“Once you see it in real life, you will feel the ‘Amore of Italy’ there.”
How did your passion for car design begin? (Byungyoon Min, Lead Senior Ext. Designer at Maserati) For me it was inevitable to fall in love with car design because of the environment where I grew up. I was exposed to all fashion design spirits where my mother worked as a fashion designer, so automatically I was into the design area. My passion for car design began when I saw a horse running super fast and I was fascinated with the movements and I thought I wanted to create something moving fast and beautiful like the horse, where you could feel powerful energy. That is why I’m at Maserati, because here is the place where you can create not only a powerful machine with a strong heart, but also something unique and seducing which other companies never follow.
Do you remember your childhood dream car? (BM) Jeep Wrangler off-road car was my childhood dream car indeed. A car you can go everywhere, even in the mountains, rivers, and driving on the beach. I felt that the Wrangler was something extraordinary which you could feel proud of. Now I have a bit different tastes of car, however still whenever I see the Wangler or Wrangler Unlimited I feel something about it.
How long have you been in the Maserati design team? (BM) I started in 2016, so it’s a bit more than 6 years now. It was an incredible journey with a lot of beautiful project opportunities. I consider that I have been blessed a lot by God. Lucky one.
“Italian brands like Maserati must have an extra audacious sensation that you always feel something with the car.”
Please walk through your typical day at the Maserati design studio (BM) I started my daily routine early in the morning from the beautiful piazza where you can breathe the typical Italian atmosphere with a dark blue sky and yellow lights on the top. You get the emotional sensation once you just get out of your door. And automatically wants to create something beautiful with the “Bella Vita” spirit. At work, of course, in Italy, here we start with cafes and small talk to catch up with the topics that we need to put on priority. And there are 2 different routines at work. First is when you do the creative part like a sketch competition. Second is when you do the physical model like a full-size model, which is an extremely fun stage. It is easier to explain in the second part how we create the seducing model in Maserati with a modeler team. At the “Modelaria (Workshop)” you can easily listen to beautiful Italian songs and modelers are ready to sculpt the model with full of passion. We always have a goal that we must make a beautiful donna (girl) “La Machina (The Car)” like our dream one. Especially Italian brands like Maserati must have an extra audacious sensation that you always feel something in the car. Basically, we tried to make the model the spicy as possible in Italian way all day long, which is pretty exciting.
“Dream big with passion, but you must know how to compromise it.”
How would you describe your creative progress? (BM) Dream big with passion, but you must know how to compromise it. As a car designer we are always faced with 2 situations: something you want to push in design and something your boss wants to push with brand. In order to be happy with both sides, I made my own roles in creative progress. Pretty much straight forward;
First, build unique concepts with brand design heritage.
Second, make a link with the current design strategy of the brand. Third, find the best and efficient way to execute.
And how has living and working in Italy affected your creative process? (BM) We used to say, as Maserati designers (Ext. Int. C&M), we are always surrounded by Italian beauty where you can get inspired, like lights, environments, unique Italian culture, passionate people with drama and romance, which affect me every single day.
“Timeless design, purposed beauty, technological conceptual innovation. These are the factors that make an iconic car like Maserati GranTurismo.”
Please walk through a new GranTurismo model. What are the most exciting both technological and design standpoints of this model? (BM) GranTurismo is an icon and soul of the Maserati brand, representing what is the core concept of the passion for driving experience. And as a car designer, it was an extremely challenging topic to make a modern and better looking car compared with the previous generation, which was highly appreciated for a long time. From a design point of view, we tried to capture the core concept of beauty we call “Visual Longevity” from our design heritage, where you can see A6GCS and F1 models throughout history. You can get a lot of design hints from our classic models, such as the lower hood and dramatic fender combination structures, which can be described as pure Italian design language. As the lead exterior designer of the program, I had to find a way to bring history and modern futurism into the New GranTurismo project. From a technological point of view, the New Granturismo is the first car in Maserati history which adopts 100 percent electric solutions with our “Folgore” line-up. Timeless design, purposed beauty, technological conceptual innovation. These are the factors that make an iconic car like the Maserati GranTurismo. And these have been the intrinsic characteristics of all Maserati GranTurismo models for over 75 years. It was an honour to put my name in the Maserati design history as a Korean and as a car designer. As a car designer, it was the biggest challenge I have ever had.
How has GranTurismo been involved over the course of the years? (BM) Once you see it in real life, you will feel the “Amore of Italy” there.
“Audacious design approach, purpose innovation and engineering are the factors that make icon items more iconic even in the electrification era.”
What new aspect should you consider designing in the age of electrification? (BM) Electrification is the way all automotive car makers are heading. We, a luxury sports brand like Maserati, there is a clear concept to accept the electrification of a new era. Audacious design approach, purpose innovation and engineering are the factors that make icon items more iconic even in the electrification era. If we do not lose these essential points, we could go, or all car brands could go beyond what we have so far.