What design message are you trying to convey with the Concept A?
It expresses Volkswagen's progressive commitment to the development of its brand values, which combine functionality with emotion. A part of this is developing the 2-D front grille that is on the Passat and Eos into a 3-D application for the Concept A. The Concept A also shows to be a compact and competent brother to the Touareg.
How was the idea for the Concept A born?
It was (VW brand Chairman) Wolfgang Bernhard's idea. Because a compact Volkswagen SUV was not (yet) known to the public, he wanted to communicate such a model through a concept study. The design was done by the same team that has worked on the production SUV. It took us nine months.
Some people consider SUVs to be too big and too aggressive looking. How did these criticisms affect your design work on the Concept A?
The Concept A is a true all-terrain vehicle that offers practical maneuverability in city traffic. Enhanced by a dynamic coupelike roofline, the Concept A's compact design is elegant and not aggressive. This is not a fighting machine.
The car's front and rear overhangs look rather short. Why?
The rear is short, but the front is actually long -- it only looks short. We have achieved this optical effect through a so-called double-wing design solution. Both front wings extend a little more forward then the actual (brushed aluminum) 3-D grille and are connected by a small bumper bar.
The LED headlamps allow for a slanted shape, which enhances the frontal expression. It is a design theme that will be applied to other future VW models.
VW's Japanese and Korean rivals are working hard to improve their designs. What is VW doing in response to this?
There is one big difference between Asian carmakers and Volkswagen: our heritage. There is no other brand in the world that has such a broad, friendly image. We will treat this valuable feature with great care and translate it into our design.
You may e-mail Wim Oude Weernink at [email protected]