Ferdinand Piech

Ferdinand Piech

THE ECONOMIC FORUM IN DAVOS (Photo by Reuter Raymond/Sygma via Getty Images)

Photo by: Raymond Reuter, Raymond Reuter, Raymond Reuter

Raymond Reuter, Raymond Reuter, Raymond Reuter

Ferdinand Piëch, former Volkswagen Chief and Grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, Dies at 82

Piëch was the father of the Porsche 917 and Bugatti Veyron, and was inducted in the Automotive Hall of Fame in 2014 .

Ferdinand Piëch, former Volkswagen Chief and grandson of Ferdinand Porsche has died at 82. Piëch reportedly collapsed while attending a dinner event in Bavaria on August 25, and died at a nearby hospital on August 26. The exact cause of death is not currently available.

Piëch is credited for transforming Germany's largest automobile manufacturer and saving the company from certain doom. He was brought on in 1992 as threat of bankruptcy loomed, and reinvigorated the automaker's image with green-lit production of the New Beetle. Piëch's leadership rapidly expanded VW's footprint in the international automotive market, and led to acquisitions of high-end brands Lamborghini, Bentley and Bugatti.

An engineer by trade, Piëch spearheaded the development of the Porsche 917. Deemed one of the greatest racing cars of all time, the record-breaking machine went on to give Porsche its first 24-Hours of Le Mans wins in 1970 and 1971, and featured prominently in the Steve McQueen film Le Mans.

The skilled engineer went on to spend time at Audi, taking charge of the automaker’s technical development division. There he helped pioneer the Audi Quattro, which promptly dominated the rally racing circuit upon its debut in 1981.

Piëch had expanded VW's holding to include struggling luxury-brand supercars, and in such endeavors fathered the Bugatti Veyron. The supercar held the title of fastest production car in the world after a record-setting attempt in July 2010 that was famously featured on the hit automotive television show Top Gear. Unfortunately, it was revealed several years later that the car used in the record attempt was modified with a deactivated speed restrictor and the titel was stripped. Still, the vehicle made an impressive 267.8 mph time.

In 2014 Piëch was inducted in the Automotive Hall of Fame for his undeniable strides in the automotive industry. He remained VW Group supervisory board Chairman until his resignation in 2015.

Next Up

Here’s Why You Can’t Miss DISCOVERY MOTOR LIVE

Buckle up! Discovery goes LIVE from SEMA in Las Vegas for an unforgettable night of epic car reveals and special guests during Monday’s supersized episode STREET OUTLAWS: NO PREP KINGS.

Big Chief Prepares for No Prep Kings Racing Debut After Two Years of Trash Talk

The 405 street racer is feeling the heat of competition ahead of Monday's premiere.

Queens of the Street: Meet the Women of Memphis

JJ Da Boss has cultivated some of the fastest female street racers. Get to know the boss women who bring it home for Memphis every week.

Round-Up: 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

Bentley takes top honors at the Monterey car show, while Porsche Type 64 auction causes bidding chaos.

Legendary Car Customizer Galpin Auto Sports is Coming to Discovery

The brand-new Discovery Channel series will premiere in winter 2020.

JJ Da Boss is Race Master for the Largest Purse in Street Outlaws’ History

Street Outlaws: Fastest In America premieres January 20 on Discovery.

Reaper Forms Team of Top 'Outcast' Racers to Gain No Prep Kings Advantage

The OKC List racer is bringing together some of the best No Prep competitors in the country to go toe-to-toe with Oklahoma and Texas.

An Impressive NASCAR Cup Win for Kevin Harvick at Michigan

Denny Hamlin was a close second to Harvick at the Consumers Energy 400 this past weekend.

Chuck Seitsinger Calls Out Big Chief To Join The New Season Of Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings

Don't miss the new season of Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings, Monday, October 7 at 9pm ET / PT on Discovery Channel.