Ferrari UFOs: design chief Flavio Manzoni’s spaceship side project | CAR Magazine

Ferrari UFOs: design chief Flavio Manzoni’s spaceship side project

Published: 06 May 2015

Most of us have wasted plenty of hours doodling supercars while we’re supposed to be concentrating on something more important. But when your actual day job is designing Ferraris, what on earth do you doodle instead?

UFOs, it turns out. That’s the case for Ferrari’s design director Flavio Manzoni, who has turned his passion for science fiction into this visually arresting study for a Ferrari-inspired futuristic spaceship.

What began as a bit of idle sketching soon turned into a proper out-of-hours design project, with Manzoni’s ideas transformed into a 3D CAD model by his colleague Guillaume Vasseur and rendered in its eye-catching chrome-style finish by Ferrari graphic designer Billy Galliano.

Something about that shape looks familiar…

There’s a deliberate nod to the LaFerrari hypercar in the outer fins, and likewise its track-only FXX K counterpart in the upswept tail fins. The LaFerrari’s snout is echoed in the front splitter (if that’s the correct component term on a UFO) and is that a link with Ferrari’s Formula 1 car’s radiator pods in the spaceship’s flanks? It reminds us a bit of a manta ray, as well…

So is Ferrari branching out into airborne transport any time soon?

Manzoni tells us the project’s a fun creative exercise, to help focus his team’s inspiration towards future trends rather than the past, to avoid the temptation to focus too heavily on retro design cues – a trend that’s perhaps a little too rife currently, he feels.

After all, some of the most exciting designs in the past came from when designers spent their time future-gazing.

By James Taylor

Former features editor for CAR, occasional racer