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Former Lotus Design Boss Returns To Top Spot As Bahar Hire Exits Photo:
Mike Stevens | Oct, 24 2014 | 1 Comment

Russell Carr is once again the top dog in design at Lotus, replacing Donato Coco - the man who had previously replaced Carr back in 2009.

Carr is the man behind the design of the Lotus Evora, while Coco - brought in by ousted boss Dany Bahar to conceive an all-new look for the brand - led the look of six ill-fated concepts revealed in 2010.

But, with Bahar’s controversial sacking and the official cancellation of those ambitious concepts, Coco is shipping out and Carr is moving back in.

Above: the Evora GTE.
Above: the Evora GTE.

"It is an honour to take on the role of Head of Design for Lotus. Design is extremely important to Lotus as it conveys the pure, competitive and unconventional values of Lotus,” Carr said.

New Lotus boss Jean-Marc Gales, responsible for Carr’s return to the top design seat, thanked Coco for his work.

"I would like to thank Donato for his contribution to Lotus over the last five years and wish him well in his future ventures. Donato leaves a legacy of a strong, motivated and talented team within Lotus Design which under the new leadership of Russell will continue to design innovative, authentic and iconic Lotus products."

Above: Coco's proposal for a reborn Elise, one of six ambitious concepts revealed in 2010.
Above: Coco's proposal for a reborn Elise, one of six ambitious concepts revealed in 2010.

Coco described his five years at Lotus as “one of the strongest experiences of his career”.

But, with Lotus largely treading water since Bahar’s exit in 2012, it’s unclear just what Coco has worked on beyond new variants and updates in the existing Lotus range.

Where to next for Coco? He isn’t saying, but as a former Ferrari designer - where he worked with Dany Bahar before the Lotus move - we can likely expect to see his name in the press again soon.

As for Carr, recent reports of new SUV and family-car plans for the Lotus brand suggests his portfolio will soon expand well beyond models of the two-door variety…

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