• Jul 23, 2008
It seems Volkswagen has breathed a collective "Oops!", and is now working to turn its design ship around. VW was known for neat, differentiated designs with great interior details. While this stayed true in some parts of the world, in the U.S., Volkswagen design turned into chrome shield grilles fronting identical bodies in various sizes.

When Martin Winterkorn was lured back from academia, "he looked at Volkswagen's upcoming designs and binned the lot." Audi's design chief was brought in. VW started over on the Golf, which will be coming out later this year. The Polo redesign was taken up again from scratch. The Up! "was not fully thought through as a concept," and is getting a workover.

VW's new language is said to be about "simplicity," "a confident identity," "crisply-detailed functionality," and cars that aren't "over-designed." The chrome shield is gone (thank goodness) and headlights that wrap around to the front wheel arches have also been sent packing, "because that's not what a headlight is for." Stay tuned for more horizontals, as seen on the Scirocco -- and here (so much for no more chrome) -- and hopefully a slew of compelling shapes.

[Source: Evo]


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  • 20 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think that the new Tiguan is the best looking of the VW products that has come out in recent years. it doesnt have that much chrome on the front and the grill is nicely intergrated along with the headlights. There are some products that could use some reworking but i would be fine if they left it alone or changed it up.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "headlights that wrap around to the front wheel arches have also been sent packing, "because that's not what a headlight is for."

      THANK YOU!!! Please forward to Honda and Nissan/Infiniti and tell them the tires want their fenders back!
      • 6 Years Ago
      So wait a minute, your article isn't clear. Is the Scirocco part of the new design direction, or is it the 'look' that's being canned?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Thank you, VW.

      I loved the Jetta Mk. IV and B5 Passat. The Jetta Mk. V is just ugly, and the new Passat, while not bad, doesn't look as good as the B5.

      Nice to see VW is getting back on track.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Their current design theme seems simple enough. Oh well, they need to start on a new design theme for their next generation of cars.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Awesome. I can't stand the look of the post 2005 VWs. They all look the same as each other, and they all look the same as the rest of the crap out there. Before 05, when you saw a Jetta, or Passat, you knew that it was a VW car. Now, you can't tell them apart from Honda's, Toyota's, or any others.
      • 6 Years Ago
      VW is unfortunately in decline in the US and their future here looks grimmer still. The reason is our worthless dollar and a lack of long term commitment on VW's part.

      The new Scirocco isn't coming and the redesigned Golf/Rabbit isn't coming. They'll build us a new midsized sedan for our own consumption a la Pennsylvania Rabbits.

      New design direction? Not for US.

      You'll hear crickets in the dealerships.
      • 6 Years Ago
      To any VW official reading this blog - bring the Scirocco over to the U.S. and all design blunders shall be forgiven.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Agreed! The Scirocco is one of the best looking cars I've seen in its class, ever! I'd buy one in a heartbeat if it were available on American shores.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'd like them to cut back on their prices as well as all that chrome. I say good riddance to that chrome grill or fancy cowcatcher is what it looks like.
      • 6 Years Ago
      finnaly a good looking v.w iv been noticing v.w more lately even though i never really liked them ,they remind me of an automobile version of apple . then again mazda isnt that easy for most consumers

      i guess mazda and bmw might have a new friend on my fav car brand list :)

      hope not lol
      • 6 Years Ago
      In the day and age of fake side vents and acres of chrome on any vehicle, I am glad to hear this. A simple, functional, and understated design with a 'to the point' attitude would be refreshing among the three bar chrome grills, wonky plastic c-pillars, L-shaped headlights, weird floating grills, and ugly bangle butts. Sometimes less is more.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Good news.

      I too have been a fan of the B5 Passat since I first saw one and consider it the best looking VW since mkII Golf. Both of those design have simplicity and confidence in the power of the shape.

      The current generation are not exactly ugly, but mostly they lack character. The GTI is the star of the lineup, for that the Golf's shape works. Go upmarket to R32 and it's all chromed up and confused. Of the sedans Jetta is the better looking and it's no wonder. The Passat is a big car designed like a small car and compared to the B5 it just looks like it grew out of it's suit and borrowed some accesories from a Japanese neighbor.

        • 6 Years Ago
        wait, is the B5 the one with the sleepy eyes and the peppermint candy taillights?
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