Stephan WinkelmannEnlarge Photo
After a short stint with Audi Sport, Stephan Winkelmann will reportedly leave his position as chief of the performance division and be named president of Bugatti. With this move, current Bugatti president, Wolfgang Dürheimer, would step down from Bugatti altogether.
The new information comes from Autocar. Volkswagen Group will reportedly make the changes official at the 2017 Frankfurt motor show.
Winkelmann oversaw the change from Audi Quattro GmbH to Audi Sport and helped carry out the performance division's restructuring. Under his watch, he launched the Audi R8 Spyder, RS5, and RS 3 sedan. He's also led the way forward with an onslaught of new Audi Sport models, which will include plenty of new performance crossovers.
Future plans for Winkelmann also reportedly include becoming the executive chairman of Bentley, a position also occupied by Dürheimer. Dürheimer's contract with Bentley is said to expire in mid-2019, though sources say he's ready to leave the position early. He may stay on through the launch of the Bentley Continental GTC, which should arrive next year.
Winkelmann's first priorities at Bugatti will be the development and introduction of future Chiron variants, which may take the Grand Sport and Super Sport names once again. Winkelmann knows a thing or two about high-performance sports cars as he was head of Lamborghini from 2005 until 2016.
To replace Winkelmann, Volkswagen Group has selected Michael-Julius Renz, who currently oversees Audi China's sales division. He was also head of Audi Germany's sales division. AutoCar also reports that Audi Sport engineering chief Stephan Reil will leave his post as of October 1st.
We'll know more about the executive changes in mid-September if and when they are made pubic at the 2017 Frankfurt motor show