Live Chat With Former Ferrari Designer Frank Stephenson

Live Chat With Former Ferrari Designer Frank Stephenson

ROSSOautomobili contributor Christian Cipriani (@drvnbydesign) had the opportunity to enjoy a long conversation with legendary automotive designer Frank Stephenson over Instagram live.

Scroll all the way down for the full livestream.

For those who aren’t familiar, Frank is a towering presence in the world of modern car design. His long list of innovations includes designs for the first BMW X5, which single-handedly ushered in the era of luxury SUVs, the MINI Hatch, Fiat 500, and supercar legends like the McLaren P1 and Maserati MC12.

However, our conversation focused on Frank’s time collaborating with Ferrari. He not only designed the F430, which was an update to the 360 and the core of Ferrari’s early-2000s road car lineup, but he also took the Enzo – designed by his former ArtCenter College classmate Ken Okuyama – and transformed it into the record-setting Ferrari FXX.

Ferrari FXX

Frank: "The limited edition Ferrari FXX Super Enzo and its intended design before production. Then there’s the way it was produced..."

Talking with Frank about these two projects alone made for some wildly interesting conversation, but our long chat expanded in many directions. Here’s what we learned:

  • What it’s like to be secretly recruited to a senior position at Ferrari.
  • The relationship between design and engineering is incredibly complicated!
  • Ferrari’s road car and F1 departments don’t work as closely as you might think.
  • There’s a great story behind the manettino dial on the steering wheel.
  • There’s a secret in the Ferrari logo that Frank learned directly from Piero Ferrari.
  • The car design field is incredibly competitive, but you can get your foot in the door.

Enjoy this 1+ hour conversation with one of the most respected designers in automotive history and stay tuned for more insightful live chats that take you deeper into the past, present and future of Ferrari.

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