The Designer and Design

Raul Pires, Head of Exterior Design at Bentley Motors, about his passion for art and architecture and the automotive industry...

It was a childhood trip to the Interlagos Circuit in Brazil to watch a Formula 1 race that sparked Raul Pires’ interest in motorsport. Yet the Head of Exterior Design at Bentley doesn’t cite this as his main driver to a career in automotive design.

Raul's two main passions are in art and architecture, in fact, he enthuses that his main interest outside of the world of Bentley is in creating canvases in oils and acrylics. It was only when he began to combine his two passions that his career in automotive design began to take shape.

After graduating from the Mackenzie University in Sao Paulo, Raul’s exterior design career began with a one-year placement that led to an appointment as an exterior designer with Volkswagen Design, initially in Brazil before transferring to Europe.

Moving to Skoda in 1993, Raul was involved in a number of projects for the Octavia, Fabia and Superb. In 1999, Raul followed Dirk van Braeckel from Skoda to Bentley where he worked again in the exterior design team before being promoted to his current position two years later.

Under the stewardship of Dirk and with the support of the design team, who he sees as “his hands”, Raul has helped to create a new Bentley design philosophy evident across the whole Bentley model range.