Photograph by Pauline Beaudemont for Bloomberg Businessweek

An Italian Auto Design Master's Second Act

  1. Not cut out for retirement
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    Not cut out for retirement

    Lorenzo Ramaciotti's more than three decades at Pininfarina would have been enough to earn him a place in the design pantheon. The Modena native joined the famed Italian design studio in 1972, right after graduating from university with a degree in mechanical engineering, and eventually rose to be chief executive officer.

    Two years after retiring in 2005, Ramaciotti was drafted by Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne for the newly created position of design director. As such, he was responsible for the Fiat, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, and Maserati brands. Then, in 2009, when Fiat assumed control of Chrysler, his job expanded to include brawny U.S. marques such as Jeep and Dodge Durango. The 65-year-old Ramaciotti and his stable of more than 300 designers "must create a stylish cohabitation of the cultures of the U.S. and Italy,” he says.

    Photograph by Pauline Beaudemont for Bloomberg Businessweek
  2. Maker of hot rods
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    Maker of hot rods

    During his career at Pininfarina, Ramaciotti designed at least 10 cars for Ferrari. The first one that was entirely his own was the Ferrari 456 GT, which went into production in 1992.

    Photograph by Rainer W. Schlegelmilch/Getty Images
  3. Fathering a myth
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    Fathering a myth

    Ramaciotti designed the Mythos concept car for Ferrari in 1989. Although few were produced, the mid-engine, two-door coupe was featured in a video game.

    Photograph by Pinin Farina/ Corbis
  4. Kudos from critics
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    Kudos from critics

    Ramaciotti's design for the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti (2004) drew praise from critics, who admired its long, sloping front end, which lacked the overbearing bravado of some other Ferrari models.

    Photograph by Stefano Rellandini/Corbis
  5.  A car for the masses
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    A car for the masses

    Although known primarily for his work for Ferrari, Ramaciotti lists the Peugeot 406 coupe, a large family car, among his favorite creations.

    Photograph by Rudolf Stricker/Wikimedia
  6. Stretching the Cinquecento
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    Stretching the Cinquecento

    One of Ramaciotti's projects at Fiat has been turning the tiny 500 into a full family of cars, similar to what BMW has done with the Mini. The 500L, a five-door hatchback version of the Cinquecento, is supposed to make its U.S. debut this year.

    Courtesy Fiat
  7.  A Juliet to make Romeo wild
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    A Juliet to make Romeo wild

    The Alfa Giulietta (2010) was the first Alfa Romeo designed by Ramaciotti's team to relaunch the brand. The same platform was then used to develop the Dodge Dart and the Fiat Viaggio

    Photograph by Adrian Moser/Bloomberg
  8. Chasing sales in China
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    Chasing sales in China

    Fiat was late to the party in China. To catch up, the Italian automaker plans to open a research center on the mainland together with Chrysler. Also, since last summer, a new factory in Changsha has been turning out the Fiat Viaggio, a compact sedan similar to the Alfa Giulietta and Dodge Dart.

    Courtesy Fiat
  9. All in the family
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    All in the family

    Ramaciotti's design for the Alfa Romeo 4C is his attempt to bring greater homogeneity to the upscale brand. The two-seater was on view at the recent Geneva Auto Show.

    Courtesy Alfa Romeo
  10. Selling Maserati to Americans
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    Selling Maserati to Americans

    The four-seater Maserati Quattroporte (2014), which was on show at the Detroit Auto Show in January and will soon hit U.S. showrooms, is intended to go head-to-head with the Porche Panamera.

    Photograph by Harold Cunningham/Getty Images