While opinions on the McLaren Senna’s aesthetic are often contested, nobody would dare speak badly about the P1. It’s designer, Frank Stephenson got the opportunity to attend the 2020 Hampton Court Palace Concours of Elegance and speak on stage with his good friend Jodie Kidd. Along the way, he analyses the styling of some of the excellent automobiles on display.
With a design philosophy of beauty follows function, it’s no surprise that Stephenson had to get a look at the Lotus Evija in the flesh. Hidden under the striking exterior, the electric hypercar’s body is mated to a single-piece carbon fibre monocoque which makes the vehicle incredibly light and strong – its survival cell that runs the length of the car also happens to be the longest ever fitted to a production vehicle.
To slice through the air uninterrupted, the vehicle has no exterior door handles or mirrors. With its massive venturi tunnels, made possible by its electric powertrain, the Lotus is both beautiful and fast. As is almost obligatory with the current crop of hypercars, the rear end features an active wing and diffuser to constantly provide maximum performance. It’s refreshing to see that although the Evija is incredibly complex, it still follows Lotus’ famed F1 Engineer, Colin Chapman’s ethos of lightweight performance.
The next car that Stephenson took a liking to was the Ferrari 250 GTO – surprisingly closer to the Evija in principle than you’d think. The vehicle’s voluptuous wings/fenders not only look great but allow more rubber to meet the road. At the front, the headlights are a similar story, being elegant while keeping aerodynamics in mind.
Another design cue that took Stephenson’s eye was the proportions. As the driver is positioned just in front of the rear wheels, it not only gave the Italian automaker enough room for a V12, but also an opportunity to masterfully connect all of the car’s body lines. Although the 250 GTO was his favourite car of the day, it’s clear that this event should be on every petrolhead’s bucket list.