WHEN Walter de’Silva, design director of the Volkswagen Group, unexpectedly broke into Italian while speaking to the press at the Detroit auto show last January, it was a sign. As he did at Audi, Mr. de’Silva would be giving a more romantic look to the Teutonic geometry of Volkswagen.
The design language Mr. de’Silva is bringing to VW can be seen this week at the New York auto show in the form of a redesigned Golf and its sportier derivative, the GTI. Both cars go on sale in the United States in the fall.
The change of direction came suddenly, when Martin Winterkorn was made chairman of VW’s management board in January 2007. To add consistency and boldness to the company’s products, he brought in Mr. de’Silva, the son of an architect, born outside Milan, who had won respect for his reinvention of Audi’s design and for his earlier work at SEAT, VW’s Spanish subsidiary, and at Alfa Romeo.
Source: New York Times