Born in Calvinia, South African Keith Helfet studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Cape Town before doing a Masters in Automotive Design at the Royal College of Arts in London.
In 1978 he joined Jaguar Cars as a designer, where he continued his career in styling management until 2002. He is recognised for his work on the XJ-220, XK-180 and the F-Type. In 1993 he formed his own product design consultancy, Helfet Design, to service a medical equipment manufacturer called Elscint Ltd, with other clients soon following.
In 2008 Helfet collaborated with Optimal Energy to launch Joule, South Africa’s first locally produced and designed electric car.