Russell Carr was appointed Head of Design for Lotus in October 2014, and took the title of Design Director in April 2018.
During his 31-year career in design Russell has been involved in numerous exciting Lotus Cars projects, as well as leading design consultancy work for other brands. This rare mix means he has helped to shape everything from forklift trucks to superbikes, while benefitting from the opportunity to work alongside several renowned CEOs and respected design directors, gaining valuable knowledge from their experience and processes.
Russell joined Lotus Cars in 1990, initially as a designer. He has overseen the introduction of several significant Lotus models including the second-generation Elise, three generations of Exige, the Evora, the 2-Eleven, 3-Eleven and 340R. In his earlier career he was lead designer on the Esprit S4/S4s, the Elise GT1, and was fortunate to work on some aesthetic aspects of Lotus’ Formula 1 cars.
First ever job
My first proper job was working at a small advertising and graphics agency in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. My first automotive design job was at MGA, a design and engineering consultancy who worked with numerous clients including Ford, Austin-Rover and Triumph motorcycles.
A white 1977 Mini clubman with go-faster stripes. It gave me independence but occupied my free time keeping the rust at bay.
I like many of the classic road and race cars, and I’m sure that I give a different answer each time I am asked. Right now, it’s the Evija because it is the complete package. It innovates both visually and technically and, of course, the fact that I have had so much emotionally invested in the product from day one makes it incredibly special.
Favourite driving road
I have driven the Pacific Coast Highway in America a few times. Perhaps not a great driver’s road but breath-taking scenery.
Most proud of
Professionally I am most proud of what the Lotus design team has achieved on the Evija programme. From a creative standpoint, the end product is beautiful, innovative and instantly recognisable as a Lotus. To achieve this we had to work as a team and demonstrate relentless drive, passion and commitment.
Desert island disc
The Rolling Stones have always been a favourite and if I had to pick one track it would be Sympathy for the Devil. I associate it with several happy warm evenings seeing them play over the past 40 years.
I work fairly long hours, so outside work it’s all about the family.
Claim to fame
I did once win an art prize at primary school.