Alef hires supercar designer Santo Costa


Alef Aeronautics has hired Santo Costa, former designer for Lamborghini and Maserati to its team. 

Costa joins Alef’s in-house designer Hirash Razaghi to collaborate on the final designs of Alef’s flying car. The pair will work remotely from their respective bases in Italy and Sweden. In addition to the development of existing parts, the interior cabin and doors are two new major components Costa and Razaghi will need to design.

The design of the door is challenging because the side of Alef’s car is a wing, hence it needs to fit structurally perfectly and be much more lightweight than a car door mechanism and be as strong or stronger. Also, the cabin is detached from the side of the car, so there needs to be two doors (wing door, and a cabin door) on each side. All of it without compromising structure and weight. 

The interior cabin is tricky too because it needs to merge the two worlds of cars and cockpits. CEO Jim Dukhovny tells us: “We do have a basic cabin/cockpit already, but the real solution will need to be innovative and the first in industry. 

“As Steve Jobs taught us: features matter, but design matters too. As we’re getting ready for the big public demo, we want to make sure the first impression is good, because there is only one first impression. We spent eight years working on the functionality, completely neglecting the beauty of what we are creating,” he says.

A little over a year ago Alef hired Hirash Razaghi to help them design the current version. “Hirash is in Sweden, and he actually never saw our car in-person, because when we hired him the pandemic was underway, so he did 100% of the design remotely via Zoom calls,” says Dukhovny. 

Looking to its first public demonstration, Alef is aiming for Silicon Valley as a location and the first quarter of 2024 as a target timeframe. “We already received a certification for exhibition in a specific location in Silicon Valley,” Dukhovny explains. “The timeframe is hard to tell because it is a tradeoff between doing a more impressive demo with more features and doing it earlier as we have many people waiting for it. We hope to do it in Q1 of 2024, but it all depends on flight tests and amount of features we will want to showcase.”