The Volkswagen ID. Code concept unveiled at the 2024 Beijing motor show points the way to the brand’s new design philosophy, at least in China.

    Featuring flowing lines and rounded surfaces accompanied by crisply defined shoulders and wheel arches, the ID. Code is clear break from the blobby shapes and cab forward designs that have been a signature of Volkswagen’s ID. electric cars so far.

    While the exterior appears almost production ready, the interior features a lot more show car fantasy with its impossibly thin seats, aircraft-style steering wheel, and supposed support for Level 4 autonomous driving.

    The ID. Code concept follows in the footsteps of the ID. 2all concept unveiled last year, which points the way to an upcoming Polo-sized electric vehicle (EV).

    Both cars have developed under the watch of design director Andreas Mindt, who became the brand’s styling chief at the beginning of 2023. He previously headed up the design department at Volkswagen-owned Bentley.

    In an interview last year, Mr Mindt said the current ID. range was developed with early adopters in mind, but future Volkswagen EVs would look like regular cars.

    Volkswagen says the ID. Code previews the design language that will be used in a range of EVs “developed specifically for customers in China”. These EVs will be marketed under the ID. UX sub-brand, with the first model called to debut later this year be called the ID. UNYX.

    Five EVs under the ID. UX umbrella will be launched by 2027 as part of a push by the brand to have 16 ID. all-electric models on sale in China by 2030.

    The company also says it will develop “step by step” electric versions of its petrol-powered cars, as well as launch a bunch of plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) with an electric driving range of over 100km.

    It’s unclear if the EV versions of petrol-powered cars will only be available in China, or whether they will be available in other parts of the world.

    To help speed up its EV roll out, and bring “the right products in all relevant segments and to meet all needs”, Volkswagen’s EV range will utilise a platform developed by rival XPeng.

    The Volkswagen China Technology Company is also developing a China Main Platform (CMP), that will serve as the basis for four entry-level models from 2026.

    Volkswagen hasn’t said whether the ID. Code, and the subsequent ID. UX cars, will ride on the existing MEB architecture or the platform borrowed from Xpeng.

    Derek Fung

    Derek Fung would love to tell you about his multiple degrees, but he's too busy writing up some news right now. In his spare time Derek loves chasing automotive rabbits down the hole. Based in New York, New York, Derek loves to travel and is very much a window not an aisle person.

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