McLaren Design Boss Rumored To Jump Ship For Mini

Sam McEachern
by Sam McEachern

McLaren design boss Frank Stephenson is rumored to jump ship and return to his position as head of design for BMW’s Mini brand.

Stephenson’s return to Mini would be welcomed by loyal supporters of the brand as he was responsible for designing the first-generation ‘R50’ Mini Cooper that was rolled out in 2001. He was then appointed Director of Ferrari-Maserati Concept Design and Development in 2002, where he penned the Maserati MC12 Ferrari F430 and Ferrari 612 Scaglietti, among others. Following his stint at Ferrari and Maserati, he served as the lead designer for Fiat and its brands before joining McLaren in 2008.

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Stephenson essentially invented McLaren’s current design language. He headed up design for the McLaren MP4 12C and has been responsible for every one of the brand’s cars since, including the 650S, P1, 570S and the recently introduced 720S. While Stephenson’s departure from the British supecar manufacturer has yet to be confirmed, it’s far from implausible. Mini has been searching for a new design director since Anders Warming, who joined the brand in 2011, left last summer for Chinese-funded German automaker Borgward.

We’ll update this article if BMW or McLaren confirm Stephenson’s rumored departure.

[Source: Motor Authority]

Sam McEachern
Sam McEachern

Sam McEachern holds a diploma in journalism from St. Clair College in Windsor, Ontario, and has been covering the automotive industry for over 5 years. He conducts reviews and writes AutoGuide's news content. He's a die-hard motorsports fan with a passion for performance cars of all sorts.

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Join the conversation
  • Taf1felix Taf1felix on May 26, 2017

    How much different can a mini be

    • Kaffekup Kaffekup on Jun 12, 2017

      That was my first though: Minis need a design chief? They all look alike to me.

  • Mainemoose Mainemoose on May 30, 2017

    Well, they are kinda getting " not so Mini " in their latest version, compared to the first one that Stephenson designed.