You have probably heard of the name Stephan Winkelmann, more so if you’re in the automotive industry. He was once the big boss of Lamborghini for 10 years, until first quarter of last year when he became head of Audi Sport. Now, he is switching teams again to move to Bugatti, as he replaces Wolfgang Durheimer as President. But this move still puts him within the VW Group.
The 52-year-old executive spent most of his time in the industry with Lamborghini, acting as the CEO of the Italian supercar marque from 2005 to 2016. And this year, he will be replacing Bugatti’s former CEO, the 59-year-old Durheimer after a quick year with Audi Sport. Though Durheimer wanted to leave the company before the end of the year, he was convinced to stay for the launch of the upcoming Continental GTC, that is the convertible version of the GT. Therefore, he will still be chairman of Bentley for the time being.
Back in the day when Winkelmann was in Lamborghini, he was able to help the brand triple its number of dealerships.
During his time in Audi Sport, some of Winkelmann’s projects include the renaming of the division from Audi Quattro GmbH to Audi Sport, as well as the development of models like the R8 Spyder, the RS5 Coupe and the rear wheel drive R8 and RS4 Avant that are still about to come out. Since Winkelmann left the company, Audi got Michael-Julius Renz to take his place as CEO, who (before being appointed) was Audi China’s president of sales division since January 2015. Renz has been with Audi since 1994 as the head of retail marketing.
Now that he is moving to Bugatti, Winkelmann will be looking after the development of the new Chiron variants, such as the Chiron Grand Sport that has been rumored and the Chiron Super Sport. When Durheimer leaves Bentley, it is also Winkelmann that is next in line for the company’s chairman position. It is not clear when Durheimer will leave the company but what we have heard is that his contract will end in mid-2019.
What’s in store now for Audi Sport’s? Well it looks like they will be receiving their own hypercar in the future if the company will still go through with Winkelmann’s vision for the brand. He once said in a recent interview with Automotive News that he envisioned a low-volume exotic sports that will be placed above the R8. He feels that Audi Sport deserves a hypercar, and that there will be a market for it.