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Julian Thomson


Julian is a dyed-in-the-wool car enthusiast first, a prolific car designer second. The now iconic Lotus Elise S1 was his work, as was the Land Rover LRX, which went into production as the Evoque.

He started his career at Ford in the Eighties having graduated from The Royal College of Art. Following a stint at the VW/Audi design studio in Barcelona, Julian returned to the UK in 2000 to work for Jaguar, eventually becoming Design Director for the marque and overseeing every one of its current models, as well as the C-X75 concept car.

He’s more likely to buy a Quaife LSD than a black roll neck jumper and is just as happy in the grandstand at Santa Pod as mingling with the crowds at Pebble Beach. Julian is a keen classic car collector and he still owns the Ferrari Dino he bought 35 years ago using money he should have set aside for a house.

Julian left his position at Jaguar in 2021 and is now heading up General Motors’ European advanced design studio.

First car:

An Alfasud Ti, innovative not only for its boxer engine but because it recycled itself back to dust automatically

Dream car:

Ferrari F40. Never driven one, but a car so visceral it will forever keep alive your inner ‘school boy’

Professional hero:

Shiro Nakamura, a lifelong friend. So creative yet so modest and his ego never overtook his love for the craft

"All I’ve ever wanted is to design cars: scribbling, colouring in and sculpting. The passion never goes away. With every year it gets better and better. New tastes, new technologies, new challenges – it’s a privilege to create a small bit of the future"

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Stories by Julian Thomson