What did you find most inspiring about the development work on the ID. family?
The momentum achieved through the modular electric drive matrix (MEB). In a short time, we were able to develop a completely new car concept, a unique platform, and the first chassis variants. The whole team had the feeling it was involved in something special.
At what point did you realise that electromobility for everyone was on the verge of a breakthrough?
The first time I drove an ID.3 prototype on public roads. The concept of the car, the architecture and the feeling were new, and yet they impressed me immediately. The handling is different to what you are used to – it is better. The low centre of gravity means the ID.3 is almost fleet-footed and agile, because there is always enough power – without compromising comfort. With its range of up to 550 kilometres, long distances are no problem. There is also a very generous amount of space. This is definitely not a concept, in which we have had to make compromises. Instead, it is the future.
In detail: What technology do you find the most fascinating in the new ID.3?
For me, it is definitely the overall concept. The traditional approach to cars in the compact class has gone unchanged for about 50 years, from the Mini with the front transverse engine to the Golf with four doors and a large tailgate. We went further than to simply develop this conceptual optimum with the ID.3 – we revolutionized it. The MEB is opening totally new degrees of freedom in terms of the package, spaciousness, and freedom of design.
Considering the entire project, what was the biggest challenge you faced?
Generally speaking, getting to the point where we could begin production of a completely new car concept – both the interior and the exterior – with a new design vocabulary, in a short period of time. The biggest challenge was the fact that the production design was to correspond, as far as possible, to the initial drafts. This makes us proud of the ID.3. To be more specific, in our team we transformed design into feasible technology. You could say that we are the mediators between the designers and the technicians. We are able to use the digital development process to calculate the latest design statuses and components in a fraction of a second, and to display them in a photographically realistic manner – or to discuss them directly. That saves time, and with it money.
What exact form do the final results of a digital data control model (DDKM) take for the exterior of the car?
The end product of our work are detailed CAD exterior skins, which form the basis for the corresponding components. These so-called Class-A areas are visualized in photorealistic quality and in real time. This digital model of the car is presented to the board in the DDKM acceptance test. Any possible errors or desired optimizations are discussed and the car undergoes a final acceptance.
What have you, personally, gained from the project?
We have really pleased everyone on this project, which is a great feeling.
In the case of the ID.3, our high-end, real-time visualization has allowed us to achieve a consistently high design quality, as well as to make decisions quickly and reliably.
These fast processes made for a stable – and thus energy and material-friendly – start to the project. As such, the DDKM is making a valuable contribution to the corporate strategy and the fields of digitalisation, sustainability and the electromobility offensive. It once again made one thing clear to me: Volkswagen can achieve great things. That was the case with the Golf, and is also true of the ID.3.