Walter de Silva, who helped design the current VW Polo, will be responsible for the 7th generation Golf due in 2012.

VW Group's design boss Walter de Silva has already had a remarkable career. He's been in the business for 37 years and has helped create such models as the Alfa Romeo 159, the Seat Altea and Leon, the current VW Polo, as well as the Audi A5 and A6 and designing Audi's signature single-frame grill.

But according to an interview de Silva gave to Automotive News, he's worried about his latest challenge.

"When I think about the Golf VII, I do not sleep at night," says de Silva.

De Silva will be tasked with keeping VW's next-generation Golf (the Mk VII), due sometime around 2012, as the iconic model it is. The VW Golf has been Europe's best-selling vehicle for most of the past three decades.

Designing the 7th generation Golf will be, as always, striking all the right balances new and old, functionality and flair. De Silva will likely take some cues from the latest VW Polo he helped design and he definitely seems to know what his objective is.

"The new Polo is a simple and honest shape -- and designing simplicity is much more difficult than overdesign with decoration," he says.

As head of VW Group design, de Silva is currently overseeing over 100 new model developments from each group brand, including Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Seat, Skoda, and VW. The Automotive News story ends with an amusing quote, to say the least, as de Silva talks about how hard he's been working at his job.

"In the past two years, I have spent more time with (VW group CEO) Dr. Winterkorn than with my wife."

We understand what he means but he may want to rephrase that.

Note: Photo shows Walter de Silva with the new Volkswagen up! concept car design model taken 10.09.2007.