Rob Melville replaces Frank Stephenson as McLaren design boss

Rob Melville

Rob Melville

McLaren has announced that Rob Melville will serve as Design Director at its road car division.

Melville replaces Frank Stephenson who is stepping down on his own accord. The news follows a report from earlier this month that Stephenson is about to take over the design reins at Mini.

Melville has been at McLaren since 2009 and is responsible for the design of the Sports Series as well as the second-generation Super Series, the first member of which is the stunning 720S that debuted in March at the 2017 Geneva auto show.

Frank Stephenson

Frank Stephenson

He was also key in developing several strategies or pillars that guide the design team at McLaren. They include everything for a reason, functional jewelry, truth to materials, perfect proportions, and always to be brave.

In his new role, Melville will be responsible for further developing these strategies as well as possibly implementing some radical design features previously hinted at by Stephenson. He has a lot of work ahead of him as McLaren plans to introduce 14 new models or derivatives between now and 2022 as part of the Track22 business plan.

Melville also has some pretty big shoes to fill. Stephenson, in addition to designing the first of the modern Minis for the BMW Group, also designed the first-generation BMW X5, the Fiat 500, the Maserati MC12, the Ferrari 430, and most of McLaren’s current lineup.

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