Julian Thomson is the Director of Design for Jaguar, with responsibility for establishing the future strategic design direction for the brand, and the design of all future models. He has been instrumental in delivering the renaissance in design of Jaguar’s product range, including the XK, XF, XJ, F-TYPE, XE, F-PACE and Jaguar’s first electric vehicle – the I-PACE.
Julian leads a team of designers, modellers and engineers, exploring ground-breaking concepts for production vehicles up to 10 years in the future. As well as developing the early definitions for new products, and ultimately following them into production, the group is also responsible for developing the concept cars, which showcase Jaguar’s future design themes and vehicle technologies.
Since joining Jaguar as Advanced Design Director in 2000, Julian has overseen the development of the design concepts for the entire product range. His team has produced a series of much-acclaimed Jaguar Concept cars, notably the R-Coupe, R-D6, C-XF and C-X75 models. Julian was also additionally Advanced Design Director for Land Rover between 2006 and 2008.
Born in Surrey, England, Thomson studied Mechanical Engineering at Hatfield University before completing an MA in Automotive Design at the Royal College of Art. He began his automotive industry career in 1984 as a designer at Ford in Dunton, England, before moving to Lotus Design in Norwich in 1986.
During his 12 years at Lotus, Julian became Head of Design and was responsible for creating the Lotus Elise – a hugely successful car credited for the revival of the British brand. In 1998 he was appointed Chief of Exteriors at the Volkswagen Group's Concept Design Centre in Barcelona, and worked on both production and concept vehicles for Seat, Volkswagen, Audi and Bentley.
He is best known for his work on the Lotus Elise, Range Rover Evoque and current Jaguar cars where he worked with long term friend, Ian Callum. Julian has always been a keen car photographer and illustrator, he is also a big fan of classic race cars and all things automotive. In his spare time he enjoys putting together striking artworks (www.julianthomsondesign.com) and riding dirt bikes.
1984 - 1986
Started as a designer at Ford in Dunton, England
1986 - 1998
Lotus Design in Norwich, England
Sep 1998 – Dec 1999
Concept Design Centre Europe, Barcelona, Spain
Exterior Design Director
Jan 2000 – Present
Advanced Design Director
2006 and 2008
Advanced Design Director for Land Rover
Sep 2018 – Jun 2019
Creative Design Director
Responsible for Advanced Design, and Interior and Exterior Design
Jul 2019 – Present
Lotus Esprit 1993 Series 4 redesign
Lotus Elise 1996 Series 1
Range Rover Evoque
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