At which point did you realise that a breakthrough in electric mobility for everyone is on the horizon?
Right at the start of the project, there was an emphasis on the concept that new design ideas require courage and freedom – so be creative! To begin with, think in terms of function follows form. The vehicle interior can be anything, including a lounge, living room or cinema – that led to the concept of open space. Ultra airy and spacious. We’ve even managed to break the mould in terms of technology. Revolutionary new development rather than cautious improvement. How else could the head-up display with augmented-reality technology have become a key piece of the interior? But here, too, it was important to remember that intelligent simplicity trumps excess.
When you look at the project as a whole, what was the biggest challenge you faced?
The key challenge of the ID.3 was ensuring that what we had come up with in terms of design could also be produced and operated and would thus actually make it onto the road for all to see. The challenge was packaging the emotion that this topic generates in a concept. Finding a new design style for e-mobility that clearly distinguishes itself from what came before it. In other words, designing something that resembles the car of tomorrow, but is still familiar to the people of today.
And despite all the digital preliminary stages, a physical interior mock-up went a long way in helping us to bring interactions to life. It allowed us to try out potential positions and features long before the first vehicle series.
In detail, what do you think is the most fascinating technology in the new ID.3?
The idea of sitting inside a smart and emotionally charged product that almost has its own character – its own personality. I view the ID. Light as a link between the outside world, passenger and vehicle. For me personally, it’s the technology that raises the interior to a whole new level. That’s because the ID. Light extends the full length of the cockpit and visually supports the driver. A greeting scenario welcomes you as you enter the vehicle. Even its blinker function is exciting and supports the driver visually. Light is thus no longer just a design element that boosts emotions and shapes the vehicle character, but also a technology that supports the driver and passengers.
What pushed you the most as you were developing the ID. range?
I am impressed by how we managed to balance abstractness and operability in the interior – the look and feel is truly harmonious. And how consistently we were able to weave sustainability into each and every design and development step. It wouldn’t have been possible without the variable Modular Electrification Toolkit (MEB).
What have you personally taken away from the project?
The new Volkswagen mindset. For me, the company goals always aligned with the product goals throughout the project. We’re committed to the Paris Agreement and want to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The ID.3 will thus be handed over to the customer as carbon-neutral. The world’s first car that thinks holistically about the environment in terms of production and the materials used.
What makes the ID.3’s interior concept so unique?
It’s extremely understated and very clean. It’s also less like a car and more like a modern-day, mobile living room, if you will. Each object in the interior was designed as if it were an independent piece of furniture. It works as part of the whole, but also on its own.