Rob Melville Will Step Up As McLaren Design Boss

With Frank Stephenson out, the man who designed the 720S takes the reigns.

Mike Dodd—All rights reserved. ©MikeDodd

It was recently revealed that long-time McLaren Design Director Frank Stephenson would be leaving the company for a return to his former home, Mini. Though the move hasn't been officially confirmed by the latter, McLaren has taken action after Stephenson's period of absence and called Senior Designer Rob Melville up to the role of Design Chief. 

After joining the McLaren team in 2009, Melville has had a hand in nearly ever model released by the brand. He contributed to the design of the P1, 650S, and 675LT while leading the projects that penned the marque's Sports Series (570S and 570GT) and  second-generation Super Series, starting with the 720S. 

Stephenson had taken time away from his role at McLaren due to personal issues, eventually deciding to jump ship over to the Mini crew. He is responsible for the legendary 2001 Mini Cooper, a design that he finished shortly before his initial exit in 2002.

Under McLaren's aggressive Track22 plan, Melville will be responsible for the styling development of 14 new models by 2022. This includes a host of hybrids and even an electric supercar, challenging his team to think creatively with an all-new platform.

Although this is a big shift for the brand, it seems like McLaren will have a sturdy grasp on things under Melville's command. Seeing as the new 720S is subjectively regarded as one of the most beautiful supercars of its era, it's likely that many of the future models will follow suit.