Wolfgang Duerheimer to leave Bentley/Bugatti and go to Audi as development chief

Article by Christian A., on May 13, 2012

It appears that Bentley/Bugatti CEO Wolfgang Duerheimer and Volkswagen marketing chief Luca de Meo will move to Audi, according to German media reports that announce a broad management reshuffle at the Volkswagen Group. The report says that Wolfgang Duerheimer will replace Audi’s development chief Michael Dick, while Luca de Meo will become Audi’s sales chief, replacing Peter Schwarzenbauer.

Moreover, Audi's head of procurement Ulf Berkenhagen and production chief Frank Dreves will leave the company’s management board. Still, they will not leave the Vw Group, as Berkenhagen will become purchasing chief of Volkswagen's commercial vehicles division and he will be replaced by Bernd Martens, which is currently purchasing boss for VW's new models.

According to Automobilwoche, Dreves and Dick, both 60, are likely to go into retirement later this year. This reshuffle aims to reduce the average age of the seven-member management board. 

The most important automobile celebration in the world is held yearly in Monterey, California. In 2009, it witnessed some of the most sleek, high-class, and prized cars ever manufactured in more than a hundred years of motoring, with Bugatti playing a big role in the event.

On the night before the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, the climax of the show, the brand known for outstanding automotive solutions, design, and driving dynamics launched a second model to its fans – the brand new Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport, this time with a removable roof.

To respond to the demand of its clients, recognizable changes were done to the complicated structure of the vehicle to allow open-top driving, therefore adding a different angle to the highly durable sports car. Combining a host of the latest safety and equipment features, it is the fastest car anywhere. It is highly noticeable because of its transparent roof made of polycarbonate, a higher windscreen and elegant daytime running lights.

The focal challenge in improving the new Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport with removable roof stems from a structure that is entirely of the fixed-roof Bugatti Veyron. A solid mix of lightweight engineering structures and rigidity gives an assurance that the monocoque passenger cell of the pioneer model is tough while not being too heavy – it is a primary element of the car’s structure.

Because the roof is an optimal part of this, a total redesign had to be made to maintain vehicle’s sturdiness and safety if it was going to be removed. It should be able to give protection from rolling and side impacts.

Eventually after everything was done, the monocoque structure has been strengthened on the transmission tunnel and on the side skirts. Using a carbon fiber support, the B-pillars have been cross-stiffened, and a central carbon plate has been fixed below the transmission tunnel to make sure the car will not be suffering so much from torsional flexing compared to other roadsters.

The Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport’s doors are made of carbon fiber, and keeps an integrated longitudinal beam.

Topics: bentley, bugatti

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