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Donato Coco Appointed Director of Design for Lotus Group

Tue, 15 Dec 2009 After his non-publicized departure from Ferrari earlier this year, in which Flavio Manzoni was appointed to take his place, Donato Coco has now resurfaced. Lotus has announced Coco's appointment to Director of Design for Group Lotus starting January 4, 2010. In this newly created role, Coco, an Italian national, will lead all Lotus Design activities for Lotus Cars and Lotus Engineering. He will be based at the company's headquarters in Hethel, UK.

According to Lotus, current 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 markets of China and India.

Following his appointment to Director of Design and Development at Ferrari in 2005, Donato Coco worked on the F430 Scuderia coupé and Spider 16M as well as the Ferrari California, 599XX and the F458 Italia. Prior to Ferrari, Coco worked for Automobiles Citroën rising to the position of Chief Designer. He was responsible for, amongst others, the Xsara, Picasso, C3, C3 Pluriel, C2, C1, ZX Paris Dakar and the Xsara WRC during his tenure.

Coco is looking forward to the new challenge: "Lotus has a reputation for designing evocative sportscars and it is a great honor to take on these responsibilities and challenges," Coco said. "Russell Carr and the rest of the Lotus Design team have already elevated Lotus Design to a globally recognized 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 holds an MA in Automotive Design from the RCA in 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.

By Eric Gallina