The upper echelon at Lotus continues to evolve, with today's announcement that Donato Coco has been appointed as the new director of design at the UK sports car maker and engineering consultancy. The Italian designer is moving to Hethel from Ferrari headquarters in Maranello where Coco worked on recent products like the F430 Scuderia coupe, Spider 16M, California, 599XX and the new F458 Italia. Prior to his Ferrari tenure, Coco was the chief designer at Citroen.

With Coco's hiring, Lotus hopes to bring its design expertise up to par with its engineering work for other automakers. Coco will also oversee the design of the upcoming Lotus product range which will continue to be led by current design head Russell Carr. With Coco and Carr, Lotus will be producing an Evora convertible, an all new Esprit and eventually a new Elise and Exige in the coming years.

[Source: Lotus]


PRESS RELEASE

Lotus Appoints New Director of Design

Group Lotus is delighted to announce the appointment of Mr. Donato Coco as Director of Design for Group Lotus starting 04 January 2010. In this newly created role, Donato will lead all Lotus Design activities for Lotus Cars and Lotus Engineering.

Head of Lotus Design, Russell Carr will continue to work on both Lotus products and third party design work, an area which is growing rapidly especially in the emerging Asian markets.

Dany Bahar, Chief Executive Officer of Group Lotus plc said, "The appointment of Donato Coco as the new Director of Design for Lotus puts even more prominence on design within Lotus and strengthens the already talented team. We have a very busy few years ahead of us as we are working on a new strategic business plan which will include the introduction of an all new range of Lotus cars and expansion of our third party design work."

Donato Coco is looking forward to the new challenge, "Lotus has a reputation for designing evocative sportscars and it is a great honour to take on these responsibilities and challenges. Russell Carr and the rest of the Lotus Design team have already elevated Lotus Design to a globally recognised level and the increase in our third party design work for clients around the world is proof of our capabilities. I am looking forward to building on these foundations to deliver beautiful and relevant Lotus cars designs whilst at the same time acknowledging the peerless heritage and core values of this wonderful British brand."

Donato Coco was previously Director of Design and Development – Ferrari where he worked on the Ferrari F430 Scuderia coupé and Spider 16M, Ferrari California, 599XX and the F458 Italia. Prior to Ferrari, Donato worked for Automobiles Citroën rising to the position of Chief Designer and was responsible for, amongst others, the Xsara, Picasso, C3, C3 Pluriel, C2, C1, ZX Paris Dakar and the Xsara WRC.

Donato Coco holds an MA in Automotive Design from the Royal College of Art, London, England. Whilst at the RCA, he was awarded first prize in a design competition, which was presented to him by Margaret Thatcher when she was Prime Minister of Great Britain.

Donato Coco is an Italian national. He will be based at the Lotus Headquarters in Hethel, England.