As a fan of high-performance electric vehicles, I was riveted by the launch of Volkswagen’s new electric soccer car in Frankfurt, and by the other titans presenting electric vehicles at Frankfurt: Daimler, BMW, Tesla, and even Nissan.
From where I sat at the show stand, my car was essentially a carbon copy of the VW ID Buzz-branded electric vehicles, and Audi’s Electric e-tron, which I thought was an excellent pick up truck that looked like the “old” van-sized vehicles I usually ride around in.
But the fact that Volkswagen’s electric “Bubble” was light and compact and designed to wheel around… and so not like a normal car — and equipped with a dashboard that looked like something out of Minority Report — made me anxious.
Would the mobile autonomous research car be so “different”?
By the end of the show, my fears had vanished. I spent more time at the VW booth than at any other on the show floor. Looking into the eyes of the electronics designers (from a side position for a change), I think they looked very worried, and so were everyone else in VW’s booth.
Why did they think the show-going car freaks in Europe, to whom the VW brand is a household name, had suddenly lost interest in their wacky new electric vehicle at an event full of classic supercars?