Amid a slew of new rumors and information about the Apple Car, the company has hired Dr. Manfred Harrer, Porsche’s Vice President of Chassis Development.
Apple’s plans for a car, code-named “Project Titan,” are coming into clearer focus, thanks to reports, rumors and walked-back statements. Hyundai initially released a statement saying it was in talks with Apple to build a car, before walking that statement back in two subsequent ones.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Project Titan will use Hyundai’s E-GMP battery electric vehicle (BEV) chassis, giving the first glimpse at possible specs for the finished product.
At the same time, Apple’s hardware chief, Dan Riccio, recently was moved to a new project where he will report directly to CEO Tim Cook. For someone of Riccio’s stature within the company to be moved to a new project underscores the importance of that endeavor, as does his reporting directly to Cook, leading some to believe he may be working on Project Titan.
The latest news from Insider Deutschland, via 9to5Mac, indicates that Apple is moving forward with its hire of Dr. Harrer. Dr. Harrer has spent over a decade at Porsche, and been head of chassis development since 2016. His hiring is particularly interesting, given the rumors that Apple will use Hyundai’s E-GMP platform.
Apple is well-known for taking a platform and customizing it to meet their specific needs. One has only to look at the iPhone, iPad and Mac to see this in practice. While the processors used in all three devices are loosely based on Arm designs, Apple has a license that allows them to customize them so heavily that it truly has its own, custom silicon.
One can’t help but wonder if Dr. Harrer was hired with the same goal — to take Hyundai’s E-GMP platform and customize it to better meet Apple’s needs and goals. Just as Apple’s custom silicon consistently out-performs competitors using vanilla Arm designs, a customized E-GMP platform could end up out-performing Hyundai’s standard option.