Legendary F1 designer Gordon Murray has joined Group Lotus as a member of the Lotus Advisory Council, with Dany Bahar hoping the former Brabham man will 'trail blaze, take risks and do things differently'.
After moving to England from his native South Africa back in 1969, Murray had hoped to begin his motorsport career at Lotus, before a chance meeting with Brabham designer Ron Tauranac led to him joining the Jack Brabham-founded outfit, where he was later promoted to the role of chief designer when Bernie Ecclestone took over at the helm.
Over the coming years, Murray was renowned for leading the way in F1 in terms of innovation and pioneering new and visionary technologies, and his concepts included the extraordinary BT46B 'fan car' of 1978 and the title-winning BT49 and BT52 of 1981 and 1983 respectively.
More recently, he designed the McLaren F1 and Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren supercars and established Gordon Murray Design to develop an automotive manufacturing technology trademarked iStream, responsible for the forthcoming T.25 (Type 25) prototype city car and the T.27 electric ultra-compact city car, with rumours about a future lightweight, economical supercar project.
“For years, I've been a huge admirer of Lotus,” he remarked of his new appointment. “I have great respect for the legacy that Colin Chapman created, and I think what Dany and the team are doing is a really good thing for the brand. He's taking the strength from Chapman's principals and taking the business to the next level whilst still keeping the general ethos – not an easy task! I'm really looking forward to contributing to Group Lotus during this exciting time.”
As a member of the Lotus Advisory Council – whose purpose is to offer advice and guidance on strategic issues such as product strategy, technology, quality, brand, marketing and distribution – Murray will work alongside automotive industry experts Bob Lutz (former GM vice-chairman), Tom Purves and Professor Dr. Burkhard Göschel (both erstwhile BMW executives) and Frank Tuch (ex-Lotus chief operating officer). Group Lotus CEO Bahar is confident his arrival will significantly boost the iconic British marque's current and future development.
“Gordon has never been afraid to trail blaze, take risks and do things differently,” he enthused. “These are attributes that we are very familiar with and very proud of at Lotus. With his incredible and unique motorsport and design experience, he will complement the existing council line-up perfectly. We're very much looking forward to working with him.”