With its iconic innovations like the iPhone and iPad, Apple continues to stretch the boundaries of beautiful design, creating generation after generation of products admired and adorned (and even counterfeited) by people the world over.
Apple’s design language is so impactful, in fact, that according to a Reuters report published on Thursday, we could even see hints of it in Volkswagen’s next-generation of fully Electric Vehicles (EVs) — as the German automaker reportedly looks to turn a profit on its upcoming line of battery-powered cars while redefining its image in the process.
“We are currently redefining the Volkswagen values for the age of electrification,” said the company’s veteran design boss, Klaus Bischoff, in the interview. He added that “What’s at stake is to be as significant, purist and clear as possible and also to visualize a completely new architecture.”
The Age of Electrification
Bischoff — who joined Volkswagen over 25 years ago and has served as head of VW brand design for the last decade — described wanting to adopt a “purist,” clear, articulate, yet distinctive design, such as Apple’s, to serve as the “guiding principle” for how he and his team will go about styling VW’s new line of EVs, which are expected sometime in 2020.
Europe’s biggest automaker may be trying to “redefine” its image, but, even on the surface, it’s clear they’re hoping to also shift any lingering focus away from the massive, 2015 “Dieselgate” emissions scandal as well.
VW’s New Direction
“Dieselgate” scandal notwithstanding, Reuters noted that Volkswagen knows full well the importance of electric vehicles. They’ll be a literal driving force (no pun intended) in the company’s bid to compete moving forward — especially in large, developed markets like China, where it currently reigns supreme as demand for EVs continues to rise.
Citing how Volkswagen was “previously a laggard on electrification,” the paper also pointed out how VW has so far pledged to invest as much as $42.45 billion towards the development of its next generation EVs, self-driving technology/software, and associated “digital mobility” ventures by 2022.
“The core namesake brand alone will spend 6 billion euros on a new modular platform dubbed MEB designed to underpin over 20 purely battery-powered models,” Reuters noted, citing the automaker’s previously accounted EV plans, including an “I.D. hatchback,” “I.D. Crozz” [a crossover style hatchback] as well as a modern take on the grooviest VW of all-time, the “I.D. Buzz” microbus.
Though he declined to elaborate further, Bischoff said his company plans to use the upcoming 88th annual Geneva auto show, running between March 8 and 18, 2018, as a venue to offer early insight into what Volkswagen’s “post-I.D. generation” of EVs might look like.