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Editor: Jaap Horst

Volume 19, Issue 2

Walter, what were you thinking?

Article from Coachbuild.com

We came across some scans from Quattroruote Magazine on the net, picturing a car that's supposed to be a Bugatti. It appeared to be a top secret design proposal by Walter de'Silva, now almost ten years old. Our first thoughts: Oh my God... Walter, what were you thinking?!

Back in 1999, Hartmut Warkuss, then head of Volkswagen Design, met Walter de'Silva at the Geneva Show. At that time, Walter was head of design at Seat and working on the Seat Salsa Concept. Warkuss told De'Silva that Volkswagen was preparing the revival of the Bugatti brand and that "big boss" Ferdinand Piech was expecting some design proposals for a super sports car that was to become the Veyron. Hartmut Warkuss asked De'Silva to send in his take on the new Bugatti. De'Silva took the challenge against Warkuss himself and Giugiaro who eventually came up with the Chiron. De'Silva began to sketch and in a few months the work was completed, resulting in the full scale mock-up you can see here.

Luckily no Veyron prototype was butchered for this styling exercise. The blue monster in these pictures is a full size model, complete with the interior, but without any mechanics. What we don't understand is why they wasted any time and money on constructing this model while any Bugattist could have judged from the sketches alone that this design could not and should never get a "Go". Many Bugattists Pur Sang will agree that this design is not worthy of the Bugatti badge, because Walter seemed to have totally misunderstood the Bugatti values and style. We are very happy Ferdinand Piech rejected this proposal.

The "Bugatti secret" was carefully put away in some dungeon, far away from prying eyes, but since August '09 the secret was unveiled by Quattroruote. We're not sure if we should be happy about this. Probably, for Walter's sake, this model should have stayed a secret for ever. However, with different wheels and a restyled front end it could have been a funky Seat! But then, in 2003, Walter saved his artistic ass by presenting the Seat Cupra GT, which unfortunately never made it into series production. This car, in its turn, could have been a nice Bugatti, though! If it wasn't for Hartmut Warkuss to have won the design competition with the Veyron.

Sources: Quattroruote Magazine August '09 & AutoPuzzles.com

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