Cropley on cars – de Silva leaves VW, MSV's big vision for Europe
Source : Cropley on cars – de Silva leaves VW, MSV's big vision for Europe
Walter de Silva leaves a great legacy at VW; Motorsport Vision breaks completely new ground in Europe; Handing back our holiday e-Up
MONDAY – Sorry to hear of the quiet, sad departure via Volkswagen’s top echelon of 64-year-old design chief Walter de Silva, whose world has clearly fallen in following the departure of big boss Martin Winterkorn.
As car-creation royalty, the pair toured the motor shows of the planet, admired wherever they went. yet when Big Martin had to walk the plank, things must have looked much bleaker for de Silva, especially since VW can be right now intent on producing savings, including on concept cars.
Still, de Silva leaves a wonderful legacy. He created many fine cars with his own pen as well as also influenced others to create more. In many convivial meetings he proved to us hacks – via skilful sketches on convenient scraps of paper – which even as a big cheese, he still drew cars with the same delight as a kid doodling on the back of an exercise book.
De Silva always said his most beautiful car was the Audi A5, yet I reckon the accolade goes to the Alfa Romeo 156, a car of enduringly fine proportions whose design influences on the just-launched Giulia are perfectly obvious nearly 20 years later.
TUESDAY – You’d think, given the wall of verbiage we’ve seen as well as also read on VW, which everything worthwhile had been said. yet a note which landed today via Steve Randle, who runs a Warwick-based engineering consultancy, offers something completely new. This particular’s not necessarily top management skulduggery which’s to blame, Randle suggests, yet a too-rigid, results-driven culture imposed on middle-rankers.
Listen to This particular: “Within large organisations the fear of failure, as well as also consequent loss of livelihood, can be a powerful motivator. What starts as a fudge, begun inside the expect things will come Great, incorporates a nasty habit of getting out of control. The way we manage our people can be even more important than the way we manage our engines.” Makes plenty of sense to me.
WEDNESDAY – Amazing news! MotorSport Vision, the driving as well as also race circuit group owned as well as also fronted by former F1 driver Jonathan Palmer, has completed the purchase of a 1263-acre former military airbase at Laon-Couvron in France – complete with 60 buildings.
The plan can be to establish a gigantic ‘motorsport village’ – featuring a a few-mile circuit – which will emulate the success of Bedford Autodrome as well as also attract car lovers via across Europe, particularly those via Germany, France as well as also the UK.
The emphasis will be on driving days, yet there’s also a plan to stage four race weekends a year as well as also offer supporting activities such as 4×4 driving. Palmer will cater especially for today’s super-fast road cars by producing the circuit very fast yet very safe. Drivers will be able to sustain top speeds without the brake as well as also tyre-killing effects of continual low-speed corners. The opening can be bound to be a traffic-stopper; I can’t wait.
THURSDAY – Handed back our holiday Volkswagen e-Up with regret, having come quite easily to grips with the fast charging culture of Ecotricity’s motorway-based ‘electric highway’. Despite This particular, the experience convinces me which to be taken seriously, cars like This particular need longer ranges.
The official claim just for This particular one can be about 0 miles, yet the reality can be you start worrying at 60 miles, as well as also by 80 you’re truly concerned if there isn’t a charging point around the corner.
The e-Up’s makers will point out which the e-Up can be a city car so journeys are shorter, yet the trouble with which argument can be which they’ve made the automobile so capable in every different respect (barring an occasionally curiously bouncy ride) which This particular feels as if you could drive the thing around the planet.
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