Audi poaches former JLR design head Massimo Frascella to forge new path

Massimo Frascella becomes new Head of Design at Audi.

Massimo Frascella becomes new Head of Design at Audi.

Published Feb 16, 2024


After announcing his departure from Jaguar Land Rover last month, Massimo Frascella has been appointed as Audi’s new design head.

Commencing his new position in Ingolstadt on June 1, the Italian national will take the place of Marc Lichte, who is moving to a new role within the Volkswagen Group.

52-year-old Frascella is a graduate of the Istituto d`Arte Applicata & Design in Turin, and started his career at Bertone. He also held positions at Ford and Kia - where he designed that beautiful third-generation Sportage - before joining JLR as design head in 2011. And don’t the British firm’s designs of the past decade speak for themselves?

He joins in the wake of Audi restructuring its design department, which will now report directly to the Chairman of the Board of Management.

There have been whisperings of a new design direction at the German brand for quite some time now.

In early 2023, Marc Lichte told Top Gear that the brand’s future car designs would be softer, friendlier and less aggressive - somewhat in response to a seemingly more aggressive and war-torn world. In doing this they would take inspiration from recent concept cars such as the Audi Activesphere.

Frascella says his design approach is defined by simplicity and he is passionate about creating timeless and sophisticated designs that are free from “superfluous” ornaments.

“Joining Audi is a very special moment for me. I am deeply honoured 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,” Frascella said.

“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."

Audi CEO Gernot Döllner said the new design head would be tasked with forging an unmistakable and emotional design language for the brand.

“Clarity, precision, and perfect proportions are at the centre of his design philosophy – qualities that seamlessly fit into the image of the Audi brand,” Döllner added.

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