New Audi design chief Massimo Frascella shaped cars for Jaguar Land Rover



At the Audi brand, style and design have long been a high priority; think the super sleek and sexy A7 sedan, the Bauhaus-inspired TT coupe, the single-frame grille that instantly identified the marque with its down-the-road graphics.

So when the Bavarians install a new head of design, that’s also worth a look.

Massimo Frascella is that person, a 52-year-old Italian designer who this summer will succeed Marc Lichte. Lichte ran Audi design since 2014 and will take up a new role within the Volkswagen Group.

Frascella, a student at the Istituto d`Arte Applicata & Design in Turin, ignited his career at Stile Bertone, and his résumé after that evolves impressively.

He subsequently held positions at Ford Motor Company and Kia, and since 2011, Frascella has held senior positions at Jaguar Land Rover. He was responsible for the creation of several models: Discovery Vision Concept (2014), Discovery Sport (2014), Discovery (2016), Velar (2017), Evoque (2019) and Defender. In 2019 he became creative director of Land Rover and in 2020 design director.

He was also instrumental in the development of the range of new electric Jaguars that are in the works.

“Joining Audi is a very special moment for me,” Frascella said. “I am deeply honored to assume the role of chief creative officer and to guide such a talented team in shaping the future of the brand to new heights of innovation and distinction. I believe in the emotional power of design to inspire, connect, and drive change, and I am here to nurture and promote creativity as the beating heart of our brand.”

Looking back a couple of decades, it was one of Frascella’s predecessors who helped to cement Audi’s reputation in automobile design: Walter de Silva.

De Silva was appointed head of Audi design in 2002. From 2007 to 2015, he supervised the design strategy for the entire Volkswagen group, including the TT, the Scirocco, the Passat and the Golf.

Not a bad list of achievements, but in a interview several years ago, de Silva said that he considered the 2007 Audi A5 coupe the pinnacle of his automotive design art, citing its “sex appeal, the shape of the lights, the architecture.”



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