Dirk van Braeckel

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Dirk van Braeckel
Born (1958-02-19) 19 February 1958 (age 61)
EducationRoyal College of Art
OccupationCar designer

Dirk van Braeckel (born 19 February 1958 in Deinze),[1] is a Belgian car designer. He is known for the designing of various models for Volkswagen Group.


Born in Deinze,[1] after leaving school, van Braeckel studied electrical engineering,[2] before joining Ford as an apprentice car designer in Cologne, West Germany.[1] Ford then agreed to sponsor him undertake a degree in car design at the Royal College of Art, London.[3]

On graduation, he joined Audi in 1984, working on external design[1] including the Audi A8 concept and Audi A3.[4] In 1993, Volkswagen Group boss Ferdinand Piëch personally choose him to be the design head for Volkswagen's newly purchased Škoda Auto division, where he revised the entire model line-up,[3] designing the Octavia and Fabia models.[1]

After Volkswagen purchased Bentley in 1998 from Vickers plc, van Braeckel joined the British-based company in August 1999 as Director of Design and Styling. His brief was to design a car that could sell in higher volumes than the $240,000 Bentley Arnage model. Van Braeckel designed the Bentley Continental GT, which in 2004 sold 5,983 units, exceeding forecasts by 62%,[3] and in 2009 the Bentley Mulsanne which was designed by him was launched.[5]


Bentley Continental GT


In 2007, van Braeckel was awarded the laureate of Antwerp's Christophe Plantin Prize, which honours Belgian citizens whose cultural, artistic or scientific activities contribute to the country's prestige abroad.[2] In 2008, van Braeckel was awarded the European Automotive Design Award by Designers (Europe).[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Bentley design director Dirk van Braeckel awarded". carbodydesign.com. 2008-02-06. Retrieved 2009-06-21.
  2. ^ a b "Dirk van Braeckel receives top Belgian award". conceptcar.co.uk. 2007-10-09. Retrieved 2009-06-21.
  3. ^ a b c "Dirk van Braeckel". Business Week. 2005-05-30. Archived from the original on 2009-03-29. Retrieved 2009-06-21.
  4. ^ "World of Bentley". World of Bentley. Bentley. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
  5. ^ Condon, Josh. "Bentley Mulsanne: The famed British saloon builder replaces the Arnage with an all-new stunner". MSN Autos. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  6. ^ Damian, Alex (31 May 2006). "Bentley Continental Flying Spur". Top Speed. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
  7. ^ GRITZINGER, Bob (6 March 2007). "2008 Bentley Brooklands Coupe Big two-door captures company's racing heritage". Automotive News. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
  8. ^ Fowler, Steve. "Bentley SUV to get new look". Auto Express. Retrieved 7 June 2012.

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