While Audi engineers are elbows deep into developing and testing the second-generation R8, the German manufacturer has moved supercar production from its Neckarsulm factory to a new facility located in Bollinger Hofe, nearly four miles from the main plant.

Although it’s only a quarter the size of the Neckarsulm site, the Bollinger Höfe facility now houses a small assembly line rolling out current-gen R8s. More importantly, it brings together various production areas that had been scattered around the Neckarsulm factory under the same roof, enabling Audi to assemble its supercars in a more straightforward process.

The move is part of Audi’s recently announced plans to invest nearly $30 billion in its facilities worldwide by 2018. The Neckasulm plant, where the manufacturer builds the A4, A6, A8, and the Q7 SUV, is set to receive more than $800 million each year. "Our domestic sites are our backbone, and the investment in the Audi Böllinger Höfe is a significant milestone for the Neckarsulm site," said Dr. Hubert Waltl, Board Member for Production at Audi AG.

The new Bollinger Höfe plant also includes a state-of-the-art logistics center capable of handling 4,500 containers each day. Needless to say, the site is ready to begin assembly of the second-generation R8 as soon as development of the supercar is complete.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi R8.

Why it matters

Having a state-of-the-art facility for a brand-new vehicle is as important as it gets, especially when we’re talking about a supercar such as the R8. With a small-scale assembly line and all workshops under the same roof, production of the next-generation R8 will run much smoother, resulting in a faster assembly process and increased output.

Audi R8

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Scheduled to hit dealerships for the 2016 model year, the second-generation R8 is still under development, with many details being kept under wraps as of October 2014. What we do know is that the supercar will share underpinnings with the brand-new Lamborghini Huracan, meaning it will be at least 100 pounds lighter than its predecessor. Expect a highly revised exterior with slimmer headlamps and taillights, and, as suggested by numerous spy shots, a flatter and slightly wider body.

Both the 4.2-liter, V-8 and the 5.2-liter, V-10 engines are being carried over with upgraded internals for increased horsepower and torque, and reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The transmission offerings are still up in the air, as Audi executives have made it clear that a manual transmission will likely no be offered due to low demand. However, no final decisions have been made on this front.

Press Release

AUDI AG inaugurated the Audi Böllinger Höfe in Heilbronn today – an important step in the future and growth strategy of the Neckarsulm site. A state-of-the-art logistics center and production of the Audi R8 are already up and running in the Böllinger Höfe industrial park – situated around six kilometers from the main plant in Neckarsulm.

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“Our domestic sites are our backbone, and the investment in the Audi Böllinger Höfe is a significant milestone for the Neckarsulm site,” explains Dr. Hubert Waltl, Board Member for Production at AUDI AG. Through 2018 the company will be investing more than €22 billion worldwide. About half of the Audi investment will go to the German sites, with on average more than €650 million per year invested in the Neckarsulm site. “This extension will substantially relieve the pressure on the plant, as the growing range of models and production complexity increasingly require more space,” Waltl adds. With six models and 20 derivatives, Neckarsulm is one of the plants with the greatest product diversity and complexity in the entire Volkswagen Group. The Audi Böllinger Höfe site covers 23 hectares, around a quarter of the total area of the plant in Neckarsulm. Norbert Rank, Chairman of the Works Council in Neckarsulm, comments: “With the commissioning of the Böllinger Höfe we are creating the necessary scope for further optimizing the structures at the Neckarsulm site. And we managed to bring together central areas of quattro GmbH. We are also creating more jobs in our region.”

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The Audi Böllinger Höfe site will also be home to the new R8 production facility. Various production areas, which were previously accommodated separately at the Neckarsulm plant, have now been brought together under a single roof. In particular, pre-series and series production as well as quality assurance benefit from the rapid, interdisciplinary networking. Hence the Neckarsulm site is also reinforcing its small-scale production competence. The newly created production area can be used even more efficiently and flexibly thanks to technological and ergonomic innovations. R8 production got underway in the Böllinger Höfe on August 25 – just under three weeks after the last Audi R8 came off the production line at the Neckarsulm plant.

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Back in March, the new logistics center started operating with around 22,500 storage places. The logistics center is a central point for supplying materials for production. Logistics experts handle around 4,500 containers a day. Goods flows, which were processed in five external stores before the new facility was built, are now being coordinated via a centralized location. The result is further a reduction in shipments, and transfer of truck traffic from the Heilbronn urban area to the industrial park. Another improvement comes in the shape of the GPS tracking of individual shipments between the logistics center and the Neckarsulm plant. The innovative live tracking enables schedules to be adjusted flexibly to the traffic situation and also optimizes routing.

“For the city of Heilbronn the Audi location is the largest industrial development for decades,” is how Lord Mayor Harry Mergel underlines the importance of the Audi Böllinger Höfe for the region. Cars are set to be produced in Heilbronn once again after many years, bringing with it secure jobs.

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