Luc Donckerwolke formerly designed Lamborghinis. Ever heard of the Murcielago?
Before he became the design chief for Genesis, Luc Donckerwolke worked for Lamborghini and Bentley. Some of his past projects include the Lamborghini Murcielago and Gallardo and the Flying Spur. But now he’s been given free reign at Genesis to develop the luxury brand’s design language. His most thrilling project to date is the Essentia Concept, shown earlier this month at New York. Not surprisingly, Donckerwolke used to own Lamborghinis, but he later sold them all. How come? AutoGuide asked him in the Big Apple and his answer makes sense.
“I had Lamborghinis before, but you know, you have phases,” he said. “I probably would have made more money from keeping them and selling them now, but it was a phase. I thought that keeping cars from a brand I worked for was pulling me back in the past. At one point, I decided to turn the page and not look in the rearview mirror.” In other words, those wedge-shaped supercars were still influencing his work and he needed to start, creatively, from scratch. “The whole market is trying to do this wedge shape, but we’re trying to go against it,” he said. “If you look to close to the others…the main danger is your subconscious.” It’s important to note that because it’s an all-new brand, Genesis is not burdened with design tradition.
Donckerwolke is embracing the blank slate he’s been given. But he’s also got a thing for vintage Porsche 911s, the dream car of his childhood. He also happens to own 10 different classic 911s, and has no plans to part with them. “I have a passion for Porsche 911s because they were the cars that brought me to car design. As a kid, I was fascinated by them,” he said. “The DNA is so strong, even 50 years later, it has been so consistent. Today, it’s still the symbol of the sports car. If you show this to a young kid today, he will still perceive this as a sports car like back in the day. This is proof to me that this is a real forward thinking project. The consistency is remarkable.”
So, having the guy who designed Lamborghinis and Bentleys, and who was, and still is, inspired by the Porsche 911 now heading up Genesis design? Put it like this: the Essentia Concept is hopefully a preview of great things to come.