Is the best golf here?

NOTeulich at VW in the design studio. The factory safety man complains of bad fries in the stadium, that even his little boy would not eat one day. But even if the red and white smears in the stadium of VfL Wolfsburg are unbearable: "I will stay green-white!", He proudly quotes the colors of the club. The receptionist, meanwhile, is more oriented towards Braunschweig. Eintracht would be in focus in the third division: "Since the uncle of the three nephews again let the fat Marie hang out: shower, sausage stadium and fries well filled!"

What tastes good in Braunschweig does not have to be tasty in Wolfsburg for a long time. Klaus Bischoff would probably be predestined for direct comparison. He studied industrial design in Braunschweig. Since 2006, he has been head of the Wolfsburg Design Studio, which employs around 430 people worldwide. But Bischoff can not help the desires of the two gentlemen at the reception because: "How was Volkswagen born? Without a grille!" The Ladybug did not have one and Porsche also drove for a long time with an air-cooled engine at the back, so that it was also possible to dispense with a grille. Whatever the case may be, Bischoff is currently focusing on something other than the quality of French fries and sausages in this republic's football stadiums. The design manager is responsible for the appearance of VW's most important vehicle after Beetle and Golf: the design of the ID.3, probably the most exciting car of the IAA.

This will depend on the social acceptance of the ID.3, whether the VW group will make the transition from Saul to Paul. And it could be that the courageous entry into the electromobility leaves the company once again with a deep blue eye.

As a reminder, just four years ago, when VW in September 2015, the stopping device specifically designed for diesel vehicles was fatal. Just days before the start of the fraud, CEO Martin Winterkorn told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in an interview: "We still have a lot of ideas for America, let's be clear, we want the Volkswagen brand in the US the same success as Audi and Porsche are already. "Two weeks after the interview, Winterkorn did not need to change its mind.

What Americans have discovered and discovered has triggered perhaps the biggest scandal in the history of the automobile. Until now, the follow-up costs for the Group would be in the range of billions of dollars. Winterkorn is accused by the Braunschweig prosecutor of serious fraud, infidelity and unfair competition. The death of former VW Patriarch Ferdinand Piëch, former sponsor of Winterkorn, at the age of 82, on August 25, sealed an era that drove a successful automotive company that finally sank into the abyss.

"We were standing in front of a pile of pieces of glass," said Klaus Bischoff today. For more than 30 years, he refined his pencils for VW, developed the design of the first VW Up, has been at the origin of the appearance of several generations of golf and created the series of SUV from Tiguan and Touareg. Without a trace, the diesel door has not passed.

With Winterkorn, Bischoff developed the current three-dimensional VW logo in direct exchange. It is now replaced by a more sober and thinner two-dimensional emblem. Again, Bischoff is responsible, only the current CEO is no longer Winterkorn but Herbert Diess.

In 2014, he moved from BMW to VW, where he became from July 2015 the division of the newly created board of directors "Chairman of the Volkswagen Volkswagen Board of Directors". In early 2016, he commissioned Bischoff to design a fleet of electrified vehicles. Four weeks were given to the project manager and his team to present the drawings. It was the designers who had to remove the embers from the fire for VW. After all, this department was also the least suspect in the diesel scandal, because its managers were mainly in the areas of management and technology.

But what do you do with a brand that rests on the ground? A brand that has lost its credibility? This created a workgroup and a weekend break to discover what could still be defined as the core of the brand. It is only that it could be clearly named that it could be used to develop a new product line.

An aberration, as in the past, with the luxurious Phaeton, as far as the attempt to catch up in the category of manufacturers of quality products was concerned, should be avoided as much as possible. If VW put on the market electric vehicles that only the rich and the rich could afford, the brand would have betrayed their origin. beetle was founded and successfully continued the production of the Golf for 45 years.

The task force was therefore looking for the basics, wondering what had been the past successes. A beetle, for example, seduced many people, the missing grill – often designed as an aggressive car with open mouth – and wide-eyed make the vehicle "friendly", as Bischoff says. The overall design, lines were generally unobtrusive at VW, which is why later a Golf could become "Everybody's Darling". Anyone who talks with workshops will eventually understand how a golf course is built and how to fix it. And who has already driven an old beetle, will be delighted to see how much a full-fledged vehicle can be reduced and purist.

With this distillate, the quintessence that had extracted the working group under Bischoff this weekend of history, went to projects. To avoid a cost explosion, the Modular Electrification Kit (MEB) has been developed. It should look like the Modular Cross Box (MQB) for the burners at the base of a whole set of VW models. With the MEB, the maximum dimensions of the first VW designed specifically for electric mobility have been fixed: a large and heavy SUV is not feasible. Unlike brands such as Audi or Mercedes, VW will not engage in electric mobility with huge road jeeps, although profit margins per vehicle sold are much higher.

Four weeks after the kickoff, Diess & Co. presented ten models in the "Walhalla", the presentation room of the VW design studio, all based on their dimensions in the compact class. Six of them have entered production or will soon be able to do so. Among them is a minibus, reminiscent of the old and popular Bulli as an electric stroller whose gasoline pendant was a dune-type vehicle and beach boat instead of the beetle.

However, the I.D. Neo, who was already in October 2016 as an exhibition car at the Mondial de l 'Auto de Paris. Which means that it did not take nine months to a blank sheet of paper to make an appearance at one of the world's largest auto shows. There will be no more four years as a result of the show car with a new name for ID.3. By 2020, the first customers will be sent to the street. For the conditions of the automotive industry are absolutely crazy times.

