With the world premiere of the ID. CODE at Auto China 2024 in Beijing, Volkswagen is providing a first glimpse of a completely new SUV generation, a new design language for China and a new technology generation. The concept car was developed specifically for Volkswagen customers in China. With the ID. CODE, Volkswagen is interpreting SUV design in a completely new way and enriching it with fascinatingly superior dynamics in the age of electric mobility. With its powerful, clear and fluid surfaces, the ID. CODE comes across more like a Gran Turismo than a five-metre class SUV. The exterior is also a projection surface for the next generation of AI-assisted lighting and display systems – intuitively usable interfaces for intelligent communication between man and machine. The newly designed living space on board the ID. CODE fits perfectly into this picture – here, the real and virtual worlds combine to create a new mobility experience. The electrically powered concept car can be driven conventionally and also used autonomously at Level 4. The ID. CODE offers a more fascinating experience than ever before – it interacts with the driver, passengers and surroundings so that life with this Volkswagen becomes a completely new automotive adventure.

Chinese-European teamwork. Thomas Schäfer, CEO of Volkswagen Passenger Cars: "The ID. CODE provides an initial glimpse of the future of Volkswagen in China: with a new design language, a new technology standard and a holistic brand experience – specifically geared towards the needs and wishes of our Chinese customers. In this way, we are initiating a new era of mobility in China together with our Chinese partners." Volkswagen’s chief designer, Andreas Mindt, adds: "With the ID. CODE, we are completely reinterpreting the SUV body. The design demonstrates the elegant and powerful dynamism of a Gran Turismo and is at the same time extremely likeable. The interactive lighting and display systems that this Volkswagen uses to interact with people will also generate excitement."

Designed by Volkswagen. The unusually clear and athletic body design of the ID. CODE embodies the new Volkswagen design strategy. The strategy defined by Andreas Mindt is based on three pillars: stability, likeability and the ‘secret sauce’; the latter stands for features and shapes that surprise and create excitement. These three pillars will determine Volkswagen’s global design from now on. They are defined in such a way that the international Volkswagen design team around Andreas Mindt can specifically respond to the special wishes and requirements of individual large markets such as China. And that’s exactly what has happened with the ID. CODE. Andreas Mindt: "We have adapted the three pillars of our design strategy and customised them individually for China in order to realise the automotive ideals of our customers between Beijing and Hong Kong. This has resulted in an interpretation of tomorrow’s SUV that looks both fast and futuristic, and which sets completely new accents with its fluid surfaces, dominant wheel housings and technology-oriented look." Each of the three pillars of the Volkswagen design strategy shapes the new ID. CODE:

Stability – full of energy. It is the combination of the unusually sleek and thus sporty cabin for an SUV, and the very powerful wheel housings, that lend the ID. CODE an impressively stable stance on the road. The wheel housings frame the door surfaces with their extremely clean design and become a dominant design theme in themselves. The concept vehicle also gives a new interpretation to the iconic C-pillars of the first Golf: designed as D-pillars in the ID. CODE, they create a visual impression of added stability, solidity and sportiness.

Likeability – distinguished. The ID. CODE visually conveys its high-tech features and distinguished superiority with a smile. The designers have created this likeable charisma through the cleanly-cut shapes of the perfectly designed golden ratio of the body and graphic elements such as the friendly appearance of the front end. The theme of friendliness can be experienced in a particularly intense way thanks to the interactive lighting systems, which lend the ID. CODE painted in Horizon blue a human appearance.

Secret sauce – inspiring. Andreas Mindt has already said thatVolkswagen is presenting a completely new aesthetic design for SUVs with the ID.CODE. For the first time, the designers have realised a sleek body with flowing shapes on the technical base of an SUV. That is inspiring in itself. The human, interactive twinkling eye feature of the new lighting systems is the secret sauce that breathes virtual life into the concept car. In addition, AI-powered interaction enables a new level of human-machine communication.

Autopilot – Level 4. The ID. CODE has been systematically designed for fully automated driving at Level 4. If the driver activates this autonomous mode, they become a passenger, can read, chat, go online, enjoy movies – whatever they wish. In order to implement this autopilot function, Volkswagen has integrated the most advanced sensor, light, camera and screen systems of our time. They allow comprehensive communication with the surroundings. The systems and drive are supplied with energy not only by a lithium-ion battery, but also by means of a photovoltaic system integrated into the transparent ‘energy roof’.

