Volkswagen ID.Code concept debuts new styling language for electric VWs in Beijing

The Volkswagen ID.Code concept just debuted at the Beijing Auto Show, providing a glimpse into the future of VW’s SUV design language.

Take the above statement with a grain of salt, though, as VW stresses multiple times in its announcement that this is a concept car made for the Chinese market. While it was penned as a collaboration between VW’s European and Chinese teams, there’s no indication that an SUV looking like this one will end up in markets outside of China. All that said, the ID.Code is an intriguing concept that amounts to a big deviation from VW’s current SUV and electric ID. brand styling.

The idea was to put together a design that looks both “fast and futuristic,” and the final product looks the part. It has a sleek and sporty greenhouse, and its D-pillar is meant to reference the original Golf’s C-pillar look. The face of the ID.Code is meant to look friendly and inviting, almost as though it’s smiling at the world around it. The “intelligent” lighting system in front is designed to interact with the world around it via its interactive “3D eyes.” When the driver approaches the vehicle, the ID.Code will play welcoming audio and provide weather information in the area for the next couple of hours. When driving, particularly in its autonomous mode, both the front and rear light bar is designed to communicate with other road users to increase safety.

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Its windows are “Smart Windows” and are actually semi-transparent displays. An avatar pops up on the exterior as you approach the car to provide you with information and a welcome. For example, if it’s going to rain soon, your avatar will remind you to grab an umbrella before you hop in the car. That same avatar is used inside the car as a projection of sorts that pops out of the center console, allowing you to interact and talk with it.

We should mention that the ID.Code is predictably all-electric, but powertrain information is not available. A lithium-ion battery pack provides energy, but it also has a photo-voltaic system integrated into the transparent “energy roof.” Beyond that, the most detailed drive info VW provided is that it’s designed as a Level 4 autonomous vehicle, allowing the driver to completely turn away from the road and act as a passenger. That being the case, the steering wheel retracts into the dash, allowing for more interior space and 180-degree swivel seats that fold flat for sleeping should you want to nap. All the materials used inside the ID.Code are animal-free and environmentally friendly, according to VW. It features an entirely new infotainment interface, and even the window surfaces become points of digital interaction when you’re inside the car.

As for what the ID.Code means for production VWs, the company says it previews the design for a new design language in China that we’ll likely see play out in a new line of “ID.UX” cars. The ID.UX cars will be a sub-brand of VWs meant for the Chinese market, and this ID.Code might just be what a large electric SUV would look like as part of that sub-brand. The first VW in the ID.UX series is scheduled to make its debut in 2024, and there will be a total of five models unveiled by 2027.

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