Heinrich Timm, designer of Audi space frame and farmer

Heinrich Timm is the head of the Aluminum and Lightweight Design Center in Neckarsulum, Germany.

Timm designed the Audi Space Frame (ASF) in the early 1980s, on the orders of Ferdinand Piech.  ASF technology has already found it’s way into six Audi models: the first- and second-generation Audi
A8, the Audi A2, the latest TT and TT Roadster, and the high-performance Audi R8 sports car that we drove at the Infineon racetrack. The Lamborghini Gallardo and the Gallardo Spyder also trace their roots to the Aluminum and Lightweight Design Center.

Timm’s family were farmers. As a child Timm designed and built his on games on his parent’s farm. They wanted him to become a farmer, but Timm wanted to continue to design and build.

In 1997, the Technical University of Vienna presented the Ferdinand Porsche Award to Albrecht Reimold (now plant manager at Audis Neckarsulm site) and Heinrich Timm.  In 2008 Timm and his group won European Inventor of the Year.

Timm explains how aluminum is put together to form a frame. He does so by utilizing concepts from the farm.

About the Author:

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a member of the North American Car and Truck of the Year (NACTOY), Women's World Car of the Year (WWCOTY), and the Concept Car of the Year.