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Ex-Bentley designer to lead Hyundai, Genesis

SangYup Lee designed exteriors of Chev Camaro, Bentley Bentayga

Published: May 16, 2016, 12:30 PM
Updated: April 29, 2018, 8:08 PM

SangYup Lee, Vice President of Styling at Hyundai Design Centre

Hyundai and its new luxury division Genesis have taken a huge leap forward in style with the recruitment of world-renowned luxury automotive designer SangYup Lee, who most recently headed up exterior and advanced design at Bentley.

“Vice President Lee has proven himself as one of the world’s best automobile designers in the global platform,” said Senior Vice President Luc Donckerwolke, who will oversee Lee in his new position, having worked with Lee at VW Group. “His design philosophy to pursue new challenges and innovations matches the DNA of Hyundai Motor.”

In his new position as Vice President of Styling at Hyundai Design Centre, Lee will be responsible for the design strategies and directions for both Hyundai and Genesis, also leading design innovations of interior and exterior design, and colour and material selection.

“The innovative design and surprising growth of Hyundai Motor has always made me proud as a Korean while I worked overseas,” he said. “Now, I want to contribute in creating world-leading automobile designs for both Hyundai Motor and the Genesis brand.”

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Concept

After graduating from Hongik University Department of Sculpture in Korea, Lee continued his studies at the Art Center College of Design in California, during which time he also interned at Pininfarina and the Porsche Design Centre.

One of his most memorable designs came after he joined General Motors’ design department in 1999, working on the exterior of the Camaro Concept Vehicle of 2006 that would make its debut as Bumblebee in the first Transformers film (2007), as well as the Corvette Stingray concept (originally penned in 2002 and which influenced the design of the new Camaro) that was also featured as an Autobot, in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2010).

Bentley Bentayga

Lee then was appointed Chief Designer at Volkswagen of America, in charge of Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche and Lamborghini design. He had been Head of Exterior and Advanced Design at Bentley Motors since 2012, and most recently contributed to the exterior presence of the new Bentayga SUV.