ID. Crozz design check.
ID. Crozz design check.
As the electric prototype glides almost silently through the streets of Los Angeles it ushers in the future of driving. Although quiet, the ID. Crozz is never ignored. This is down to its design, which is as innovative as it is beautiful. We sat down with its creators, Diana Zynda, Cihan Akcay and Vagarsh Saakyan, to find out what makes this car so special.
When a fashion becomes trendy in Los Angeles, it often goes on to conquer the world. LA boasts more electric car drivers than anywhere else and this fresh mode of travel has become part of everyday life in the city. Therefore the City of Angels made for the perfect backdrop to showcase the Volkswagen ID. family. Its members include the compact ID.3, the innovative ID. Buzz, and the ID. Crozz - Volkwagen’s elegant CUV.
Due to launch in 2022, Volkswagen wants these three models to electrify your everyday by incorporating only the most advanced technologies available, including a ground-breaking electric drive system and an autonomous driving mode. The first thing that jumps out at you however is the new look. The Volkswagen design team have developed a new concept that unites form, functionality and freedom to bring a glimpse into the future of driving. “We have developed our own design language that differs from the range of regular combustion engine vehicles" explained Volkswagen exterior designer Cihan Akcay. “The ID. models we have just unveiled boast a huge range of features that link back to this concept.”
We parked the three ID. cars in the ‘Golden Shore’ car park, which lies right by the waters of Long Beach. Curious passers-by stopped in their tracks as they caught sight of these revolutionary electric vehicles. We asked Cihan Akcay what makes these cars so striking “The ID. Crozz takes the Volkswagen design to a whole new level” he explained. Volkwagen’s traditional solid lines have been replaced by a curve that runs down the side of the car, this helps draw the eye along the profile and down onto the wheels. Akcey expanded on the design behind this new concept “The curve starts at the rear wing panel, goes into a deep contour along the side of the vehicle and then picks back up again from the shoulder-line and across the front wing panel. The two lines make the same movement, but aren't actually parallel.” He then went on to explain how this new feature is not only on the sides of the car “You can also see this 3D curve from the top. Despite its SUV-like design, the ID. Crozz is actually very aerodynamic and efficient.”
One of the most radical pieces of new design on the ID. Crozz and the other two ID. models lies in the lighting. “Light speaks to people on an emotional level. Lighting is therefore becoming an increasingly important factor. Our design helps the ID. Crozz in particular to distinguish itself from the crowd of other vehicles" Akcay explained. The ID. range’s LED headlights are connected by a light strip, in the centre sits an illuminated Volkswagen logo which is another new addition for the ID. family. “In daylight, the ID. Crozz is a real showstopper, but the light design details come into their own at night. When the lights are switched on, the Volkswagen emblem begins to pulse. The light strip then starts to awaken, spreading out from the centre. All across the entire front. LEDs pick out the contours of the headlights. This creates an illuminated, distinctive face for Volkswagen that welcomes the driver and invites them to connect on an emotional level.”
The red metallic finish on the ID. Crozz is bright by design. “Red symbolises boldness and attracts attention. The colour is an expression of the pride we have in our first electric CUV. We also wanted to do away with the cliché that a futuristic look means cooler colours. The material design of the ID. Crozz exudes comfort and warmth” Diana Zynda, team leader in the Electric Vehicles Colour and Trim department at Volkswagen, told us. “Our designers are always on the lookout for new trends and material concepts. We also have an excellent relationship with Volkswagen Research and the Future Labs (departments that create the company’s visions for the future), which helps us to be as innovative as possible. We can precisely filter down where material trends are moving and then integrate this into our new models.” A further signature feature of the ID. family is the two-tone colour scheme. “On the ID. Crozz, we have a contrasting black roof that makes the vehicle’s silhouette appear flatter. The silver roof frame and C-pillars contrast with the rest of the ID. Crozz body. This design element gives all of the ID. models a unique contour.”
The ID. Crozz has no B-pillars. The front doors open to 90 degrees while the rear doors glide out parallel to the vehicle, meaning that when the doors open you are given a view of the entire interior. “This gives passengers a variety of easy ways to get into the vehicle", says Vagarsh Saakyan, interior designer of the ID. Crozz. The designers have kept to a subtle grey shade inside the car for the fixtures and fabrics. “For us, grey is the new black”, says Diana Zynda. “This is part of our strategy for electric vehicles, and the ID. Crozz in particular.” The ID. Crozz’s exterior profile is also reflected in its interior, for example in the red decorative stitching. “The Alcantara seats have a special design that creates a more cosy atmosphere. With thoughts turning to autonomous driving and our holistic mobility concept, Volkswagen is changing its priorities in the interior. New smart materials have expanded our scope as material designers considerably” Zynda explained.
Less is more. And the lack of B-pillars affords the ID. Crozz more room for flexibility. “The ID. Crozz’s ‘Open Space’ concept provides several room division options and therefore considerably more space: the rear seats can be adjusted to free up additional room. The adjustable centre console can be moved forward and back. This gives drivers entirely new ways to divide the space” explained Vargash Saakyan. “This purism continues into the fixtures – we have done away with wood and chrome elements completely.” The new design has also parted with physical buttons and switches and instead utilises intuitive touch functionality and glossy surfaces. “As interior designers, we have had to take completely new approaches and leave our comfort zone. We have revised every interior element in the ID. Crozz, questioned every function – do we need it or not?”
As daylight fades across Long Beach, the ID. Crozz slowly begins to light up. “The light strips in the roof developed by the light design team are not only there for illumination. Depending on the driving mode – autonomous or manual – the light in the interior changes colour and intensity, creating a kind of animation,” explains Vagarsh Saakyan. The purpose of this is not just aesthetic, there are also practical benefits. For example, if you want to sit and read a book while the car is in autonomous driving mode, the lights will dim to a natural level. There are also smaller touches to make your driving experience more pleasant, such as the orange lighting used when the car is put into off-road or manual-sport mode. There are support functions too, including navigational information and warnings. It all helps to create a communicative bond between the car and driver. “We call it ‘Interactive Light’ – a feature we are introducing for the first time with the ID. Crozz.”
The ID. Crozz was designed to offer complete freedom. When summing up the project Diana Zynda stated that “For the ID. Crozz, it was a development process that went beyond the team. Due to the new design language, we had to take new paths. It was the only way we could harmonise the form and material.” Vagarsh Saakyan agrees, and outlines the value of the ID. family going forward: “Volkswagen is putting people and their changing mobility needs front and centre. We are now delivering our response to what people really are imagining in terms of electro-mobility and autonomous driving”