|Introducing Lorenzo Ramaciotti, Jury President of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este
Lorenzo Ramaciotti, 68 anni, President of the Jury of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este is a specialist who provides a guarantee that all the candidates will be assessed and scrutinized with a superlative level of professionalism and independence at the world’s most important automobile beauty contest.
When the designer with the brilliant pen retired as CEO from Italian design studio and coachbuilder Pininfarina, he really wanted to write about automobiles instead of drawing designs for them. That was the plan.
Then 2 years later, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne suddenly turned the plan upside down. He wanted Mr. Ramaciotti to put a new sheen on the models manufactured by Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Lancia and Maserati as the Group’s Design Supremo.
Mr. Ramaciotti was easily persuaded: “I was born in Modena, just a few hundred metres away from the Maserati headquarters and I had always wanted to be part of that world of automobiles,” commented the Jury President. He planned to stay at the Fiat Group for two years. But that failed to happen as well when Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep became part of the Group two years later. Ramaciotti then also found himself looking after the American models and he gave them a new line as well. The designer seemed to have struck a chord with his mission because the Italian continued to define the appearance of all the Group brands as Designer-in-Chief until January 2016 when he retired.
Anybody who knows Lorenzo Ramaciotti is full of praise for his automobile creations such as the Ferrari 456 (1992), Peugeot 406 (1997), Alfa Romeo Giulietta (210) and Alfa 4C (2011) or Maserati Quattroporte (2013) to name just a few. The Gentleman from Italy also impresses people with his reserved and distinguished presence.
“Lorenzo Ramaciotti is unique and he is one of the few designers who does not flaunt a big ego,” comments Marchione in praise of his modest star designer. Colleague Chris Bangle, former Head of Design at BMW, also doffs his hat to the king of Italian automobile design: “There are very few people who know as much about car design and automobile history as Lorenzo. He really is a master.”
Thomas Ingenlath, Design Chief at Volvo, described the modest and unpretentious manner of the Italian like this: “He has an aura of powerful calm reminiscent of a lion.”
Mr. Ramaciotti’s design colleague at Fiat, Roberto Giolito, gives another reason for the success and the illustrious reputation of his boss: “He gives the designers in his team a great deal of scope for creativity. We are rather like an orchestra, but Lorenzo is not just the conductor, he is one of the players – a genuine team player.”
Ulrich Knieps, Head of BMW Group Classic and President of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, has worked with the Italian designer for many years and he commented: “Lorenzo Ramaciotti has designed some wonderful cars. I have huge respect for him and I admire his approach to the position of President of the independent Jury where he combines his legendary expertise as a designer with a unique manner of calm composure. The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este is privileged to have Lorenzo Ramaciotti.”
And how exactly does the Jury President of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este see himself? “I was responsible for 30 series models and 25 concept cars – most of them were not at all bad.” That’s typical Ramaciotti.
Lorenzo Ramaciotti’s heart has been stolen by beautiful cars of the past. He respects the simple, clear-cut design of former years.
“Today, car designs are penned with too much exaggeration. You have to produce a lot of visual noise in order to be visible. I hope that this trend can be reversed – back to the clear lines of the past. I would like to play a role in achieving this.”