Following reports that Frank Stephenson has left McLaren to join MINI, the British automaker has confirmed he will be replaced by Rob Melville.
The decision to promote Melville to Design Director is a no-brainer, as he joined the company in 2009 as a senior designer and was promoted to chief designer in 2014. While his name might not ring a bell, his work is instantly recognizable to enthusiasts as he led the design of the 720S and has worked on everything from the 650S and 675LT to the prestigious P1.
Before working at McLaren, Melville made a name for himself at Jaguar Land Rover, where his sketches and clay model were chosen to become the LRX concept, which eventually became the Range Rover Evoque. Melville has also worked at General Motors and was part of the team that created the stunning Cadillac Converj concept that entered production as the ELR.
Melville will now play an important role in overseeing the creation of 14 new models or derivatives as part of McLaren’s Track22 business plan.
In a statement, Melville said: “I am thrilled to be given the title of Design Director for McLaren Automotive. I remember when I got the call to come and join McLaren back in 2009 and the joy I felt then is the same today. We have developed a fantastic design team and have integrated a design philosophy that I feel passionately about.”