We talk to Lamborghini Head of Design Mitja Borkert

Tyler Heatley

20 Nov 2020


Designing a Lamborghini is no small task as not only does it have to contain that provocative DNA that makes these supercars so distinctive, but Raging Bulls are never stuck in the past. Mitja Borkert is the man tasked with creating Lamborghinis of the future. Fresh from signing-off the final drawings for the striking new Huracan STO, he spared some time to speak with us.

Let’s go back to the beginning… Where did your design career begin?

It all started at Porsche in 1999 – now more than 20 years ago! I spent 17 years at Porsche and some 5 years at Lamborghini. At Porsche I went from a normal designer – I was learning how to really be a designer – to advanced design. Then from 2014 - 2016 I was the head of exterior design.

I was then asked by Volkswagen head of design, Walter de Silva, to come to Lamborghini. For me that was like lightning! I was always a big fan of Lamborghini, so I said yes, and and went to Lamborghini. I feel very privileged and very happy because Lamborghini is about design, it’s an icon of super sports cars, to be head of design is something fantastic – a dream come true.

During your time at Porsche, was there a particular highlight?

Porsche is a fantastic brand, of course iconic for its sports cars. My big moment was when we launched the Mission E concept (Porsche’s first all-electric design) because that was groundbreaking design and technology for Porsche. I feel like we were smashing the first stone.

In terms of beauty, the Sport Turismo and Macan. I was also participating in some Boxsters and the beginning of the 992 911 project. It was a fantastic moment to be there.

Designers tend to talk about things that inspire them, for the Huracan STO was there anything that caught your eye?

When we design a particular car, we always want to expect the unexpected, we want to create a car that is absolutely outstanding within the portfolio. It has to look like a Lamborghini, but every car has to have its own scope and mission.

STO is following the Super Trofeo Evo that we launched in 2017, so that car for me was a guideline. I really liked the shoulders with its fins, very aerodynamic but also very Lamborghini. The car is mainly driven by aerodynamics on one hand, but also in style.

We were looking for something to make the STO different from the Huracan Evo. For me it is important that within the Huracan range we are able to create a clear message. Four-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. We have also done the Performante, and so the STO needed to look different.

A lot of design inspiration from motorsport, for sure. One of the design elements Squadra Corse is proud to have is the air scoop at the fin. Here customers can really see [STO] is really racing inspired. Then there’s all the louvers, but they are more designed than other cars – as rough as they need to be, but more integrated with nice shapes.

I find a lot of inspiration in the morning when I’m relaxed. I always think of ideas when I go running, you end up thinking about a project. This is the life of a designer. I count myself lucky that I get this inspiration, these ideas.

What design elements are crucial to Lamborghini DNA?

For me it has to be the Gandini line, that single centre line that goes back to the Countach from 1971. The architecture, the strong angle of the side windows, and when you look at our cars there’s this diagonal line on the hood. Then there’s the engine cover where you also have these diagonal lines. These things are the boundaries I like to have.

What is your proudest design element of the Lamborghini Huracan STO?

For me it’s the clamshell hood at the front, the cofango. My team and the engineers were really pushing for this feature. Of course we want to make the perfect car, but to create such a feature is quite challenging in terms of stiffness, functionality, weight and cost.

On this I think we did a great job because it has a lot of challenges, like how is it going to open so that the nose doesn’t touch the ground? You can open it really easily with just one person without scratching any part of the Huracan. This his by far my coolest feature of the car. Just image all the STOs with their cofangos open!

What do you drive when you’re not at work?

I really love motorcycles. They are quite dangerous, but I enjoy Moto GP and I never miss a race. We actually designed a Ducati’s livery, you might be able to spot our sticker on the bikes. I own an MV Augsta F4, but I’m also a friend of the design head of Ducati, so now I also have a Ducati V4S with my own livery on it.

From my time at Porsche, I own a 997 GT3 that I’ve painted in Martini colours with the number 40 for Jacky Ickx. But I just recently bought myself a used Huracan Avio because I am in love with the Huracan. I love the design, but it was also the car on stage when I was appointed as Lamborghini’s head of design.

Tyler Heatley

20 Nov 2020

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