Thanks to Jose Javier Martin Esparto for the image.
When you see a beautiful car, it’s easy to forget the process that went into it. That’s the power of great design; when something takes your breath away just by the way it looks. People have an emotional connection to their favourite cars, and that’s not easy to inspire. It’s all down to the designers.
Let’s take a second to consider that the Audi R8 – one of the sexiest cars on the planet – actually came from someone’s mind. Someone sat down and sketched that! The snarling grill, the fierce eyes and the delicate curves. It’s not just design, it’s art.
We all drew our dream cars on the back of textbooks at school. We gave them crazy special features and outlandish designs. We’d argue about whose was the best looking car for days, and then we’d doodle even more. But imagine turning that into a career. And then imagine being in charge of design for Lamborghini. It sounds like a made-up job.
Well the job exists and it belongs to Walter de Silva. He’s Italian (of course he is) and he has worked his way up from a designer at FIat to his current position as Head of Design at Volkswagen. That’s VW who now own Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini and Bugatti. That means he’s in charge of some of the most fantastically beautiful cars in the world. Remember, it’s not always the fastest cars we fall in love with, but the best looking.
Let’s take a look at some of his personal triumphs:
It’s possibly the best looking road car in the world. Drawn by de Silva’s own pencil. The car looks like a tiger pouncing. It’s one of the most visceral modern car designs on the planet. Hats off to you Mr de Silva.
He’s also responsible for the Audi TT, the A6 and the A5. A quick browse of the Audi A5 range on autohouse.co.uk shows his skill at crafting a sensible four-door as well as the monsters.
Lamborghini Miura Concept
Probably the classiest Lamborghini ever designed. Although the car never went into production, its retro look remains iconic. The car can now only be seen on display in a museum. That’s how pretty it is.
Yes, another Lamborghini. This is de Silva at his most indulgent. The Egoista (which means ‘selfish’) represents “hedonism taken to the extreme.” It shows the depth of the designers mind when you take away traditional barriers. It’s more fighter jet than car. The future of car design? Maybe.
Many sensible everyday cars…
He’s also responsible for recent VW Golfs, the latest Beetle and the Seat Ibiza. These cars are not necessarily known for their showy design but they are solid, understated and tasteful designs.
Walter de Silva is a true artist, and – although you’ve never heard of him before – you’ve probably fallen in love with one of his cars. There’s always a great craftsman behind your favourite things and they often go unnoticed. I guess what I’m trying to say is: thank you Walter de Silva and carry on!