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Dr Ulrich Eichhorn


Growing up in his family’s fuel station, later a car dealership, Uli spent time there when he should have been at school, but claims to have learned more. After studying mechanical engineering and also doing his doctorate at Darmstadt Technical University, he was hired by Ford as a Vehicle Dynamics Engineer. 

Happily this was the period when Richard Parry-Jones had started to transform the way Fords drove and Uli rose quickly through the ranks. Finally poached by Volkswagen CEO Ferdinand Piëch, Uli was put in charge of VW Group research – ‘A fantastic playground for a creative engineer, but one where you also have to deliver the goods’ – and then as the Board Member for Engineering at Bentley. After the Dieselgate scandal he became the Volkswagen Group’s Chief Technical Officer for a number of years.

Uli does not only enjoy his own cars, but has great appreciation for any that really drive well, are well thought through and true to their character. His private garage includes numerous examples of these. 

First car:

BMW 2002 – spoiled me forever

Professional hero:

Dr Ferdinand Piëch and Richard Parry-Jones. I’m proud that both were my bosses and mentors

Fondest driving memory:

23 Alpine Passes in five days in a very competent sports car

"In engineering, just like in most other disciplines, the concept defines the potential, but the detail execution determines the actual result – so you need to get them both right. Even genius does not replace diligence"