Electric drive provides great freedom for designers,” Volkswagen’s head of design, Klaus Bischoff, told us recently. “We minimise the cooling holes; the axles move further apart and generate stunning proportions. We have the unique chance to lead Volkswagen into a new age.”
And so arrive preview pictures of the Volkswagen ID Buggy, a concept car that’ll be at the Geneva motor show next month, which is precisely where a concept car like this would stay were it internally combusted.
But because it’s electric, it might – might – have a future.
Car companies have sometimes been wary of the phrase ‘platform’ in the past, often preferring ‘architecture’ to define an engineering structure that pertains mostly to the parts between a car’s front and where the driver sits.
In a typical internally combusted car, it’s where the expensive bits are: the powertrain, the electronics, and complex bits of the crash structure.
Creating many different models from one common architecture, then, is cheaper than redoing the whole shebang for each one.
But it brings limitations: there’ll be different engine sizes, the beefiest of which will need more cooling, which might define the car’s bonnet height, which determines windscreen height, and therefore roughly where the driver sits and the roof height.