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Walter de Silva

For other uses, Walter Silva.

Bugatti. Since beginning his car design career in 1972 as head of design for Fiat, de Silva has also worked as a designer at I.DE.A Institute, and as head of design for Alfa Romeo, SEAT and the now defunct 'Audi brand group'.[1]


  • Career 1
    • Fiat 1972-1977 1.1
    • I.DE.A. Institute 1977-1986 1.2
    • Alfa Romeo 1986-1999 1.3
    • SEAT 1999-2002 1.4
    • Audi brand group 2002-2007 1.5
    • Volkswagen Group 2007-present 1.6
  • Designs 2
  • References 3


Fiat 1972-1977

Walter de Silva began his career in 1972 at age 21, working for Centro Stile Fiat.[1]

I.DE.A. Institute 1977-1986

After his experience at Fiat, Walter de Silva worked at the I.DE.A. Institute in Turin, Italy for nine years under the direction of Franco Mantegazza and Renzo Piano.[1]

Alfa Romeo 1986-1999

In 1986 Walter de Silva was recruited away from the I.DE.A. Institute to become head of Alfa Romeo's Centro Stile. Walter de Silva remained in this role until 1999.[1]

At Alfa Romeo, de Silva led the renewal of the brand's design language and repositioning.[2]

SEAT 1999-2002

In 1999 Ferdinand Piëch assigned Walter de Silva to work for the Volkswagen Group's SEAT division, with the aim of injecting verve and sportiness to SEAT's design. The result was SEAT's 'auto emoción' philosophy which was first demonstrated in the 2000 SEAT Salsa and the 2001 SEAT Tango concept cars,[3] as a foretaste of SEAT's new design language, with the latter receiving in 2002 the 'Autonis Award' in the Concept Car category.[4] His more expressive design approach has since influenced the form and look of numerous cars, such as the 2002 SEAT Córdoba and SEAT Ibiza, as well as the 2004 SEAT Altea and 2005 SEAT León which were highly acclaimed and subsequently received several design awards (e.g. Red dot design award, Autonis award, 'The World's Most Beautiful Automobile 2004' award in Milan [5][6][7] etc.).

Audi brand group 2002-2007

In March 2002 Walter de Silva was appointed Head of Design to the now-defunct Audi brand group which encompassed the Audi, SEAT and Lamborghini brands. Volkswagen Group management charged de Silva with giving the Audi range a more emotional design language which included the controversial introduction of the full-height, single-frame front grille that now adorns all Audi models. His first full design for a production Audi was the 2005 A6. He has since gone on to contribute to the 2005 Audi Q7, 2006 Audi TT and the 2007 Audi A5, which is reportedly his favourite design.[8]

Volkswagen Group 2007-present

Following the appointment of former Audi chairman Murat Günak, and his first task was to re-evaluate the designs of three then-imminent Volkswagen models which had been penned by his predecessor: the 2008 Golf, the 2008 Passat CC and the 2008 Scirocco.[9]


The Audi R8
  • Lamborghini
    • Lamborghini Miura concept (2006)
    • Lamborghini Egoista (2013)


  1. ^ a b c d "Who's Where: Walter de'Silva appointed Head of VW Group Design". Car Design News. Car Design News Ltd. 2007-01-25. Archived from the original on 2010-11-10. Retrieved 2010-11-10. Volkswagen has just announced that Walter de'Silva, 55, has been appointed Head of Volkswagen Group Design. 
  2. ^ 'Who's Where: Walter de'Silva appointed Head of VW Group Design', Car Design News, 25 Jan 2007 [3], accessed 27 Jan 2007
  3. ^ Frankfurt Motor Show 2001 - Highlights
  4. ^ SEAT Tango receives the Autonis design award.
  5. ^ SEAT Altea wins special award from an international jury
  6. ^ SEAT Altea receives the Autonis design award
  7. ^ SEAT Altea prototype receives european design award
  8. ^ "interview_with_walter_desilva". Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  9. ^ 'VW sent back to drawing board',, 2 Feb 2007, [4], accessed 11 Feb 2007
  10. ^ "Leica Camera AG - Photography - M9 Titanium". Retrieved 2010-12-21. 
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