VW design chief is worried about where to take the styling of the MkVII Golf
29 September 2009

Volkswagen group chief designer Walter de Silva has claimed he doesn’t sleep at night when he thinks of how to design the seventh-generation VW Golf.

The sixth-generation Golf was launched earlier this year with only minor changes over the outgoing model. Although he didn’t give anything away about the styling of the next-gen Golf, he did admit it was causing him sleepless nights.

“When I think about the Golf VII, I do not sleep at night,” he said. De Silva had minimal influence in styling the current Golf, but he admits the next model will be his greatest challenge.

The Italian also described the styling of the recently-launched VW Polo, claiming it is “simple”.

“The new Polo is a simple and honest shape and designing simplicity is much more difficult than overdesign with decoration,” he said.

De Silva also claimed the stresses of the job, which he started in February 2007, have led him to spending more time in the past two years with VW group CEO Martin Winterkorn than with his wife.

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Golf

Just how good is the mighty Volkswagen Golf? The seventh generation of Europe's best selling car has been facelifted to keep its nose ahead of its rivals

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

Join the debate

Comments
23

29 September 2009

Funny, I just have to picture a Golf and I'm fast asleep.

29 September 2009

[quote Autocar]“When I think about the Golf VII, I do not sleep at night,” [/quote]

Strange that, when I think about the Golf VI i am away to the land of nod in seconds.

29 September 2009

[quote Autocar]Volkswagen group chief designer Walter de Silva has claimed he doesn’t sleep at night when he thinks of how to design the seventh-generation VW Golf.
[/quote]

I believe him. Have to say I was shocked when I saw and heard him on the video of VW Group's first day press launch at the Frankfurt show. You kind of expect designers to be sharp as a knife in presentation and somewhat cocky. Walter, when interviewed by the VW presenter, looked extremely tired, almost disshevelled and his voice weak - I also thought the VW presenter was someone lacking in the courtesy this man deserves and on which so much of VW group's fortunes rest. This fellow is talented and VWs now look at lot better. Let's hope Winterkorn and Piech have the sense to spare de Silva from a physical breakdown.

29 September 2009

Can you imagine the pressure of designing the next generation of a model that has been so popular around the world. Always having to better an already fantastic car design. No wonder the man doesn't sleep!

29 September 2009

well if he doesnt want it, i will take his job and his salary, and i assure you i will sleep very well at night, thank you very much!

29 September 2009

[quote Merc Man]

Can you imagine the pressure of designing the next generation of a model that has been so popular around the world. Always having to better an already fantastic car design. No wonder the man doesn't sleep!

[/quote]

By the same token, subsequent generations of a car so massively popular must also be massively recognisable, hence every incarnation of Golf has shamelessly plagiarised the one before it. Wally is just doing his level best to talk up 'design by derivation' given that everything remarkable about the mark six can be found from the driver's seat and not from standing outside it.

29 September 2009

I beg the wife to perform her womanly functions and I'm off to sleep twenty seconds after my performance. I do not do encores either.

Failing that, I get her to tell me about one of her particularly worthy and boring friends who still breastfeeds her 5 year old child, that ALWAYS does the trick.

29 September 2009

Poor chap and he earns lots of money. He could always resign and spend all him time with his wife if he wants to

29 September 2009

If it's such a big deal for him maybe it's time for a career change ... better to think about his health and marriage ..

29 September 2009

I think some of the comments here are a bit cruel. One of my best friends is a designer for an interior consultancy. The stress of trying to appease the clients (the car manufacturer) with trying to create something that is beautiful and yet functional gets ever tougher. Add into the mix that cars for the American market need extra wide, extra stong seats, oversized cupholders, minimum interior widths yet the europeans want style and functionality with teutonic levels of build and ''feel' but should all be produced at the lowest cost possible, yet conform to ever increasing health and safety implications (to stop the ambulance chasers). You begin to see why designers go slightly crazy in their 40s.

To design a 'classic' (Mark 1 & II need only apply) I can understand the frustrations. Here is an utterly conservative car, that transcends class and social barriers, yet is sold in most countries in the world in one guise or another. It also has to look classy and conforms to world legislation on safety and emissions. Add into the mix image, herditory genes, brand recognition and all of the emotive symbolism of previous and future purchasers and the checklist soon expands exponentially. Designing a new car is hard enough, designing a car with all the above expectations is near on impossible. Perhaps that's why the Golf VI is an updated V.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Golf

Just how good is the mighty Volkswagen Golf? The seventh generation of Europe's best selling car has been facelifted to keep its nose ahead of its rivals

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week