Designing Small Cars: More Challenging Than Hypercars?

Designing Bentley Batur Easier than VW ID.2: Andreas Mindt

At the start of the year, Volkswagen Group announced that Andy Mindt, Bentley’s design boss, would be transitioning to the main VW brand in order to take the place of Jozef Kaban come February 1st. Mindt commenced his career within the famed German carmaker in 1996 and was involved in drafting up the original Tiguan model as well as the Golf Mk7. Other creations he has lent a hand to include the Audi A1, Q3, Q8 and E-Tron GT, and even the 1999 Bentley Hunaudières concept.

In an interview with Top Gear magazine, Mindt declared that it was “so easy” to design the Bentley Batur in comparison to the Volkswagen ID2 concept – the first project at his new job. He went on to explain that designing the Continental GT-based Batur was a breeze due to its wide and low profile as well as its long hood.

“It’s like taking a penalty in football without a goalkeeper – it’s easy to do. Many assume that hypercar designers are geniuses, yet it is actually quite simple. Crafting a small car like the ID.2 requires a lot of hard work, something that many don’t comprehend. It’s much more difficult to design than people think. If you take a look at something like the Fiat Panda – that’s where the real genius lies, not with the hypercar designers. I don’t want to offend anyone, but I’m aware of both sides of the story.”

Designing a compact automobile presents a difficult task in 2023 due to the profusion of security and energy efficiency standards while simultaneously keeping the cost nominal. Moreover, there are extreme constraints when it comes to size, although this is less restraining in the case of the ID.2 as the concept was fashioned right from the beginning as a purely electric hatchback. Similarly, for more expensive cars such as the Batur or Chiron, where the last price tag isn’t put into consideration, car makers have even more leeway to include cutting-edge technology as their R&D budget is generally substantial.

VW has a remarkable heritage in constructing diminutive automobiles. Naturally, the Lupo, up!, Polo and Beetle come to one’s minds, as does the subminiature Gol destined for Latin America. With the introduction of the ID.2all, the German automaker is manifesting a brand-new electric supermini set for 2025. Notably, an inferior EV has been declared before, coming out lower than the ID.2 toward the end of this decade, with similarities from Skoda and SEAT/Cupra also on their way.

It is pertinent to mention that Volkswagen, in the past, explored with the concept of hypercars by introducing the 1997 W12 Syncro, 1998 W12 Roadster and 2001 W12 Nardo. Unhappily, those mid-engined models did not see their way into industrial production.

Source: Top Gear

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