Volkswagen is building on an illustrious tradition with the I.D., which was unveiled as a concept car at the Paris Motor Show. Just as the Beetle and Golf each rewrote the rules as mass phenomena in their eras, the compact, fully networked e-car is designed to lead the way into the future of mobility.
Big changes often begin with a dream. The unexpected eureka moment of one intelligent individual, for example, can become the spark that launches a technological revolution. Or the visions of great political and philosophical thinkers – these have sometimes transformed entire societies for the better.
The Volkswagen brand, too, is currently in the middle of an extensive transformational process. And when one of the world’s leading car manufacturers frames a new mission statement, then naturally a car that makes dreams come true also has to be part of the new strategy.
This dream car, which to a certain extent embodies the future of Volkswagen, is already here. We have unveiled it (as a concept car for the time being) at the Paris Motor Show 2016: The I.D. is the present, and no longer a vision. At the same time, it naturally carries with it a wealth of visions, and we know that many of these will shape the mobility of tomorrow.
The I.D. runs purely on electricity and is emissions-free, with a range capability suitable for trips of between 400 and 600 kilometres. It is the first car made by Volkswagen that will allow extensive automated driving.
The I.D. is based on the new Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB) platform, so it offers interior comfort similar to the Passat, despite being approximately the size of the Golf on the outside.
The new design options that go hand in hand with the MEB are also reflected in the Human Machine Interfaces. Driver and passengers can control the car functions as intuitively as they use their smartphones. And when the I.D. goes into series production, which is expected to happen in 2020, the retail price will be in the region of what a Golf diesel costs today.
The concept car at the Paris Motor Show points the way to the future: By 2025, -Volkswagen wants to become the market leader in e-mobility.
Therefore the I.D. actually does represent a big idea. It is the contemporary, affordable, attractive vehicle that is suitable for everyday use by a generation facing new and immense challenges. A car for people living in a globalised world, in which technologies and ideals are advancing faster than ever before.
As a result, the I.D. explicitly recalls two other significant milestones in the history of Volkswagen. Number one: The Beetle reached the pinnacle of its popularity in the 1950s. It was the robust and economical car that first made mobility possible at all for a large portion of the population around the world.
Number two: The Golf triggered a similar revolution when it was introduced in 1974 – a high-quality, versatile vehicle that embodied the new dream of independence and individual transport for many people.
The key in both cases was that the Beetle and Golf were not only interesting novelties for car enthusiasts, but also incorporated a social component. Even though it sounds pretentious, Volkswagen changed society with these two cars.
Times have changed, and humanity’s dreams have changed along with them. That is precisely why this generation needs a new car: the I.D., the next step in personalised, networked, sustainable and future-proof mobility.
The Volkswagen brand also needs a new focus, new ideals. We are working towards that as our highest priority.
The development of the I.D. took somewhat less than a year in total. That is an unusually short time for a car of this complexity and design clarity – as well as an indication of the direction that development at Volkswagen is taking. Our focus is on efficient processes, quick reactions to the needs of our customers, competitiveness, strategically astute investments and a constant willingness to reconsider everything.
There is an appropriate keyword for the process that is currently occupying us the most: transformation. Why transformation? Because new thinking is also always followed by new activity. Progress. Change. Volkswagen once saw itself primarily as a manufacturer of high-quality and technologically advanced vehicles. Step by step, we are now also becoming a provider of comprehensive mobility solutions and services, as well as the host of a digital community that provides each member with priceless added value.
Those who think back nostalgically to former times miss the quintessential point: The future of mobility will be much, much better than it ever was in the past – and for the Volkswagen brand it has already long been underway.
The Tiguan and up! models that are already available on the market currently fulfil the highest standards with regard to connectivity, digital control convenience and assistance system technologies. More than a hundred thousand pre-orders for the new Tiguan have already been received – a resounding validation.
The next step is the new e-Golf, whose 300-kilometre battery range is set to make it Europe’s most successful e-car. We want to make Volkswagen the world leader in the field of e-mobility by the year 2025 at the latest – with a million e-cars sold every year. This is an ambitious goal.
However, it can be achieved by the brand that leads in sales volume and provides customers with the highest quality, best service and most visionary ideas.
To put it briefly and simply, cars have always primarily been made to improve people’s life experience and fulfil their dreams of mobility. That Volkswagen understands the power of these dreams has been proven again and again throughout our history. And that is exactly how it will continue to be in the future.