German sportscar company’s Le Mans victories,” Edward Taylor reports for Reuters.

“Porsche, a sportscar brand owned by Volkswagen decided to return to endurance racing and developed the 919 hybrid sportscar from scratch, winning Le Mans and the endurance racing world championship in both 2015 and 2016,” Taylor reports. “Hitzinger created an organizational structure and development team which expanded from ten staff to over 150 employees, building a complex hybrid racer made from lighweight materials.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: told Manager Magazin, he wanted to do something “which has a significant and direct impact on society.”

As we wrote back in March 2015:”When Apple enters markets, it’s because they can bring something(s) so unique to the table that significant disruption is inevitable.”

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19 Comments

    1. tron borrows his mothers 94 Honda Civic when he needs to get groceries the rest of the time he takes a bus thats why he resents kickass german sports cars, cause he aint ever gonna be able to own one

    1. Who knows what Apple is working on.

      Vehicle software is big business and companies like Porsche do tons of signal processing to achieve the performance. Nothing is passive anymore. The suspension, transmission, brakes, HVAC, everything is computer controlled to provide maximum performance. Of course Porsche knows that some people want rear seat entertainment and sophisticated navigation, so they’re obviously diluting the purity of the sportscar to give rich people what they want.

      Also note that a Porsche is unique and expensive not just because they are so finely designed and built, but also because the options book is infinite. When a person develops the skills to appreciate a well crafted sports car, why would he want to give up that experience and that level of personalization and let Apple force their narrow product range?

      I do have a hard time seeing what Apple has in common with Porsche anymore. It used to be that both companies were purist, offering top performance with minimal fluff. But whereas Porsche listens to its customers, Apple does not. Porsche to this day still offers entusiasts the choice of manual transmission or PDK, the best automated dual clutch box in the business. So the user can choose lighter weight, more involvement, better cornering OR he can have the faster shifting, heavier, less driver involvement option. He has choice!

      The days of choice at Apple seem to be over. Everything is a sealed box, you get what Jony tells you should have. I fear the day Apple attempts to do anything in the automotive industry, it would be disaster. Zero customization, and in 3 years Apple will lose interest and stop all further development.

      Vehicle enthusiasts who appreciate the engineering Porsche offers are not the kind of people who have much interest in autonomous cars or futzing around with half-baked apple solutions.

      1. 2 questions.
        1) Are you an unquestioning marketing mouth piece for Porsche.
        2) did you ever listen to Steve Jobs throughout his Apple career? Because you clearly have no knowledge of it, or have forgotten what you did learn.
        Oh a third question, do you actually ever listen to yourself speak? Just because you think you are a fount of all knowledge doesn’t mean you are persuading others of your genius insights.

  1. I don’t care if he helps them build a car, I don’t think they know enough to know how hard it is to build a practical vehicle that can operate in all conditions in all legal and other environments, MUCH bigger job than computers and operating systerms.

    I spent 20 years in racing.

    Yes, race cars are usually beautiful pieces or art, but unless you get every single of of all the technical details right, you lose………..period. At that point, pretty does not count for anything.

    This guy might be the right one to counter-act the Johny Ive fashion over function trend. Back to sweating the details that actually make things work or don’t work. They have lost a great part of that.

    Apple user since 1982. Things really are not as good as they were in the heyday of the Mac.

    Maybe hire this guy to look at the operation of the whole company.

    1. If you have been a user since 1982 then I assume you have simply forgotten how average, bland or simply bad some of the products were during the intervening years. Generally they were just more user friendly than the mediocre opposition that had no concern for the user at all, had reliability and an positive image amongst the creative community that kept them alive until Jobs and the much maligned Ives sorted them out late 90s. How easy we forget and hark back to the ‘good old days’ as a sort of comfort blanket.

      1. ” Generally they were just more user friendly than the mediocre opposition that had no concern for the user at all, had reliability and an positive image amongst the creative community that kept them alive until Jobs and the much maligned Ives sorted them out late 90s”

        And that was enough to make the critical difference in what I bought. Didnt always agree with Jobs but I basically trusted what I read about him. Ives is about Christmas trees, etc. I love Christmas trees, but not his!

    1. Someone who has something intelligent and insightful at last on this thread. It will be a while before the true nature is clear, expecially to those of us outside the Company.

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