Geely’s Peter Horbury named as new Lotus design boss

As Lotus enters its most transformative period yet, Horbury, winner of the Autocar Award, will lead design.

Autocar learned that Lotus has hired a new design chief to oversee its ambitious development plans.

Peter Horbury, currently the design director for Geely Auto will move to Group Lotus as senior vice president of design.

The 72-year-old Brit is making his homecoming. He has had a distinguished career in automotive design and was awarded Autocar’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020. Many had expected him to leave Geely when he retired, but the temptation to lead a smaller business through a product revival was too strong.

Horbury was previously the head of design at Ford of America before he took over as Geely’s top job in 2011. He also served two terms as Volvo’s design chief.

Horbury will be responsible for overseeing Lotus cars and the Lotus Engineering consultancy, which serves third-party clients.

Russell Carr, Lotus’ design director, will remain in his current position. He was the one who created the Emira and received great reviews. Horbury’s empire will also include the Lotus studio in Coventry under Ben Payne. This will be responsible for much of the work on the new wave of models.

Lotus will produce its upcoming pair of SUVs in China and its coupe-saloon in the UK, but the company claims that all design work will be done from the UK.

Horbury stated that he first visited Hethel in 2017, just after Lotus was purchased in 2017. He’s been closely following the development of new plans and has been keeping an eye on them. “I’m thrilled to be a larger part of that future.”

German media reports that Stefan Sielaff has resigned as Bentley’s design director in January. We are still waiting for official confirmation.