For decades, car headlights were round. Initially, as was the case with coaches, mounted in free-standing form, but next to large radiator grilles. When high-volume production was introduced, cars became more compact and lights were integrated into the body. Shape, size and arrangement of headlights thus started to define the brand look. The round headlights gave the Beetle its typical friendly-looking ‘eyes’. The Beetle fronts then changed from the ‘recumbent’ headlights to the ‘upright’. New models with new faces came along too: the 411 with oval main headlights, the K 70 with wideband lights, Passat, Golf … Yet the styling spectrum remained limited until new materials and processing techniques revolutionised lighting design. The clear-glass headlight with plastic free-form reflector that first defined a standard production Volkswagen (Golf Mk4) in 1997 also dates back to the headlamp team newly founded by Volkswagen Design in 1995. Thanks to CAD data, it has since been possible to adopt a fully integrated approach – new terrain for Volkswagen designers. Xenon and LED light up the path to tomorrow’s technology and design.