In what seems like a surprise move, Audi Sport boss Stephan Winkelmann, is to leave that post later this year to head up Bugatti – one of the Volkswagen Group’s flagship brands.
Winkelmann, 52, has only been in the top job at Audi’s performance division since March 15, 2016, but will replace 59-year-old Wolfgang Durheimer at Bugatti, according to reports.
Durmeimer, will apparently keep his position as the chairman at Bentley for now, though, Winkelmann is expected to assume that role, too, eventually.
Winkelmann was previously head of Italian sports car marque Lamborghini, where he spent 11 years as its CEO, and is largely credited with turning the struggling Italian supercar maker around with his vision and flair.
Despite his relatively short tenure at Audi’s performance offshoot, he managed the reorganisation and rebranding of the business from Audi Quattro to Audi Sport in a bid to grow the performance line of vehicles.
Audi has appointed Michael-Julius Renz to replace Winkelmann as CEO at Audi Sport. Renz, 59, was president of sales within Audi China since January 2015, and previously head of sales in Germany.
At Bugatti, Winkelmann’s initial ‘to do’ list is likely to encompass the development and launch of new variants of the Chiron, like the rumoured Chiron Grand Sport and Chiron Super Sport – mirroring the Veyron in that regard.