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Golf I bears the signature of Giorgetto Giugiaro
Golf IV and V evolved under the aegis of Hartmut WarkuÃŸ
Golf VI and the future of the Golf are shaped by Silva
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Wolfsburg, 21 October 2010 â€“ These three men have had a decisive influence on automotive history: Giorgetto Giugiaro, Hartmut WarkuÃŸ and Walter de Silva. Designers of world renown. Each of them has designed icons that will stand the test of time. One thing unites these men: the Golf. Because the Golf generations that were most important in terms of styleâ€”I, IV and VIâ€”evolved under their aegis.
Now the three top designers got together in a kind of summit meeting of design to analyse the â€œGolfâ€ phenomenon. Giorgetto Giugiaro (72), who was head of Italdesign and designed the first Golf generation (debut in 1974), casts a glance back on the design of the Golf: â€œFrom my vantage point back then, it was not difficult to make the transition from the Beetle to a new vehicle type.â€ The fact that Giugiaro was always true to his own rules might have had something to do with that. Giugiaro: â€œWhen it comes to criteria for fine design, the proportions top the list. It is always somewhat of a mathematical game.â€ And his ideas were a winner: The proportions of the Golf I were right; 6.78 million units of the first generation were sold up till 1983.
Just how much the head of Italdesign, a company belonging to Volkswagen AG since 2010, influenced the â€œGolfâ€ product brand is emphasized by Hartmut WarkuÃŸ (70). The ardent amateur pilot was chief designer of Volkswagen AG until his retirement in 2003; Hartmut WarkuÃŸ and his team created the Golf of the fourth and fifth generation. WarkuÃŸ: â€œWe began with the Golf IV in 1993. I asked myself at the time how Giorgetto Giugiaro would design it.â€ What a compliment. WarkuÃŸ: â€œAnd so we created a timeless form again and intensified the character of the Golf through the distinctive C-pillars, among other things.â€ What was of overriding importance to Hartmut WarkuÃŸ: â€œDesign has to be balanced. Its proportions have to be right. It has to suit the time in which such a design is to be valid.â€ For many experts, the Golf IV, which has been built 4.3 million times, is already today a classic of tomorrow.
Walter de Silva (59) is also one of these experts. He has been Head of Volkswagen Group Design since 2007. â€œMessrs. Giugiaro and WarkuÃŸ have given the fundamental design to the Golf as a Volkswagen.â€ With a view to the Golf VI, yet also to future generations, he outlines why he has preserved these genes and will continue to perpetuate them: â€œBasically, Giorgetto Giugiaro and Hartmut WarkuÃŸ have written the score, a beautiful piece of music. And with my team, with Klaus Bischoffâ€”Head of Design for the Volkswagen brandâ€”and naturally all the others, we try to give a proper interpretation of this music. The basic score of the â€›Golf
musicâ€™ has been written. What weâ€™re carrying forward here is a further development.â€
The sixth generation of the Golf shows what potential this music still has. De Silva himself is living in the future; he is already on the road driving the next Golf in his thoughts. And that Golf willâ€”some dayâ€”follow the score defined by Giugiaro and yet remain one-of-a-kind. This is part of the secret of success of the Volkswagen brand and the â€œGolfâ€ phenomenon alike. Walter de Silva: â€œVolkswagen will remain unique in the future and therefore universal. Constant changes make for unreliability for customers.â€
The latest figures prove him right: During the first eight months of this year alone, Volkswagen was able to convince around 250,000 more customers to buy a car bearing the label of Volkswagen, in a year-on-year comparison with the previous period. People seem to have been entranced by the music on a lasting basis.