Frank Stephenson might not be a household name, but he is one of the most revered car designers of our time. He had been the Design Director at McLaren Automotive since 2008 where he helped oversee the styling of most of the British company's current gen vehicles including the 12 to the trendy 720S. However, this stage of his McLaren's designer career has come to an end, as leading German magazine Auto Motor Und Sport reported that Stephenson is allegedly quitting his position and will supposedly rejoin Mini where he was the designated chief designer until 2002.
McLaren recently announced to the public that Rob Melville will be appointed as the new McLaren's Design Director. Melville had been handling Sports Series and second-gen Super Series of cars leading up to the promotion which includes the P1, 570S, 650S, 675LT and the most recent responsibility of leading the design team of the new 720S. He joined the British Company as a Senior Designer in 2009.
But before working with McLaren, he served at Jaguar Land Rover as part of the Advanced Design team that worked on penning the dapper Range Rover Evoque. Melville also became part of General Motors in U.K as a Senior Creative Designer in 2006, and at that time he assisted in designing cars including the Hummer H2, Chevrolet Corvette and the Cadillac Converj.
Stephenson had taken time away from his responsibility at the British automotive company due to personal matters, and now possibly jumping ship over to the Mini team. He was responsible for creating the iconic 2001 Mini Cooper, a design that he completed shortly before leaving in 2002. He will supervise the design of 14 brand new models before 2022 as McLaren's new appointed Design Director, as part of the Track22 business plan that totals up to a whopping $1.4 billion. The plan is set to include a new "LT" sub-brand, an electric supercar and likely a P1 replacement.
Melville himself is looking forward to his new appointment; he said that he is thrilled to be bestowed the title of Design Director for McLaren Automotive, and he remembered that when he got the call to join McLaren back in 2009, the joy he experienced then is the same as today. He further added that they have developed an incredible design team and have mixed a design philosophy that he feels passionately about. He also said that he has always believed that a skillful design conveys a great story and this is what they do in McLaren.
Meanwhile, the new Design Director will carry on with the introduction of the recent design DNA that is found in the 720S throughout the rest of the next-gen vehicles. Though this is a big decision coming from McLaren, it is expected that the British automotive company will eventually have a sturdy hold on things with Melville's supervision.