Audi Sport Boss Stephan Winkelmann Reportedly Leaves To Head Bugatti

Current Audi Sport boss Stephan Winkelmann is reportedly leaving his post to head Bugatti later this year.

Inside sources at VW Group revealed the news to Autocar, saying that Winkelmann will replace 59-year-old Wolfgang Durheimer at Bugatti.

Despite Durheimer leaving his post at Bugatti, he will remain chairman of Bentley, at least for the time being. Michael-Julius Renz, Audi’s China sales division president, will replace Winkelmann as CEO at Audi Sport.

Winkelmann, who also served as Lamborghini’s CEO between 2005 and 2016, is also said to eventually take over the head position in Bentley from Durheimer as part of Group VW’s longer-term management plan.

It’s said that Durheimer wanted to leave at the end of this year but was convinced to stay until the launch of the new Continental GTC, the convertible version of the recently revealed Continental GT.

Under Winkelmann, Audi reorganised and renamed its performance division from Audi Quattro GmbH to Audi Sport. He also oversaw the launch of the latest R8 Spyder and RS5 Coupe while he’s responsible for the development of the upcoming rear-drive R8 and new RS4 Avant.

Winkelmann’s new Bugatti responsibilities will include the development of additional Chiron versions, including the rumored Chiron Grand Sport and Chiron Super Sport.

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  • Denzel

    That was short lived. I was hoping to see more of what he could do with the RS models.

    • fabri99

      Exactly. He didn’t even have the time to do anything at Audi. He did great things for Lamborghini and he’ll probably do the same for Bugatti, anyway.

  • Elmediterraneo

    That was short and I thought he was the right to make Audi Sport a brand as big as Mercedes-AMG. Now I hope that his successor will follow the plan by creating a more international line-up and less stupid decisions.
    But his move to Bugatti could a be good news because I think that’s a brand with a unique and huge potential which is wasted by selling only a limited edition multi-million €uro hypercar every 10 years…
    With the Bugatti brand they could build products like limousines, SUV’s and supercar above Bentley in terms of luxury and above Porsche and Lamborghini in terms of performance.
    There is also a lot of things to do the Bugatti’s french identity knowing that France is the world’s luxury capital !

    • Michelin

      Luxury capital in fashion or cosmetics but not in car world.
      About French identity of Bugatti, it’s hard top say, because Italian founder, Italian name, german owners and German technology.

      • Elmediterraneo

        When they talk about the brand’s image they don’t tell any shit about the german technology. They talk only about the origins, the values. The founder Ettore Bugatti, was only an italian born immigrant. He made his life and his company in France. Bugatti’s racing color was France’s blue, not Italy’s red.
        Talking about France it’s sure that’s not the best country for cars but for luxury stuff they are the best. And that’s what I’ve saw during a Bugatti presentation by Volkswagen when they try to insist of the brand’s french identity see as somehting valuable for a luxury brand. But the most important thing to do, is to build a line-up of W12 powered limousine, SUV and sportscar. It’s the VW group they’ve got everything, the factories, the engineers, the R&D so let’s do this because you can’t build a line-up with a Chiron only.

  • Charles Lane

    That really doesn’t make much sense. Why would you move to a brand that has 1 car maybe a second down the road. The RnD to production pipeline is so long that he will retire before he has his legacy on a Bugatti. On the other hand he could easily be putting this flare into Many new RS cars. Looking at you upcoming RS6, RS supercar.

  • Vassilis

    This is a shame for Audi Sport. I hope the new guy has similar ideas at least.

  • InCotexM 3

    I liked Stephan and I hoped he would be able to elevate the Rs models. As a current owner of RS5 I won’t feel bad going back to BMW ?

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