Interview: Lamborghini’s CEO Stephan Winkelmann & Design Director, Filippo Perini

Design Director & allround nice guy, Filippo Perini (photo. Lamborghini)

Design Director & allround nice guy, Filippo Perini (photo. Lamborghini)

Filippo Perini, Design Director Lamborghini

Born in Italy and raised in the design industry, Filippo Perini is the man behind Lamborghini’s recent exotic offerings. Whereas CEO Stephan Winkelmann is very much the astute, shrewd, pragmatic thinker with marketing inclinations, Design Director Perini sports a degree from Politecnico di Milan in Mechanical Engineering, a Master’s degree in Automobile Design and thus provides the company with free spirited, right brain creativity.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with Filippo many times since our Monterey talk in 2013. Each time I am more impressed with his genuine passion for design, down to earth demeanour and like myself, inability to get better at Gran Turismo 6. He’s welcome at my house anytime for pints and chips.

In the mid-90s, Filippo worked at Alfa Romeo’s Centro Stile on such projects such as the GTV and Spider, 156, 166, GTV Spyder, and Nuvola and SUV Kamal concepts. It was in 2001, when working as Senior Exterior Designer for Alfa, that he and his team came up with the now iconic, 8C Competizione concept. He joined Lamborghini in 2004 where he was given the role of Head of Exterior Design. During that time he participated in such projects as the Miura Concept, the Murcielago LP 640 coupe and Roadster.

In 2009 Filippo was made Director of Design for Lamborghini’s Centro Stile (design center). During the past four years he has overseen the design of cars like the Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera and played a role in the design of the Estoque and Urus concepts, plus the one-off Reventón coupe/roadster, the Aventador J and the Veneno.

Filippo, very much in tune with Lamborghini’s design language and while we only had time to squeeze in a brief chat, that was enough to leave us impressed not only by the man’s understanding of design, but also his humility and enthusiasm for his art.

Angus: Tell us a little about your history in automotive design.

Filippo Perini: I have been with Lamborghini for almost nine years now, but before that I was with Alfa Romeo for eight or nine years, then before that, one year with Audi. During my time with Alfa Romeo I helped design the 8C which you might be familiar with.

Angus: The Aventador is very much a departure from the fluid lines of the Alfa Romeo. What particular challenges did you face in designing the Aventador and what was your design mandate?

FP: Yes the Aventador is very much different stylistically from the Alfa 8C (laughing). When I joined Lamborghini, there was this language that was in place for five years that was working so well with the identity of the brand that I didn’t want to change it. Refine it every time yes, and refine it with every model.

Angus: How much of a role have you played in recent models like the Reventon and the Aventador?

FP: All the designs you’ve seen over these past years I’ve been a part of, however, it is not just me directly responsible for these designs, they are all a product of Lamborghini’s Centro Stile design center, of which I am just one person.

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