Designer Andreas Mindt: how to make Volkswagen “the nice guys” again

“I’m most proud to get rid of the plastic parts, to get this close to production and not see cheap plastic parts. I learned this at Bentley, when you sit in it and feel wonderful because of the materials.

“Everything that looks leather is leather, metal is metal, wood is wood: authentic materials make you feel good.”

We’ve seen GTI in the EV era with the recent concept, but what about R?

“R is four-wheel drive, coming from history. It needs certain technical elements. In certain segments, it’s not possible as it needs 4WD and the best engine possible. GTI is smaller cars. GTI and R are different things for different customers.

“We had GTX, but there is a spirit about GTI that people get excited about. GTIs are jeans and trainers, useful and still smart, not a boy racer. R is a suit. I see Mk6 and Mk7 GTIs in white with the red stickers and I love them.”

Is there room for more specialist models in the Volkswagen range?

“Of course. But we need to do our homework and cover all the important segments and make them really good. That’s our number one goal now. But I have a lot of skunkworks.

“Often we do this and turn the result into a boring limousine, because you have to develop an idea. Sometimes we spend the week designing Lamborghinis together but then turn them into a VW and see the result.

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