Ultimately, argues Bangle, a car designer is really a sculptor. “To paraphrase Michelangelo, we try to reveal the figure within the stone. That’s what a designer does when he confronts that block of clay.”

As the model begins to take shape, the designers stand back and cast a critical eye on the process. To fine-tune a car’s large, gestural surfaces, the designers communicate in a vernacular that they’ve dubbed “Banglish”: a combination of German, English, Italian, onomatopoeia, and ultrademonstrative hand gestures. They spend hours debating whether there’s enough “scccmt” in the lines — that is, whether the lines need to accelerate more. Bangle is particularly concerned with the “visual energy” and tension in a car’s surfaces, and he will use a series of plucked-string sounds (“ding-di-ding, ding ding”) that rise in pitch to imply changes of tension in a line. “There’s no single language that can express what we’re trying to do,” says Boyke Boyer, who is unquestionably the king of onomatopoeia. “So we make up our own language.” Bangle puts it another way: “The definition that semanticists use for ‘design’ is meaning. Where there is meaning, there is design.”