David Hilton

David Hilton

Bentley has some major product launches in the pipeline, such as its new SUV and eventual replacement for the Continental range.

Possibly hinting at the scale of the work being done, the automaker today announced that it has hired acclaimed designer David Hilton as its new exterior design chief.

After 12 years running his own successful design firm, Motorcity Europe, Hilton moves to Bentley’s headquarters in Crewe, England, and will be reporting to Bentley’s design director Dirk van Braeckel.

Hilton has over two decades experience within automotive design, having worked with a wide variety of global companies. Prior roles included a long stint at Ford, where he worked at Blue Oval offices in the U.S., Germany, and Japan. He also has experience within the Volkswagen Group having been a designer at Volkswagen Autolatina in Brazil. Some previous projects he was involved with include the last Ford Focus RS and top-selling Ford S-Max.

Hilton commented at today’s announcement, “I am thrilled to be joining Bentley at this exciting time. Bentley has a distinctive design language which reflects the history and heritage of the brand but remains relevant to today’s high luxury customers. This is a tremendous privilege and opportunity and I hope I can draw on the passion that I know everyone associated with the marque shares and help shape the design of the next generation of Bentleys.”

He replaces Raul Pires who left Bentley at the end of last year to join legendary Italian design house Italdesign, which likely Bentley is part of the Volkswagen Group.