Electric VWs To Be Inspired By Apple’s Minimalist Styling, Says Design Boss

VW designers are looking at Apple products for inspiration on how to style their new electric models, according to the German company’s top designer.

Klaus Bischoff, head of Volkswagen design says that the future styling of their electric vehicles will be all about simplicity.

“We are currently redefining the Volkswagen values for the age of electrification,” Bischoff told Reuters. “What’s at stake is to be as significant, purist and clear as possible and also to visualize a completely new architecture.

Apple’s design has managed to set them apart from competitors like Samsung and Sony and helped them to become the world’s most valuable company.

Bischoff also revealed that VW is bringing a surprise at the Geneva Motor Show which will give us an early look on what’s coming after the I.D. Hatchback, the I.D. Crozz SUV and the I.D. Buzz microbus.

VW is aiming to turn a profit from battery-powered models when these will launch in 2020, with the company having pledged no less than 34 billion euros ($42.45 billion) for the development of EVs, autonomous technologies and digital mobility businesses across the group.

“In the past everything was very centralized, very narrow boundaries were set on the road of success,” Bischoff said. “Today is the most exciting time of my career because I‘m allowed to do things that didn’t use to exist that way.”

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  • atomiccow

    Oh FFS. I hope this statement is just to satisfy investors. The car industry was and still is the epitome of industrial design. Like architecture and civil engineering, car design and automotive engineering is among the only industries where art and engineering have to occur hand-in-hand on a truly parallel level. To say they’re going to be drawing upon rectangles with square corners as their future, is an insult to the industry. Car design has it’s cliches, but it’s still genuinely an art.

    And to think that the Audi design team finally seemed to putting away their photocopiers… So much for the future of German automotive design.

    • Marty

      Apple design is inspired by the German Bauhaus school. And Bauhaus is the epitome of industrial design.

      Cars like the Beetle, 911 and Audi TT are very much Bauhaus designs, so the strange thing here is that the people at VW seem to have forgotten their heritage and think they have to look at Americans to find their German roots.

      In short: Apple are inspired by VW.

      • atomiccow

        I’m not looking for something from VW, or any of the Germans, that is inspired by its heritage. I’m looking for something that shows they genuinely believe in evolving the art and industry of car design. I do not think that heritage is what produces cars like the current A4 and Cayenne, which are so similar to their predecessors that it’s comical (and I think the 911 is among them too). I think it’s an unwillingness to push because they’ve gotten comfortable with knowing what is guaranteed to sell. However, if staying true to their heritage is the real reason behind why they keep producing cars that look the same, then I think they need to stop being true to their heritage, and realize that there’s a whole world of design elements out there to explore.

        In either case, copying Apple, which is what the entire world is already doing, isn’t going to help that cause. It’s true that all their design might suddenly see a big shift, but after that, I struggle to think of where they would go next.

        • Marty

          I’m not speaking of ”heritage” as a set of design elements. That’s not industrial design, that’s styling. I mean ”heritage” as a way of thinking and doing design. Technology and society are changing, so of course you can’t just apply old styling to new products.

          But you can still apply the rules of good design as they were formulated by for example Dieter Rahms to come up with something that is excellent and forward looking.

          If the PR people want to dumb that down to “being inspired by Apple” in order to explain it to ignorant customers, so be it. 🙂

  • Six_Tymes

    minimalist, as like Tesla

    • Bo Hanan

      This will take VW’s dull designs to the next even duller level.

  • Afi James

    the microbus will be a hit.

  • Alter Ego

    Fuck that. I work with people’s shitty Macs every day. Don’t copy apple.

  • Shobin Drogan

    Because what I think of when looking at the the current vw lineup is “OMG! There’s way too much design going on here!”

  • Justin Spencer

    Seeing these cars over and over really warms me up to EV’s. The VW Bus-like model makes me think….why didn’t they include the Beetle as an EV?!?!? They could’ve made a Scirocco fastback, maybe even a Cabriolet sub-compact convertible with the classic crossbar. There’s a lot of possibilities here!

  • Rich Money

    what a dumb thing to say publicly. no one gives a shit if you try to copy apple. do something that says “VW”, with authenticity — that is what people will pay for. No one wants a rip off.

  • fabri99

    Well now that’s a turnoff.

  • Sébastien

    I guess he meant ” inspired by Apple margins”… Selling at such a premium

  • Miknik

    There is s o much talke how great electric VWs will be, yet most models are super boring, not even offering a hybrid option or any other base for these great announcements. I’ll be interested once they actually make a Microbus, a car teased since 2001….

  • So a company known more recently for stagnant design, with heavy copying from others, this seems like a fantastic statement to make.

    I jest but, honestly, when was the last good designed Apple product where it made minimalistic design look good – they’re all just plain slabs.

  • Toronado_II

    I thought that was already the case !

    But seriously, can we compare product design and car design ?

  • Enter Ranting

    Apple design sucks. The minimalist approach makes their products needlessly expensive to manufacture and impractical to repair when something goes wrong, like the screen going out on an iMac. That’s happened to me with two different iMacs. Apple genius: “Well, your computer is almost four years old, and it’s really difficult to take apart and repair. The cost isn’t worth it. You should really just buy a new iMac.”

    I’ve owned most of the products that Apple makes, but no more. I’ve kicked Apple to the curb. It’s ironic that the company that charges so much for “timeless design” would intentionally hobble their older phones with a software update to reduce the phone’s life. Pure greed.

    Apple doesn’t invent anything. They assemble the inventions of others and put them in precious cases, then charge a fortune for the privilege of owning an “Apple” product.

    Apple – the Planned Obsolescence Company. As for VW, screw those cheating monkey-gassers.

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