Wolfgang Dürheimer, president and CEO of Bentley and Bugatti fires down a Kitzbühel black run having just effected an irritatingly perfect racing start, which sees him exit from the start gate in a way best described as Maximum Attack.
As he carves his way down ahead of me, my first thought is: “Just don’t wipe him out.” We’ve joined him on a rare weekend of downtime at the infamous Hahnenkamm downhill in Kitzbühel, where he is combining his love of skiing (he’s a fully qualified ski instructor) with an event hosting some of his most exclusive customers at the resort’s Bentley Lodge.
After starting his career as a mechanic in the BMW motorcycle racing team in 1980, Dürheimer moved to Porsche in 1999 where he was responsible for the 911 series and in 2001 he was appointed board member for R&D and product management.
Now retiring from his second tenure at Bentley and Bugatti following a brief 10-month interlude at Audi in 2012/13, Dürheimer’s roster of cars and bikes is staggering and includes the BMW R259, K1200 RS, LT, and the Paris-Dakar F650 and the R1150 GS bikes; car highlights include the Porsche Carrera GT, 997 GT2 and GT3, the Bentley Continental Supersports and Bentayga; and the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, Vision Gran Turismo and Chiron. We clearly have a lot to discuss. All I need to do now is catch up with him…