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Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann could step down to run Audi’s quattro division

A new report finds Stephan Winkelmann will step down from his positions as the president and CEO of Lamborghini in order to run parent company Audi’s quattro division.

The 51-year old Winkelmann has been Lamborghini’s top executive since January of 2005. Under his leadership, the Italian car maker has experienced unprecedented growth, and it has managed to establish a secure foothold in a host of lucrative new markets around the globe, including China. Winkelmann is widely credited as the man who helped Lamborghini re-invent itself and become the respected supercar maker that it is today.

While his days at Lamborghini might be numbered, Winkelmann’s career is far from over. Automobile Magazine reports he will move from Lamborghini’s headquarters in Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy, to Neckarsulm, Germany, in order to run Audi’s quattro division, which is responsible for developing hot-rodded models like the RS 6 station wagon and the mid-engined R8. He will replace Heinz Hollerweger, who is retiring, and his expertise is expected to help Audi transform quattro from an emblem that denotes a more powerful engine into a full-fledged sub-brand like Mercedes-AMG and BMW M.

Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport believes Lamborghini has already chosen Italian businessman Stefano Domenicali to replace Winkelmann. Domenicali was hired by Audi a little over a year ago in order to work on the company’s new mobility systems, but rumors claim he has been secretly spearheading the company’s long-rumored entry into Formula One. He’s seen as the right man for the job because he spent years at the helm of the Scuderia Ferrari Formula One team.

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If the report turns out to be true, Lamborghini will make an official announcement about Winkelmann’s resignation and Domenicali’s appointment in the coming days. So far, neither Lamborghini nor Audi have commented on the rumor.