Manzoni traces his talent to what we might call organised chaos
“Since I was very young, I was really tending and wishing to become an architect, a designer, a car designer, an artist, a musician. I had probably a naive consideration about the lifetime as a very long time that allows you to realise a lot of things, many dreams.
“This desire to be eclectic influenced me probably to choose the studies in architecture, under the suggestion of my father, leaving open different possible directions. So I decided to study architecture and the final thesis, as part of my degree in architecture, focused on industrial design and on the car.”
He did dally with bricks, mortar and set-square for a while, designing villas in Sardinia among other buildings.
He admits to using every “design trick” in the book to hide its preposterous proportions and to lower the look of its roofline. And from most angles he has largely pulled it off, in a way that Porsche never has with its Panamera, nor Ferrari with its own FF.
“The Lusso is really just a Formula 1 car that you can drive on the highway, in incredible comfort, but as soon as you push on the accelerator it becomes a monster” Manzoni enthuses. “We didn’t want to cover or hide the diffuser, for example, because it’s the part that shows the F1 spirit of the car. It’s Formula 1 with an elegant suit.”
Manzoni, the first director of design Ferrari has ever employed (outsourcing smaller. But it’s also got big shoulders, a fantastic stance, and it sits very powerfully on the wheels.”
What thrills Manzoni most is to be told that the Lusso looks like something that could only come out of Italy.
The difference between German design – think the Audi R8 – and the work of Italians (don’t mention the Lamborghini Huracan to him, but it’s a good comparison) is one that Manzoni is clear on.“their way to think about form is cold; our way is warm,” he says.
“I tell my team, ‘Don’t think about the form for a moment, try to understand the technical soul of the car, and especially the feeling of the air’. It’s more artistic, I think, and we follow our instincts.