Under the greater Volkswagen Group umbrella Porsche and Audi have announced that the two brands will combine their research and development teams in an attempt to cut costs.
The scope of the collaboration from the prestige brands includes a range of projects such as electrification, digitisation, and autonomous driving. The announcement comes as a turnaround in operations for the two divisions, which previously operated independently and even competed against each other in production car and motorsport programs,
The deal will allow Volkswagen's sub-brands to pool key resources and save money in the wake of its costly diesel emissions scandal. It was orchestrated in part by Matthias Mueller, who worked for Audi before becoming the chief executive of Porsche in 2010 and going on to succeed Martin Winterkorn as the top-ranking executive in the Volkswagen Group in 2015.
Audi boss Rupert Stadler says "the best brains of both companies will together set the technical course for the future".
"We are united by many shared values, above all, by our pursuit of the best solutions and the best offerings for our customers," he says.
Porsche chairman Oliver Blume says the companies will work together for "faster progress" while making sure their products retain a sense of identity.
"We will cooperate wherever it makes sense," he says. "But we will also be very careful to maintain the differentiation between our brands. A Porsche is always a Porsche, and that will remain so in the future."
Porsche and Audi have a special history together that stretches back to competition machines of the 1960s. The brands have worked together on a number of projects including the affordable VW and Audi-powered Porsche 924 of the 1980s the Porsche-fettled Audi RS2 wagon that fathered the Audi Sport line of RS-badged performance cars, as well as production models such as the Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q7 that share common underpinnings.
The brands were engaged in an arms race to develop the world's fastest and most efficient sports cars in the World Endurance Championship and 24 Hours of Le Mans before Audi pulled out of first-class racing in 2016.