Christos Delantonis is a name that has become synonymous with success and luxurious design in the global automotive industry
As the Vehicle Line Manager of McLaren Automotive since 2018, Christos Delantonis is in charge of a large group of talented people undertaking the most ambitious projects, such as leading the design, development and launch of the McLaren Senna I and the latest model released by McLaren – the twin turbo V8 engine 765LT, the most Google-searched supercar of 2021
After admiring his lavish, ergonomic and aerodynamic designs for McLaren, the British colossus of the automotive and car racing industries, many other sports car manufacturers have approached Christos to work with them
From Thessaloniki, Greece, Christos grew up among cars and found himself behind the wheel for the first time at just 11 years old, alongside his father, Nikos, who is a mechanical engineer and a big car enthusiast.
Christos’ love for automotives was so great that after graduating from Anatolia College of Thessaloniki in 1993 with a degree in automotive engineering, he continued his studies at Kingston University in London, graduating with a Bachelor and then a Master’s degree.
Right after completing his studies, he received a job offer from the largest automotive supplier in America, Visteon Corporation, and soon enough his work with car engines and innovative ideas for autonomous driving received attention and recognition from other car brands across the globe.
Flying in the clouds
Since 2010, Christos Delantonis has been developing plans, manufacturing and designing the McLaren’s supercars that although not many can afford, everyone can admire.
“In 2000, when I started working with car manufacturers, the automotive industry was in very good shape and was growing quickly. I got into the field, learned as much as I could, met with lots of talented people and started building a network,” said Christos. ”In 2010, an offer came that I couldn’t refuse, which ended up changing my life!”
“Through mutual connections, McLaren showed interest in my work and asked me to work for them. I was flying in the clouds,” he enthuses.
“It was a tremendous opportunity to go to a very good company with a great financial background and a very strong future, a chance to represent my country, and of course an opportunity to work on what I love the most, which is cars, and especially supercars”.
Christos said that the work at a car manufacturing company is much harder than most people think, adding that although the company’s employees might not be able to drive the luxury cars in their daily life, but they do get to test drive the newest car models for many months.
Man at work
“The pressure in such a company is really big, involving many long hours of work and if something goes wrong, then you fail.”
“Before our cars reach the market, we test drive them thousands of kilometres to ensure that there are no problems and the necessary corrections can be made in time. These test drives usually last for 6 to 7 months. We go to Iceland and test a model at -30 degrees Celsius, we go to Arizona and test it at +50 degrees,” he explained
Christos also talked about the engineering skills he learned form his father in Greece, as a student in Thessaloniki and how he has come a long way now, working “as the coordinator of McLaren’s teams, in a very limited and competitive industry, with big players such as Ferrari and Lamborghini.”
Although he has been living outside of Greece for many years, Christos talked about the “impressive growth” his country has shown since he left in 2000, and emphasised the possibility of finding new opportunities in the country, which has received great interest from car manufacturers around the world.
”In McLaren we always have our eyes open and we see new opportunities. Greece is doing better now, so I never rule anything out. If there is an opportunity in Greece, I will be coming!”
Source: Greek City Times / Paulina Karavasili
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