“We focused on GTI itself, not a model. What made GTI an icon? What can we put on it? ID 2 matched really well to GTI; it’s stable, likeable and has the secret source, the three things we identified in our design to make us a ‘loved brand’ again. We made it friendly and approachable and that’s a serious power. It’s not overly aggressive. In a Golf GTI, you never feel embarrassed. In some hot hatches, you do feel embarrassed in certain situations. This is ‘unpimp’ my ride, not a boy racer car.’
What does ‘stable’ mean in design?
“It’s something that looks strong and doesn’t look flat. The Beetle had some shapes in some ways to give stability to the sheet metal. Stable can mean a lot; it’s about not looking like falling over. That’s why we have a strong C-post, to make it look strong and stable.”
Which models will you use for GTI in the ID era?
“We won’t put it everywhere, that can endanger it. Some segments can do other things that work better. Lower hot hatch is where we start from.”
What about the R brand? And GTX?
“GTI is more real world, more blue collar than white collar for R. R has a future in the EV world, yes, absolutely. R is more for record breakers, cars for the Nurburgring. GTX goes into certain segments, and is four-wheel drive. This [ID GTI] is front-wheel drive and GTI will be for front-wheel drive.’
What price are you aiming for the ID 2 GTI?
“We’re not saying this today. The ID 2, we want to offer fo €25,000. There’ll be nothing else like it for this price. Like with the Mk1 GTI, we can convince people with a cheaper car, more approachable and more for the people.”
Is it more fun making small cars than big cars?
“I had a lot of fun at Bentley! I enjoyed a lot what we did. The Batur was an amazing project, also done in a short time. I really enjoyed that but I enjoy this as well. I learned a lot about brands at Bentley, and what brands are about. In one year, it made the Queen’s car and won Le Mans. That’s the strength of Bentley, it’s amazing. I came to VW to see if we can do something similar, like mixing emotional and practical.”