When an idea becomes reality

Apprentices helped develop a concept car. Audi turned it into a real product for the streets.

02/07/2024 Reading Time: 4 min

Six former apprentices at the first presentation of the RS 6 Avant GT
Former apprentices (from left) Moumen Hallak, Marc Gerstung, Kai Fischer, Altan Uzunok, Nebahat Calistran and Jonathan Trinkner at the first presentation of the RS 6 Avant GT.

Audi RS 6 Avant GT: Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 12.7-12.2; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 289-277. Consumption and emission values are only available according to WLTP and not according to NEDC for this vehicle.

Audi RS 6 Avant GT: Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 12.7-12.2; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 289-277. Consumption and emission values are only available according to WLTP and not according to NEDC for this vehicle.

With the new Audi RS 6 Avant GT1, Audi is making the hearts of many fans beat faster. What’s special about this model is that the developers adopted several details from the Audi RS 6 GTO concept2, which was developed by 12 apprentices and Audi Design in 2020.

 

Audi Sport’s measurement center is normally a place of mundane measurement and validation. But one morning at the end of 2023, things got emotional in the ten-meter-tall hall at the Böllinger Höfe location near the Audi production site in Neckarsulm, because a new Audi model was unveiled.

 

At the time, only a few people had personally seen the Audi RS 6 Avant GT1, and it wouldn’t be introduced to the global public for the first time for a few more weeks. Around 30 Audi employees were present, including members of the project team – and former Audi apprentices, because without their preliminary work, the RS 6 Avant GT1 may never have existed.

Origins in a motorsport legend

Three vehicles were lined up next to each other in the hall. In the middle was the RS 6 Avant GT 1, still hidden under a white shroud, with its paragon and ancestor on the left – the Audi 90 quattro IMSA GTO from 1989. At the time, this was the most powerful factory five-cylinder in motorsport, with its 2.2-liter high-performance engine that generated 720 PS at 7,500 revolutions per minute. Audi took seven victories with it in the US Touring Car Championship in 1989.

Interdisciplinary work on the RS 6 GTO concept

“By collaborating with apprentices from a variety of departments, I learned a tremendous amount.”

Nebahat Calistiran, former apprentice

On the right was the car that served as inspiration for the RS 6 Avant GT1 – the RS 6 GTO concept2. It was created as a project in 2020 by 12 Neckarsulm apprentices from the Body and Toolmaking Mechanics, Vehicle Painting, Tool Mechanics and Automotive Mechatronics divisions, with support from the Audi Design team. They were selected on their trainers’ recommendations because they stood out for their special dedication and abilities.

 

Among them was the former apprentice Nebahat Calistiran, who currently works in the paint shop: “By collaborating with apprentices from a variety of departments, I learned a tremendous amount – not least how important it is for everyone to communicate in every new vehicle project.”

The vehicle mentioned and shown here is a concept vehicle that is not available as a production vehicle.

The vehicle mentioned and shown here is a concept vehicle that is not available as a production vehicle.

12 apprentices, six months, one goal

Moumen Hallak and Jonathan Trinkner inspect the trunk of the new RS6 Avant GT

12 apprentices, six months, one goal

For the 600-PS RS 6 GTO concept2, the team took its cues from the Audi 90 quattro IMSA GTO – no surprise, as Audi celebrated “20 years of quattro” in 2020. Its towering roof spoiler is reminiscent of motorsport, as is its dominant grille. Some parts of the RS 6 GTO concept2 were made with a 3D printer, including the chassis’ coupling rods and various attachment parts.

 

The apprentices, who spent six months on this project – their “baby” – were responsible for hubcap lamination, the interior roll cage, the consoles, the bucket seats and the multitude of painted components. “What I liked most about the project was that we worked toward a clearly defined goal step by step,” said Moumen Hallak, a former apprentice in car body construction.

Audi RS 6 Avant GT: Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 12.7-12.2; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 289-277. Consumption and emission values are only available according to WLTP and not according to NEDC for this vehicle.

Audi RS 6 Avant GT: Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 12.7-12.2; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 289-277. Consumption and emission values are only available according to WLTP and not according to NEDC for this vehicle.

Moumen Hallak and Jonathan Trinkner inspect the trunk of the new RS6 Avant GT
Moumen Hallak (right) and Jonathan Trinkner inspect the trunk of the new RS 6 Avant GT.

Pride and recognition

“It makes me proud to see that a real Audi model was developed from our idea.”

Jonathan Trinkner, car body maker

When the RS 6 Avant GT1 was finally unveiled, the former apprentices’ eyes lit up. “It makes me proud to see that a real Audi model was developed from our idea,” said the car body maker Jonathan Trinkner. His team partner Altan Uzunok added: “It shows that Audi acknowledges our work.”

 

The RS 6 Avant GT1 is limited to 660 individually numbered units, and it has clear connections to the RS 6 GTO concept2, which can be seen in the redefined diffuser, the distinctive front end and the black-painted air intakes, among other places.

The apprentices have surpassed themselves

Timo Engler stands next to the new RS6 Avant GT

The apprentices have surpassed themselves

Timo Engler, Head of Training for Vehicle Technology and Logistics in Neckarsulm and the project leader of the former team that worked on the RS 6 GTO concept2, praised his protégés: “They’ve surpassed themselves and always had their eye on the end product, despite all the hurdles. They’ve accepted every challenge with the attitude that anything is possible.”

 

A new vehicle project is worked on with apprentices at the location every two years – and it always stays secret until it’s done. Engler said, “The apprentices learned something from this as well – those involved in special projects are sometimes not allowed to talk about them.”

Timo Engler stands next to the new RS6 Avant GT
Timo Engler, head of training for vehicle technology and logistics in Neckarsulm.

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