McLaren’s Frank Stephenson Signs On To Design Electric Jets For Lilium

Ever since Frank Stephenson left McLaren, we’ve been wondering what he’d do next. And now we know.

The highly accomplished automotive designer is taking up a new role as head of product design at Lilium. Based in Munich, Lilium is developing a two-seat electric jet aircraft that aims to revolutionize transportation. Not in between cities, but within them.

In automotive spheres, Stephenson’s work speaks for itself. The Moroccan-born, Spanish-educated American designer started out at Ford, then joined BMW where he designed the X5 and the reborn Mini. He designed the F430 at Ferrari, the MC12 for Maserati, and ran the design departments at Fiat, Lancia, and Alfa Romeo. Most recently, he served as design director at McLaren, penning the design language that has characterized most of its modern supercars. (He’s also one of the nicest guys in the business.)

“My last job was as high up as you could be in the car design world,” said Stephenson upon his appointment. “The obvious question was – what next? But it wasn’t one I could easily answer. And then this incredible company – founded by four super-smart young guys – came along and it immediately felt like exactly the right move. Lilium is going to revolutionise city travel by moving journeys from the ground into the sky. The technology that they have already developed is truly mind boggling.”

An Electric Jet For The City

The two-passenger Lilium Jet incorporates 36 individual electric jet engines into its wings. They’re envisioned to allow the aircraft to travel at speeds of up to 300 km/h (186 mph) and up to 300 km (186 miles) on a single charge. It’s been developed as a new solution for urban transportation. And it’s claimed to be up to 90 percent more efficient than its nearest competitor.

“Frank’s work is unique – he creates entirely new design languages that aren’t like anything that anyone has ever seen before. That is exactly what we’re trying to achieve at Lilium,” said CEO and co-founder Daniel Wiegand. “It is a sign of our clear leadership in this field that someone of Frank’s calibre is choosing to join us as we approach production of the Lilium Jet and launch of the Lilium service.”

more photos...
  • What an incredibly exciting job!

    • SteersUright

      Seriously.

  • SteersUright

    Flying cars, personal helicopters, electric jets, full-size drones for people to ride on…I just cant help but wonder what air-traffic will look like 40 years from now.

    Separately, what makes this a “jet”? There are no actual jet engines, just ducted fans from what I see.

2019 Audi A8: Should You Cancel That 7-Series/S-Class?

The eighth-gen A8 fell in the hands of Consumer Reports. Does it measure up against its direct rivals?.

The World’s Best McLaren F1 Is Going To Bring All The Money

This F1 LM-spec comes with a 680HP race engine and the High-Downforce kit – plus a gorgeous finish.

Aussie-Spec 2020 Mustang GT Gets Black Shadow Pack, New Colors

The 2020 Mustang will arrive at dealers in Australia in November, with pricing to be announced further down the line.

Volvo Turns To Cost Cutting After Pressure From Tariffs Builds Up

Volvo reported record sales in the first half of 2019, but saw its operating profit dropping significantly.

Ferrari 599 GTB Puts Its Screaming V12 To Good Use In Top Speed Run

The Ferrari 599 GTB pumps out a total of 612 hp and 448 lb-ft of torque and sounds heavenly.

2020 Corvette C8.R Race Car Teased

The 2020 Corvette isn’t even a day old, but its already gearing up to go racing.

BMW Teams Up With Gaming Giant Tencent For Autonomous Tech Development

BMW’s new partnership will produce autonomous vehicles that are better suited for China’s specific needs.

Possible Cadillac XT4-V Spotted, Could Use CT4-V’s Turbo Engine

Is Cadillac gearing up to introduce their first V-Series crossover?.

Volvo Could Be Targeting The BMW X7 With A Large Flagship SUV

CEO Hakan Samuelsson has also hinted a possible sub-40 range, probably with electric power.

VW Planning A “Sporty Urban” Crossover For 2021

The model will reportedly be built in Spain and be offered with hybrid and electric powertrains.