Did you know the designer of the new MINI is now the head of design for Ferrari?
The fact that the main designer (Frank Stephenson) of the new MINI left BMW earlier this year and is now the head of design for Ferrari tells a lot about coolness of these little cars and how creative its designer was. I heard/read somewhere (most likely motoringfile.com) that Frank Stephenon actually designed the new Cooper convertible as a sportier 2 seater but that design got scrapped for a more traditional 4 seater. I for one would really like to know what the 2-seater looked liked and I would really like to see any other Mini Cooper sketches and concepts he did during his time with BMW (might hint at the next-gen 2007 MINI exterior/interior).
The fact the Stephenson has left makes you wonder if the next MINI will become more of a committee car designed by focus groups. While I have no doubt the next MINI will be a great car I worry that it might lose some of that uniqueness that makes the current MINI an instant and timeless classic.
Does anyone know if Stephenson had anything to do with the 05 facelifted Cooper or if that was the creation of the new MINI design team?
Last edited by johnsocal; Sep 5th, 2004 at 06:00 AM.
Stephenson doesn´t actually design the new Ferraris. They are still designed by Pininfarina, but Stephenson does a sort of coordination job for Ferrari. Helping to find the design clues and strategy. There is an interview with him In the actual "CAR" magazine in which he describes his new job.
Don´t bother me with: Vans, SUVs and Grandpatronic
Frank's actually a member of MINI2, and we keep in touch via email, just had one last week actually. I've met him a few time and he's a really cool guy. Really loves the MINI, could be a top salemsan if he ever desides to change career (not likely!) but LOVING his job at Maserati/Ferari. He took me on a tour of "his babies" (the Maserati GranSport and MC12) at the Geneva Motor Show this year when I was there for the MINI Convertible launch. Got some cool stories on the development of the cars and how they work compared to BMW (much smaller company, much smaller team, etc...).
He actually left MINI/BMW for the Italians in August 2002, it was reported on this site, but I can't find the story now.
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