About HSV Chief Designer Julian Quincey

HSV Chief Designer Julian Quincey


Julian Quincey is Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) Chief Designer, having held the position since 2003.

Quincey studied Industrial Design (Transportation) at the prestigious Coventry University and then Vehicle Design at the Royal College of Art, in the United Kingdom. Following a short stint at Ford he moved to MG Rover / Land Rover where he was involved in a variety of high profile programmes, including the styling of the acclaimed MGF sports car as well as a Rover flagship proposal and a forward control Land Rover. In 1999 he joined Tom Walkinshaw Racing UK and worked on a number of exciting projects including the mid engined Aston Martin AM305, the MG X70/71 and Hypercar show vehicle. He was also exposed to the first of many HSV design projects starting with the VX Maloo and HRT Maloo showcar since the exterior design of HSV’s at that time were all developed at TWR in the UK.

Julian was offered the role of Chief Designer at HSV following a short stint in Australia in Feb 2003 where he was exploring early ideas for E-Series even before the VZ had been designed.

He has worked on all of HSV’s projects since that time, leading a talented team of Designers, Clay Modellers and Alias Digital Modellers.

The Studio has also worked on several external projects such as the 2009 Elfin Type 5, the 2013 Tata Tuff Truck and other projects that must remain secret due to client confidentiality agreements.

What have been the Design highlights during your time at HSV?

“One of the first highlights of my time at HSV was moving into HSV’s first purpose-built Design Studio which was opened in 2005. This meant that all design disciplines were carried out in the same building and that HSV had control of every step of the design process from the first initial design sketches all the way through to the clay model and the final release of master CAD data to the Engineering team. HSV had invested heavily in highly accurate floor plates and measuring arms and the Studio had enough space to view the clay models and house the whole Design team under the one roof.”

“I would definitely include the E-Series as it was HSV’s first all new platform since VT.”

“We were able to push the boundaries of how we could differentiate our vehicles from the new generation Holden SS by constantly challenging what components HSV could design and engineer. So apart from boldly styled new HSV front and rear bumpers, E series introduced unique pressed HSV fenders and taillamps that gave the car a very distinct bold graphic that could not be mistaken for a Holden. We also introduced staggered front and rear wheels and strongly sculpted front seats that helped justify the price premium.”

I think GTSR and W1 would be my all-time favourite HSV project though.”

It was a chance to celebrate Tom Walkinshaw’s legacy by creating the ultimate performance flagship for HSV and an Australian automotive pinnacle.”

Design-wise it had a lower wider muscular stance, a fresh modern track focussed appearance with clean but aggressive graphics and the use of exposed Carbon Fibre. The bold front bumper had to deliver a challenging amount of cooling air to the radiator and transmission coolers, but the big black frontal graphic visually unified these openings and created a much simpler cleaner first appearance. The rear bumper also had a track focussed look and we used the opportunity to lift the lower edge of the design to minimise the drag. Unique exhaust tips were a powerful signature element to the design and the spoiler made a strong statement about the car’s powerful performance. The front splitter links all the way through the lower edge of the car to the rear diffuser and helps lower the visual look of this Aussie icon.”

We developed unique HSV plastic front guards to wrap over the widened front wheels and tyres and these helped add a distinctive appearance with strong coke bottle plan forms, a muscular look to the arches and a unique fender vent. I feel very proud and privileged to have worked on this project with a great team of people at HSV and I hope the car will remain a highpoint for us and all the skills we have here in Australia.”

Other Design Highlights:

  • 2003 Coupe 4
  • 2003 VY Range
  • 2004 VZ Avalanche and XUV
  • 2005 GTSR Concept
  • 2006 VE Range
  • 2007 Maloo
  • 2008 Grange
  • 2008 W427
  • 2013 GEN-F Range
  • 2016 GEN-F2 Range
  • 2017 GTSR and GTSR W1
  • 2018 SportsCat+

How do your design sketches shape and inspire the design and production of the HSV vehicles?

Every design program will start with a sketch program and these serve two purposes.”

In the initial phase of sketching the designers will often draw a loose exaggerated caricature of the vehicle that has every feature strongly emphasised. I think these are useful more to the designers themselves as they are challenged every time to come up with different design solutions and they will explore many different themes to achieve a new fresh look. Sometimes we evaluate the design impact that unique components may add to the equation, perhaps a different front fender may add more impact than investing in a new side skirt for instance. All these themes must also still integrate well with the rest of the vehicle and at the same time, look unmistakably HSV. It is vitally important that the designs do not look old the day that they are released so something bolder and fresh, typically using different graphics and surfacing treatments will help to create more impact. Very often the themes once modelled as a full size model can get watered down in the productionising process so it’s worth exploring designs that are more interesting and exciting and if they are still too extreme at the end I find it easier to pare them back rather than trying to add interest to a more bland solution.”

Once the design team has explored their various solutions as loose sketches, they will typically then render their favourites up as more polished idealised drawings, and these become the basis for the Design Selection process.”

The HSV management team will select sketches that excite them and their shortlisted favourites will be modelled either as a scale models, typically 1/3 scale, or eventually as a full sized clay model.”

Obviously, only the most seductive designs are selected so these theme drawings are an important part of each designer’s armoury and will be used later extensively by the clay modelling team to ensure the same impact is achieved as a 3D fully feasible model.”

For the VF range for instance, we had 4 differing front-end proposals modelled on the full-sized clay models that eventually became the ClubSport R8 and the unique GTS bumper. We probably started with over 40 different themes that we presented as theme drawings.”

These drawings became the basis for the 2017 GTSR and W1.”