Marco Pavone at work.
Becoming ID.

Plasticine model: design perfected

Becoming ID.

Plasticine model: design perfected

The modular electric drive matrix lays the foundation for the development of a completely new design. Experience how the designers combine aesthetics, dynamics and efficiency to make the ID.3 unmistakable. 

What are the advantages of the new modular electric drive matrix for developing the design of the ID.3? How do the purely electric vehicles of ID. family differ from conventionally powered vehicles? And how does an electric vehicle actually have to look? Marco Pavone, Head of Exterior Design at Volkswagen, answers these questions.

What inspired you the most when developing the ID. family?

The modular electric drive matrix has definitely helped us to create a super cool design for the ID.3. There was a firework of creativity because we discussed and examined our ideas extensively – sometimes very intensely and with arguments. Because we were allowed to develop every little screw, every part and every angle originally and from the ground up, we have succeeded in creating unique proportions, along with a very clear and purist design on four large wheels. That is the magic of our profession: taking an idea and transferring it into reality. That’s very cool.

At what point did you realise that electric mobility is about to make a breakthrough for everyone?

The first time I saw our ID.3 in its entirety in our studio! It has a powerful character, is almost sculptural and has very clear and fine lines. I am certain that it be “love at first sight” for many customers and prospective customers when they see it for the first time. In the end, emotionality – alongside all the common sense and discussion about green mobility – is the most important thing in a vehicle that should and must win hearts. Especially during such a period of change.

Emotionality is the most important aspect of all when it comes to an automobile that should and indeed must capture people`s hearts.
Marco Pavone
Head of Exterior Design

In detail: which technology do you find most fascinating in the new ID.3?

We now design from the inside out – instead of from the outside in as in the past. We call this architecture, which enables an exceptionally spacious interior, the “Open Space Architecture”. This concept is fascinating because we were able to design the interior with the spaciousness normally only possible in higher-class vehicles with conventional engines. Although this is not a ‘vehicle technology’ as such, it is a way to apply new methods for a significantly improved spatial economy.

What was the biggest challenge you faced over the entire course of the project?

The greatest challenge was to make the ID.3 recognisable as an e-vehicle at first glance and to create this great feeling of spaciousness inside the vehicle. We created a really cool package: the wheels are much larger, the wheelbase has grown, the overhangs are exceptionally short and the proportions aesthetic. This results in a vast amount of space in the interior. Plus, we have a clear visual differentiation from combustion engine vehicles, making it clear that this represents a new era of mobility. Achieving this is difficult and a real challenge – but the entire design team worked damned well together.


What will you take away from this project personally?

I have been working for Volkswagen for over 20 years. I have designed numerous conventionally powered vehicles for Asia, North America and Europe. However, I’ve never before had the opportunity to be an integral part of a completely new era and, thus, part of Volkswagen history. That is why it is an honour for me as an vehicle designer to give this time, this journey into the future, a strong character and self-confident style.
This feeling of being able to shape the design in such a way that there is a real spark between the customer and the car on the “first date” is indescribable – yet also challenging. That cannot succeed if you only deliver a breathtaking sculpture. It is about far more: about a vision and the idea behind the whole thing. That was incredibly fun – and changed us all.

When you get into the ID.3, look at the interior for ten seconds and then close your eyes – what two elements in the interior characterise the design of the ID.3? Which two stylistic elements remain in your memory forever?

The large screens in the interior of the ID.3 are a masterpiece. The way they are designed and modelled is impressive. This is because the displays including touch operation float – this is an unforgettable feature, try it out! The second point is the steering wheel: its extravagant design – optionally in light-coloured material – with touch-sensitive multifunctional buttons is not only an ergonomic highlight but also a feast for the eyes.

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