According to a new report, McLaren design director Frank Stephenson could be returning to Mini to lead the company’s design team.
Mini’s former design boss, Anders Warming, left the automaker last year to join Borgward and MotoringFile reports that Stephenson is on the verge of filling the space left by his departure.
Stephenson is no stranger to Mini. As a matter of fact, he designed the first new generation Mini hatch (the R50) in 2000 and set a design philosophy which the company has largely mimicked to this day. Stephenson left Mini in 2001 and joined Ferrari and Fiat where he played a pivotal role in designing the Ferrari F430, Fiat 500 and even the Maserati MC12.
In April 2008, he become McLaren’s design director and has overseen the designs of every McLaren from the original MP4-12C through to the new 720S.
In recent times, the well-respected designer has been an outspoken critic of Mini’s current designs. Speaking about the Countryman a few years ago with Yahoo, Stephenson slammed it saying designers had abused the brand.
“Oh, my gosh, I don’t like it. I mean I don’t like the whole new trend at all. I think they just wildly abused the brand. And they’ve gone away from their roots in such a way that now the buyers are not the same buyers,” he said.
Neither McLaren or Stephenson have commented on the rumor.