podcasts: NEW SERIES: Petrolicious Talks Episode 1: Head of Global Design At FCA, Ralph Gilles

NEW SERIES: Petrolicious Talks Episode 1: Head of Global Design At FCA, Ralph Gilles

By Petrolicious Productions
May 12, 2020
8 comments

Welcome to the first episode of Petrolicious Talks, our new podcast series with a simple but fulfilling mission: to bring more inspiring stories, deep-dive conversations, and insights into the future of motoring from the greatest minds and most passionate enthusiasts in our community. We hope our guests inspire you as much as they’ve inspired us, and we look forward to your feedback and suggestions for who and what you would like us to feature in future episodes of Petrolicious Talks.

In our first episode, Petrolicious founder and CEO Afshin Behnia joins FCA’s Head of Global Design, Ralph Gilles. Gilles is undoubtedly an artist, but his relationship to cars goes beyond aesthetics. His FCA résumé includes time as the President and CEO of the Motorsports division and President and CEO of the SRT brand, among other positions within FCA, which helps explain why he’s way more of a tire shredder than a bean counter despite his influence in one of the largest car corporations in history.

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Rick C
Rick C
2 years ago

I’m one of those that has to agree that the size creep won’t work out well for us long term. Some of us want to be responsible and use less resources. That puts our safety on the line, from the ever increasing size of vehicles people feel they need. As Mr. Giles confirmed, many EV platforms are coming down the line. My question to him is why the second generation 500e, now with well over 200 miles of range, won’t be one of them? My 2015 will eventually need a replacement, and a 2021 Fiat EV would mesh just fine with the rest of the Italian stablemates in my collection.

francis Mandarano
francis Mandarano
2 years ago

Great interview and a very good idea to do interviews.
You guys did a great piece on my 3500GT “Latina”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyueWPyQmMc
Car Guy Tour

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange
2 years ago

Enjoyed that, one question which may come from being on the other side of the Atlantic, what did Ralph mean when he referred to the CAFE regulations dictating car sizes?

In terms of the format and future guests, it was about the right length and held my attention throughout, but it is also worth noting that the car podcast market is getting quite crowded now with good content. However there is not so much focussed on classic cars and what there is tends to talk about the market rather than ownership and running and what to do them. Some chats with the restorers, event organisers and even engaging owners /collectors would be interesting.

Rick C
Rick C
2 years ago
Reply to  Matthew Lange

Several years ago, the US automakers were able to successfully lobby the goverment to create a loophole which allows a vehicle of a certain wheelbase and track (it’s a formula) to avoid more straightforward fuel economy requirements that would be attached to a vehicle by just simply looking at weight, overall size, displacement, etc.

Afshin Behnia
Afshin Behnia
2 years ago
Reply to  Matthew Lange

Thanks for the feedback, Matt!

I forwarded your question to Ralph, and this is what he said (please excuse the brevity as it was over text):

“Cafe calculates the suggested MPG if the vehicles wheel base and track. Other factors count but the cafe eases progressively as the cars get larger. In Europe it is C02 based with is in essence the opposite favoring the smallest cars.”

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange
2 years ago
Reply to  Matthew Lange

Thanks for the replies re CAFE, interesting learnt something new.

Eastpark
Eastpark
2 years ago

Great interview – I always like hearing what Ralph as to say – cool guy, and a fellow Canadian!
Paul
Ottawa, ON

Paul Bilek
Paul Bilek
2 years ago

Excited for this new series. I usually listen to podcasts while I’m working, so this one will now be at the top of my list!