Who is designing the next great automotive masterpiece? It will probably be one of these ten current car designers picked by Jalopnik readers. They're the ones who are working to make your next car look absolutely gorgeous.
Welcome back to Answers of the Day — our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!
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Photo Credit: Balázs Fenyő
10.) J. Mays
Suggested By: Sam I - Texalopnik Ambassador
Why he's so good: He was instrumental in bringing retro back into car design in the 2000s. Mays went from Audi (where he helped get the Audi TT started) to VW to Ford in '97 as their global VP of design. Retrofuturism might not be your thing (Ford Thunderbirds and New Beetles aren't the sexiest of cars), but he had a singular vision that he executed with force to influence car design for a generation.
Photo Credit: Jim Culp
9.) Peter Stevens
Suggested By: Pessimippopotamus
Why he's so good: You know the McLaren F1? It wasn't Gordon Murray who designed the looks of it, but rather Peter Stevens. Nobody does clean, beautiful lines like him, and you'll be surprised to see so many modern classics with his name next to them in his resume. He's currently designing eco-friendly autos for Florida's Rivian Automotive.
Photo Credit: Victor Massen
8.) Shiro Nakamura
Suggested By: dingo427
Why he's so good: Have you noticed that the company that used to build the Datsun F10 is currently building all kinds of swoopy and surprisingly expensive looking cars?
You can thank Shiro Nakamura, current Senior Vice President and Chief Creative Officer of Design and Brand Management for Nissan and their luxury brand Infiniti. He is not strictly responsible for all of their designs, but he's a hands-on director and a big part of California's growth as a center for car design.
Photo Credit: Philipp Lücke
7.) Ralph Gilles
Suggested By: 900turbo
Why he's so good: He's the man behind the Chrysler 300C, or "the guy who made you think about buying a Chrysler." That really meant something when the 300 debuted, and he then rose to President and CEO of the Dodge brand and now President and CEO of SRT, where we got the new Viper.
Photo Credit: Matt Hintsa
6.) Frank Stephenson
Suggested By: Samich
Why he's so good: Stephenson has been all over the car industry and is certainly one of the more influential designers of the past few decades. He can put his name next to the new Mini, the new 500, and the X5. He also oversaw the development of the Ferrari 430 and 612, the Maserati Quattroporte and MC12, and most recently the surprisingly restrained McLaren MP4-12C.
Photo Credit: 18percentgrey
5.) Walter de Silva
Suggested By: SennaMP4
Why he's so good: Volkswagen is vying to be the largest car companies in the world with excellent brand management, innovation, cheapness, and production efficiencies. But Volkswagen Automotive Group also has head designer Walter de Silva to thank for their progress. He's kept their cars looking beautiful and distinct from one another, even though many of their pedestrian offerings share the same underlying platforms.
This is the man who can make people think about buying a SEAT when it's nothing but a cheap VW, and then turn around and pen the Audi R8. He's a legend.
Photo Credit: Otis Blank
4.) Henrik Fisker
Suggested By: rawtoast
Why he's so good: Let's just take a look at a selection from the Danish car designer's resume to see why people love this man.
Aston Martin DB9
Aston Martin V8 Vanquish
Few car designers can so successfully make classic designs that still comply with today's constrictive safety standards and few have done so well as Fisker.
Photo Credit: Otis Blank
3.) Ian Callum
Suggested By: pauljones
Why he's so good: The head man for Jaguar, Callum can draw cars that are as gorgeous as Fisker's, but he's also extremely successful in managing a staff and a brand. He got his start with Ford in '79, contributing to the RS200 and the Escort Cosworth, then he went on to racecars at TWR and Nissan. Then he went to Jag, stating by making the X-Type palatable with the X-Type station wagon, and you know the rest from there.
Photo Credit: Otis Blank
2.) Jason Castriota
Suggested By: TrampaOnline
Why he's so good: Born in White Plains, New York, and raised in Greenwich Connecticut, Jason Castriota is one of the best designers America has produced in a long time. He dropped out of the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena to get an internship at Pininfarina. There he got obsessed with aerodynamics, making the Ferrari 599, the P4/5, the Maserati GranTurismo, and the Maserati Birdcage concept, surely one of the most gorgeous cars of the last few decades. He went on to Bertone from there and is now making the cars at SCC not look like junky kit cars, but sexy spacecruisers from the future.
Photo Credit: Peter Orosz
1.) Peter Schreyer
Suggested By: Ravey Mayvey Slurpee
Why he's so good: The German car designer made his name at Audi and Volkswagen, working on their late ‘90s revival. He can put his name next to the TT, the remarkably clean A6 and A3, and he was part of the team that did the new Beetle.
Most importantly, however, is his move to Kia in 2006. It's Schreyer who made the little Korean cars look not like crapy knockoffs a half-step ahead of Chinese copyright-infringers, but rather classy, desirable machines. You might actually buy a Kia now. That was unthinkable before Schreyer moved in.
There has been no more momentous turnaround in design than Schreyer's mass-market design work, making him the best car designer working today.
Photo Credit: Raphael Orlove