Walter de Silva tempted out of retirement
Sources confirmed the former head of Volkswagen Group design will head the engineering outfit’s 560-strong Barcelona design studio to create a range of new models.
De Silva has been tasked with designing an eight-model line-up for BAIC Group’s all-electric startup brand, Arcfox, which will include at least two SUVs. Sources insist the brand’s entire range will come from De Silva’s pen and will range from a small city car to a sports car and a fully fledged limousine.
De Silva retired after a 43-year career, then changed tack completely designing women’s shoes via his own Walter de Silva Shoes operation. The 66-year-old has designed for Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Volkswagen’s Spanish subsidiary Seat and Audi.
He worked closely with then-Audi boss Martin Winterkorn, and when Winterkorn became CEO of the Volkswagen Group in 2007, De Silva became head of design for the group.
He is most famous for his work with Audi, where he pushed the direction change towards more emotional design with the 2005 A6, the original Q7, the 2006 TT and the car he felt most proud of, the original 2007 A5 coupe. – AFP Relaxnews