Bentley has named Stefan Sielaff as its new design chief. The German designer is a Volkswagen Group man, having previously led design at Audi and more recently serving as head of interior design for all group brands as well as head of the Volkswagen Design Center in Potsdam, Germany. He replaces Luc Donckerwolke, famous for penning the Murcielago and Gallardo supercars, who was only hired to run Bentley design in 2012. In a statement, Bentley said Donckerwolke is leaving the VW Group but didn’t give a reason.
Sielaff, 53, started in the industry with a design degree from the prestigious Royal College of Art in London. He has been with the VW Group for more than 25 years, although he worked for a short time at rival German automaker Mercedes-Benz.
Sielaff starts his new role at Bentley on July 1 and will report to Rolf Frech, Bentley’s chief engineer. He will also retain his position of head of interior design for all VW Group brands, reporting to the group’s overarching design chief Walter de Silva.
“Bentley is entering one of the most important phases in the company’s history, with significant plans for new models,” Bentley CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer said in a statement. “With his experience, creative vision and passion for the Bentley brand Stefan Sielaff is perfectly placed to lead the design of our future models.”
Those new models include next-generation versions of the Continental and Flying Spur, a Mulsanne-based convertible, and possibly a new sports car based on the well-received EXP 10 Speed 6 concept car or a second high-riding model.
In his statement, Dürheimer also thanked the outgoing Donckerwolke and wished him the best for the future. The Belgian designer recently made headlines when he criticized the new Lincoln Continental concept for its similarities with Bentley’s own Flying Spur.