Flavio Manzoni is Ferrari’s senior vice president of design. The 51-year-old studied architecture and produced cars for the likes of Maserati, Volkswagen, Bentley, and Bugatti before joining Ferrari in 2010 when the company created its first in-house design team, which has grown from four people to 75.
Manzoni is responsible for the styling of Ferrari’s new cars. His credits in that brief but prolific time include the just-released GTC4Lusso, the F12berlinetta, FXX K, California T, and LaFerrari. This week the Sardinian-born designer is visiting Australia for the first time as part of Vivid Sydney.
Talking at Vivid Ideas, Manzoni was asked if the Italian stallion would go down the same path as the likes of Porsche and Bentley to produce an SUV.
He joked it was the first time he’d heard this question, but his response was emphatic: an SUV cannot be a Ferrari.
So why are others heading down the SUV path, he asked, rhetorically.
“Because there is a marketing opportunity and they make surveys and then they do that,” Manzoni said.
“For Ferrari, we are not followers. We make sports cars. If we are fighting every day to lower the centre of gravity, to position the engine as far down, and as balanced, as possible, and improve the performance, why do we have to make an SUV?”
So don’t expect an off-road Spider during Manzoni’s tenure.
The company’s chief designer also answered question’s about the company’s plans for electric cars with the poetry of a man who is also inspired by music and art when it comes to the sleek lines of the Italian stallions he helps shape.
Here’s how Manzoni explained why you won’t be seeing electric vehicles coming out of Maranello:
“I would like to be a pianist, but I’m not. I have two pianos. One is a digital piano that is perfect, it reproduces sound at the best level – the sound of a grand piano for a concert. It’s beautiful,” he said.
“And I have also a Steinway. Guess which one I use normally?
“It’s simple because it’s another kind of pleasure – on a real piano there are the harmonics… the waves produced by the strings. I play to feel these waves and they can touch the strings of the soul and a digital piano cannot do that.
“So for me it’s the same at Ferrari. Ferrari’s ideas are the Steinway, not the digital piano.”
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