David is a veteran automotive engineering executive with almost 30 years of international experience in car design and development. He was Chief Engineer at Alpine where he oversaw the A110 sports car programme and held the position of Head of Vehicle Engineering at Renault Sport at the same time.
He most recently headed the Future Automotive team at Waymo (the ex-‘Google car’ autonomous vehicle company) based in California’s Silicon Valley. Prior to that, he was Chief Technology Officer and Chief Vehicle Engineer at BYTON, a US-Chinese EV startup, also based in California. Between 2009 and 2013, he led the engineering team responsible for the Renault Zoe.
David brings his vast and varied experience to bear in the articles he writes for The Intercooler about the industry and the fearsomely complex process of bringing a new car to market. Currently working as an independent automotive consultant, he drives a 1980 Porsche 911 SC that’s been on a strict diet to get it to a whisker above a tonne – he says he is ‘extremely passionate about lightweight vehicles and the benefits of small wheels and tyres.’
Peugeot 205 XS – could not afford the insurance for a GTI!
Dr Ferdinand Porsche. Still the greatest car engineer of all time, in my book at least
Fondest driving memory:
Testing prototype or pre-series Alpines on French back roads. Probably the perk of the job
"I have my father to blame for my life-long passion for cars. He taught me that they are more than a mere means of transport – they represent freedom, dreams, passion, excitement and yes, danger. I have been lucky enough to make my living by engineering them, and this led me to fall in love with the endlessly fascinatingly industrial machine that produces them"
Are great engineers fast drivers?
F1 engineers don’t need to be great drivers – they have drivers for that. But what about chassis engineers? David Twohig has the answer
Almost Great: Toyota GT86
The GT86 is light, compact, fun and affordable, so why isn’t it one of the greats? David Twohig has the answer
Coke bottles and Merlins
Why did Merlin engines built in Detroit fail more often than those made in Crewe? Bizarre as it sounds, the answer came from the canteen. David Twohig explains
Breakthrough: The MacPherson strut
Compact, cheap and effective, the MacPherson strut sparked a suspension revolution. But that may be all about to change, says David Twohig
The one that got away
Remember the Nissan Sunny GTi-R? David Twohig does, because he bought, ran and sold one. Here he remembers what he loved and what he lost
How to lose weight: Part two
You’ve engineered your car to be light, but to keep it that way you need the unwavering trust of your colleagues in design and marketing, says David Twohig
How to lose weight: Part one
Is reducing mass merely a case of using the lightest components possible? If only it were that simple, says David Twohig, the Alpine A110’s Chief Engineer
Breakthrough: The slick tyre
Why did it take the racing world until the late 1960s to embrace the slick tyre? As David Twohig explains, until then its advantages were not in the least bit clear
Almost Great: Porsche 924
It sold well, it made money, yet Porsche’s first water-cooled car has always struggled for acceptance. David Twohig thinks he knows why
I Witnessed: ‘Ghosn day’
One conference call, 137,000 attendees, 26,000 job losses. This was no normal day at Nissan, writes David Twohig, but Carlos Ghosn was no normal car boss either