What moved you most in the course of the development work for the ID. family?
The MEB platform definitely helped us to come up with a super-cool design for the ID.3. A firework display of creativity was unleashed here, because we discussed a great deal and brainstormed our ideas, which was sometimes very intense and controversial. However, because we were given the freedom to revamp every tiny screw, every part and every angle and have produced something truly original, we have succeeded in creating unique proportions and setting a very clear and puristic design on four large wheels. That is the magic of our profession – taking an idea and turning it into reality. That is pretty cool.
At what point did you notice that electric mobility was on the verge of the breakthrough that would make it accessible to everybody?
When I was able to look at our ID.3 in its entirety for the first time in our studio. It possesses a strong character, almost like a sculpture, and has very clear, fine lines. I am certain – and this is the most important thing – that it sparks a clear feeling of ‘love at first sight’ among most customers and prospects when they see it for the first time. Ultimately – for all the rationality and discussion around green mobility – emotionality is the most important aspect of all when it comes to an automobile that should and indeed must capture people’s hearts, particularly in a phase of such radical change.
In detail, which technology do you find most fascinating on the new ID.3?
We design from the inside out – instead of from the outside in, which had been the case until now. We call this architecture, which permits a larger-than-average interior, ‘open space architecture’. This concept is fascinating, because we were able to create an interior with the kind of space normally only seen in conventional combustion-powered vehicles in a higher class. Even though this is not a technology that features in the car as such, it is nonetheless a technology that makes it possible to use new methods to significantly improve the economy of space.
What was the biggest challenge you faced over the course of the project?
The biggest challenge involved making sure that the ID.3 didn’t look like a combustion-powered car while also significantly improving its economy of space. We have ended up with a really cool package: the wheels are much bigger, the wheelbases have grown and the overhangs are much shorter – and the proportions are aesthetically pleasing. This has resulted in a really spacious interior. Furthermore, we have created something that is visually very different to a conventionally powered vehicle, underlining that this is a new era of mobility. Achieving such things is difficult and a very big challenge, but we did a damn good job of pulling it off.
What will you take personally from the project?
I have been working at and for Volkswagen for over 20 years. I have had the privilege of being able to design a number of different conventionally powered vehicles – for Asia, North America and Europe. However, I had never had the opportunity to play a significant role in ushering in a completely new era – and thus be a part of Volkswagen history. As such, it is an honour for me as an automobile designer to be able to give this era, indeed this journey into the future, a strong character and a self-confident formal vocabulary.
The feeling of shaping the design in a way that creates a real spark on the ‘first date’ between the customer and the automobile is indescribable – but nevertheless challenging. And that doesn’t happen when you only deliver a breathtaking sculpture. It’s about more than that. It’s about a vision; an idea behind it all. Shaping both of these things has been incredibly enjoyable – and we have all grown as a result of this experience.
When you get into the ID.3, look at the interior for ten seconds and then close your eyes, which two elements in the interior characterise the design of the ID.3? In other words, which two stylistic features are forever etched in the mind?
With their truly impressive design and finish, the large screens in the interior of the ID.3 are a real masterpiece. The floating displays offer touch screen functionality – a feature that will certainly stay in your mind. Go on, give it a try! Next, move your attention to the steering wheel with its extravagant design, which is also available in lighter materials. The touch-sensitive, multifunctional buttons are not only visually pleasing but also a highlight in terms of ergonomic comfort.