Former Bugatti designer Camilla Kropp joins Chinese EV start-up HiPhi

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 31 Mar 2020

Kropp, a graduate from the Royal College of Art in London, has 20 years of automotive design experience. Since 2013, she has been a Colour and Trim Designer at Bugatti.

Camilla Kropp, a former Bugatti designer, has joined Human Horizons as Senses Creative Chief of HiPhi Sensorial Design Center (MSDC). HiPhi is a premium brand created by Human Horizons. Beyond being an EV with a lightweight hybrid- aluminium construction, the first upcoming production car, the HiPhi 1, embeds sustainability with the adoption of vegan leather and the use of recyclable materials to further increase the sustainable nature of Human Horizons' EV products.

The company says, "As technology is one of the key attributes of the HiPhi brand, it opens the door for the design team to leverage all senses to create a unique emotional experience."

Human Horizons describes itself as a technology company that's focusing on “smart vehicles, smart transportation and smart cities”. It plans to develop a range of machines for the growing Chinese premium EV market, designed for both private owners and shared use, featuring advanced autonomous systems and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication.

The radical electric SUV concept HiPhi 1, revealed in mid-2019, is to be the first production car under the HiPhi brand and will reach production by the end of 2020 and delivery to the market in 2021.The concept of multi-sensory design has existed for more than a decade.

Camilla Kropp, a former Bugatti designer with extensive experience in Color & Trim, will report to Nicolas Huet, Vice President of Design and Head of HiPhi Design, who will oversee the Center.

Kropp graduated from the Royal College of Art in London and has nearly 20 years of automotive design experience. Since 2013, she has been Color and Trim Designer at Bugatti, deeply participating in the design of three mass production vehicles and limited customised models such as the Bugatti Veyron, Chiron and Divo, and creating the unparalleled experience of elegance in colour and material.

Kropp was also involved in Bugatti derivative products such as the furniture and lifestyle collection. As an independent designer, she has designed many international household products and exhibition spaces, which frees her from the shackles of traditional design framework and present a balance between art and functionality.

Ding Lei, founder and chairman of Human Horizons, speaks about her experience at Bugatti and her new appointment, "Colors and materials should spark emotions, create space and atmosphere, enhance individuality and help to meet intricate human needs. Her experience with super-luxury hypercars as well as her expertise with cross-border design is a great fit for the HiPhi brand."


Camilla Kropp, a former Bugatti designer, joins Human Horizons to serve as Senses Creative Chief of HiPhi Sensorial Design Center (MSDC).


The HiPhi 1 concept is the first car the firm has revealed. Technical development has been led by Mark Stanton, who formerly worked for both Ford and Jaguar Land Rover.

The machine features 562 sensors to offer ‘higher-level autonomy’ using V2X communication systems. It will also monitor the interior using facial recognition cameras and even smell sensors to detect unwanted odours.

The HiPhi 1 features nine power-operated doors, flaps and stowage compartments, including gullwing-opening rear doors, and a handleless entry system that uses a facial recognition system matched to a smartphone.

There will be a number of different modes for accessing it, including a ‘superstar’ setting that opens all the roof and door systems. There's also a ‘parade’ mode that will allow the car to move slowly with the gullwing flaps raised.