Apple Car: Top Porsche engineer poached by Apple

Hyundai Egmp
Hyundai Egmp (Image credit: Hyundai)

What you need to know

  • A new report says that Apple poached a top Porsche engineer to work on its Apple Car.
  • Dr. Manfred Harrer was previously the boss of Porsche's Cayenne project and was considered one of the best engineers at VW.

A new report says that Apple poached one of Porsche's top engineers to work on its Apple Car project.

According to Business Insider Germany:

Apple is serious. Seven years after CEO Tim Cook commissioned the secret "Titan" project, the mysterious iCar is now taking shape. According to Business Insider research, the Americans poached the long-standing head of chassis development at Porsche to build their own car. Cayenne boss Dr. Manfred Harrer (48) was considered one of the best engineers in the Volkswagen Group.

The new report notes recent rampant speculation about an Apple Car, fuelled by reports it is working with Hyundai to develop the 'Apple Car' and that it has thousands of employees working on the project.

According to the report, Harrer is a "chassis expert", who reportedly said goodbye to colleagues without telling them where he was going or why. It further notes his LinkedIn profile still claims he is employed by Porsche. One former VW manager reportedly said "The American headhunting is amazing. "Mr. Harrer was actually a hidden champion. Humanly a very calm guy, without any need for recognition. And he's the measure of all things in his field. "

Having begun his career as a graduate engineer at Audi, Harrer worked to become a steering expert at BMW, before joining Porsche in 2016. Just a few months before he left he was promoted to manager of Porsche's Cayenne series. The report notes that even though Harrer didn't go to Apple for the money, he is likely getting a significantly bigger paycheck than this previous salary of 600,000 euros a year. The report says Apple "is now certainly making him an income millionaire", according to industry experts.

It was recently reported that Apple plans to invest some 3.6 billion in Kia to aid Apple Car production, following reports the project will be a "very high-end model" electric vehicle, way more expensive than a Tesla, and based on Hyundai's E-GMP electric vehicle platform.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9