This could be an exciting new era for VW compact passenger cars.
The Bugatti Chiron has a reputation for its incredible straight-line acceleration and record-breaking top speed. But with the introduction of the Chiron Sport, it can now also be honed around a track. Its more agile handling was helmed under the direction of Bugatti's Head of Technical Development, Stefan Ellrott.
He also helped develop the record-breaking Chiron Super Sport 300+ and the extreme Bolide Concept, as well as the Divo and Centodieci. In a surprise move, VW Group has announced Ellrott is leaving Bugatti to become Chief Technology Officer for Compact Vehicles at Volkswagen Passenger Cars. In his place, Gregor Gries, the previous Head of Powertrain Development at Bugatti, will lead the Technical Development department at Bugatti.
Ellrott joined Bugatti in October 2016, and was appointed Director of Technical Development on 1 January 2017, but has worked at Volkswagen AG in various positions since 1996. His new role at the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand will start in February. "Working for Bugatti has been a dream come true for me," said Ellrott.
"Bugatti stands for technological superlatives, and is therefore a particularly special automotive brand for an engineer. Being part of the Bugatti family and working with a passionate team on highly emotive products has been and continues to be a defining experience that I will never forget," said Ellrott.
"However, I am looking forward to the new and completely different challenges that await me at Volkswagen, and I would like to thank them for the confidence they have placed in me as the future CTO for Compact Vehicles. I will always be a Bugatti enthusiast at heart."
Applying his technical expertise from Bugatti to Volkswagen's compact passenger cars could produce some interesting results. It's unclear which VW passenger cars Ellrott will help develop in the future, but his new role means he will oversee development of compact cars like the Golf, T-Roc, Tiguan, and possibly new compact ID. models.
The current-generation Volkswagen Golf has already launched, but Ellrott could potentially help develop the Golf R Plus, which is rumored to have around 400 horsepower if it gets the green light, or future facelift variants of the current Golf.