And it's better. VW initially launched a special model, ID.3 1ST (for "first edition", first edition). The edition is limited to 30,000 copies and is already fully sold. Since the figure of 30,000 in the world of the automobile does not mean much, here are some indications. The general rule in the automotive industry is that on a number of 5000 pieces, a model in Germany is perceived by the general public. After a median of months, most people have already seen such a car. This number already exceeds the ID.3 six times before any of its buyers saw it (there were only pictures of the study so far) even less affected.

Or another comparison: 2018 were sold by all the different Porsche models less than already from the ID.3: exactly 28,695. Or: were admitted in the first half of 2019 in this country of Skoda Oktavia 30,945, it was the Ford Focus 31,877 and the smallest most popular car in Germany, the VW Polo, 33,529 pieces, which corresponds to little close to the level of ID.3. Or: The ID.3 already sells twice as many vehicles as all the electric cars of the smallest, smallest cars and compact cars (13,770). These numbers can help to understand the significance of 30,000 ID.3s sold in the local market.

But how can this success with a charging infrastructure, which itself would be described as "poor", be exaggerated? What did the team around Klaus Bischoff say to 30,000 people: I will buy it, even if I do not know how it works, even if I do not know if I can I sit comfortably in there, even if I do not know where it can go with a charge Electricity in everyday life actually comes?

"Perhaps," Bischoff thought thoughtfully, "we had the advantage that no one looked at it." The designers had the maximum stress, but also the greatest freedom. For the first time, vehicles were developed in Wolfsburg, whose appearance was not determined by the engine. "The e-Golf was shy," says Bischoff. It was nothing more than a new wine in old tubes. A conventional golf course has been electrified, finishing and point.

Even his performance was not particularly impressive. An electromagnetic alibi, nothing more. Or, as the AutoBild colleagues wrote so well: "The Electric Motor Golf, you can only recommend your mother-in-law, so that she does not come so often to visit." " More than 230 kilometers were at best for the E-Golf, On the other hand, the ID.3 should already be able to handle 420 kilometers with the central battery pack of the 1st edition. With the big battery, even 550 kilometers should be possible. The basic version already has 150 hp, the advanced model even reaches 204 hp.

Same price, the ID.3 is considered a battery-powered electric car in the region of the burners: the first edition is indeed at 40 000 euros and is therefore at the level of the second most expensive golf model, which produces 290 hp and costs 40,275 euros (more expensive c all-wheel drive 300 HP (45,305 euros) .But the basic model of ID.3 will cost a little less than 30,000 euros and so is exactly between the two models of Golf with turbodiesel of 2 liters and 150 hp: the 2.0 TDI with conventional engine is of 28 925 euros for the costs of the version with integral traction starting from 32 950 euros.

At VW, it is assumed that the point at which more and more people opt for an electric car is simply the one where an electric car does not cost more than a comparable combustion chamber. But is an ID.3 really comparable to a VW Golf 2.0 TDI? The truth is that you still get more for your money on this vehicle than on the different variants of the Golf – in any case, more space. Due to the omission of the engine, the length of the cockpit of the ID.3 has increased by 15 centimeters compared to that of the Golf. And with similar exterior dimensions: at 4.26 meters, the ID.3 is even one centimeter shorter than the current Golf model. In the trunk (390 liters), there is also more space, even if it is only ten liters in comparison.

The big battery in the ground is in turn compensated by the height of the vehicle, which rises to about ten centimeters to 1.58 meters of the Golf. The new lightness of the compact class, which is now at the level of the middle class such as the VW Passat, should even allow passengers to cross their legs. In a test trial at Walhalla, this circumstance only succeeded the thin designer leader (1.86m) after moving the seat a little backwards. And there, he could never have beat his legs comfortably. But it's just a smallness on the edge. On the whole, the inclined observer can not help but think that the Golf, the car with the highest number of registrations in Europe, is experiencing real competition within its own home. And that of an electric-powered car.

Just the idea of ​​what it would have been, if Volkswagen throughout the diesel scandal The costs generated by the development of electromobility would have been incurred, but only the idea of ​​this phenomenon can make some people cry. BMW would have invested between two and three billion euros for the complete redevelopment of the i3.

That would mean, considering the currently rumored amount that the Wolfsburg loses due to the diesel scandal: VW could have developed 15 electric cars. Or develop one and be able to cover the Republic of the country with charging stations. Or develop one and turn mass-marketable hydrogen technology into an electronic mobility training technology. And, and, and …

But even if you want to fight against missed opportunities: without the diesel scandal, the oil giant VW would probably only continue its momentum and simply work to maximize profits and conquer other markets, instead of to develop a vision something could be made more ecological.

On one side, it seems ironic that fate, former Chief Winterkorn, said four years ago in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: "We are setting the course for the next decade: technologically, economically and what structures are like.This is nothing less than the reinvention of Volkswagen. "On the other hand, it is always surprising to see what is possible when people have to rethink or rethink the meaning of their actions.Some can develop electric cars of great capacity, others only succeed in tasty fries.But this should not be despised.Ask the safety of the factory.

beetle The first VW Type 1 was built in 1938 as a demonstration car and quickly attracted international attention. The same year, the New York Times coined the term "Volkswagen Beetle". As a VW Beetle, the car has become a legendary popular figure all over the world.

diesel scandal At the heart of Dieselgate is a digital shutdown device in the turbodiesel engine control unit. This differentiates whether the motor is running in standard mode or in test mode. In the second case, it regulates the emission control system so that the limit values ​​recorded in the test cycle are respected.