At the beginning of the year, the Volkswagen Group announced Bentley design boss Andreas Mindt would move to the core VW brand to replace Jozef Kaban from February 1. Mindt started his career at the German automotive conglomerate back in 1996 and was involved in the design process of the first-generation Tiguan and the Golf Mk7. He also worked on the Audi A1, Q3, Q8, and E-Tron GT, as well as the 1999 Bentley Hunaudières concept.
In an interview with Top Gear magazine, Mindt said it was "so easy" to design the Bentley Batur as opposed to the Volkswagen ID2.all concept – the first project at his new job. He explained that designing the Continental GT-based Batur was easy because it's a wide and low car with a long hood.
Volkswagen ID.2all Concept
"It’s like taking a penalty in football without a goalkeeper. It's easy to do. A lot of people think hypercar designers are geniuses, but it's so easy to do. To make a small car like the ID.2all you have to work hard, and people don't understand that. It's harder to design. When you look at things like the Fiat Panda – those are the genius designers in my eyes, not the ones who do hypercars. I don’t want to hurt anyone, but I know both sides of it."
Developing a small car is challenging in 2023 what with so many safety and fuel economy regulations while keeping the price low. There are also tremendous packaging limitations, although this is less of an issue for the ID.2 since it's being developed from day one as a purely electric hatchback. For the Batur or a Chiron where the final price tag isn't really a major concern, automakers have greater freedom to use more advanced tech thanks to generous development budgets.
VW has an excellent track record when it comes to developing small cars. The Lupo, up!, Polo, and Beetle spring to mind, as does to the subcompact Gol for Latin America. With the ID2.all, the Wolfsburg-based marque is previewing an all-new electric supermini for 2025. It’s worth noting, a cheaper EV has already been announced and will slot below the ID.2 later this decade, with Skoda and SEAT/Cupra equivalents in the pipeline.
On the subject of VW and hypercars, it's worth noting VW itself toyed around with the idea by releasing the 1997 W12 Syncro, 1998 W12 Roadster, and the 2001 W12 Nardo. However, those mid-engined concepts sadly never made it to production.