Former Lamborghini and Seat designer Luc Donckerwolke has been named Design Director at Bentley, replacing Dirk van Braeckel who has moved into an as yet unconfirmed new role within Volkswagen Group design.
“Luc Donckerwolke brings a wealth of design talent to Bentley,” Volkswagen Group Head of Design said in a statement issued by Bentley. “His extensive experience makes him the ideal person to take forward Bentley’s future design language, at a time when the company has significant plans for new models.”
Donckerwolke has had a long career within the Volkswagen Group, having joined Audi as an exterior designer in 1992. Two years later he was appointed exterior design director at Skoda, a title he retained when he moved over to work for Audi in Munich in 1996. He later became studio director at the brand’s design studio in Ingolstadt.
But perhaps the most significant contribution he made to VW Group design came shortly after his appointment as Head of Design at Lamborghini, where he was responsible for the design of the Gallardo and Murcielago. With those designs Donckerwolke effectively set the stage for a new design aesthetic for the Sant’Agata-based supercar maker. The Muira concept was also crated under his watch — though de’Silva lays claim to that retro creation.
Donckerwolke went to head up Seat’s design efforts in Spain in 2006, working to redefine the brand’s design ethos, before being appointed Head of VW Advanced Design last year.
Dirk van Braeckel was with Bentley for 13 years, spearheading the design of the Flying Spur, Brooklands and now iconic Continental GT. Like Donckerwolke, van Braeckel’s career followed a similar path. Having started his career at Ford after graduating from the RCA, he joined VW Group as an exterior designer at Audi in 1984 and became chief designer at Skoda in 1993. Over the course of his nine years at Audi he worked on the 80 (B4) Avant and Cabrio models as well as the A8 ACC aluminum concept and the original A3.
“I would like to thank Dirk van Braeckel for the significant contribution he has made to Bentley,” de’Silva said. “He has overseen the evolution of the Bentley brand and the development of the new generation Continental family and the flagship Mulsanne.”
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