Interaction with the driver and the surroundings. The concept car presented in Beijing is the first Volkswagen to fully communicate and interact with its surroundings through its exterior. The ID. CODE is not only a car but also a digital avatar that reacts to other road users and provides its owners with numerous pieces of information and feedback. For this, the ID. CODE is equipped with an intelligent lighting system at the front: the Light Cloud with interactive 3D Eyes (light bar below the bonnet) and an LED screen in the partially transparent front. The systems become active when the driver or an authorised user approaches. The ID. CODE starts a visual and acoustic welcome scenario and provides the driver and passengers directly with the current weather forecast for the next two hours. In Level 4 autonomous driving mode, the lighting systems at the front and the horizontal tail light bar – which is also equipped with 3D eyes – interact with other road users and thus ensure added safety.

The car as an avatar – the perfect co-driver. As another innovation, completely newly developed Smart Windows with semi-transparent displays are integrated in the window surfaces at the sides. As soon as the driver approaches, an AI-assisted avatar appears on the displays of the respective front side window. It provides the driver with important information directly and reminds them to take an umbrella if rain is forecast, for example. The same avatar is also used in the interior – as the perfect co-driver, it supports the driver and provides passengers with information of all kinds.

Mobile living space. The interior of the new ID. CODE is a highly variable lounge with online connectivity. Its equipment makes travelling more entertaining and comfortable than ever before. The highest-quality, environmentally friendly and animal-free materials as well as high-end sound, background lighting and air conditioning systems make for travel comfort like in a private jet. The infotainment landscape and the world of operation have been completely redesigned. The avatar familiar from the exterior accompanies the driver and passengers in the interior; the window surfaces become the digital stage of the avatar and other displays. The comfortable seats can be adapted to the respective driving mode. The steering wheel retracts into the cockpit during Level 4 autonomous driving. This creates additional space to rotate the front seats by 180 degrees so that passengers can sit opposite each other. It is also possible to move the seats to a sleeping position for longer journeys. Another innovative detail is the centre console. It is integrated on a rail so that it can be moved; the console also contains a refrigerator. The drink holder in the centre console has a dual function. In the lower position, it is a conventional drink holder; if it is pushed upwards in the console, it becomes an elegant lamp. The interior of the ID. CODE thus becomes a mobile living space.

New display landscape. The displays not only use the conventional positions in the cockpit (augmented-reality head-up display) and in the centre console, but also – as all-round Smart Windows – the side windows and the front passenger side of the windscreen. Depending on the mode and display, the AI-assisted avatar can be shown here in order to use its services. Realistic 3D scenarios are displayed in a completely newly developed Wide-R screen, which covers the entire inside width of the ID. CODE and extends into the doors. Widgets in the side windows can be used to display information such as the weather forecast, battery status, navigation map, navigation instructions or the media library. The functions are controlled via touch panels, voice and gesture control.

Multi-variable seats. With their exceptionally good ergonomics and design, the four individual seats of the ID. CODE are more like first-class seats in commercial aircraft than ordinary car seats. They can be rotated, variably adjusted and adapted to the respective travel mode. The seats can also be swivelled outwards to make it easier to enter and leave the vehicle.

Self-driving mode. If the ID. CODE is driven actively, the driver seat is adjusted precisely for this. The multi-function steering wheel is thus in an ideal ergonomic position. The driver is supported by the AI-assisted avatar. The conventional infotainment system cockpit is no longer present in the ID. CODE. Instead, visual information is shown to the driver by means of the augmented-reality head-up display. As this information is projected virtually in front of the windscreen or into the traffic situation thanks to augmented reality, the driver can fully concentrate on driving. Passengers can adjust their seats, air conditioning, sound, infotainment and light settings individually. While the front passenger may have adjusted the seat to a sleeping position and dimmed the light, passengers in the rear may be reading a book in perfect light while in an upright sitting position or listening to the latest online news.

Autonomous mode. If the ID. CODE is driving in Level 4 mode, the situation on board changes completely if required. In this mode, the steering wheel elegantly disappears into the dash panel; this creates space and enhances the living room character. The seats can now be rotated into Family mode, for example. In this case, the front seats are rotated 180 degrees to the rear – the front and rear passengers are now seated opposite each other.

Hygiene mode. If no one is on board the ID. CODE, the time can be used to put the car into Hygiene mode. The air in the car is cleaned by UV light, a robot vacuum cleaner (LUPO) and the antibacterial air filters. This mode is particularly helpful after a long trip with the children and is especially beneficial if the spacious ID. CODE is used as a shuttle.