At the Geneva Motor Show, companies are constantly tempted to do something extravagant or flashy. Why have regular wheels when you can wrap them in metal armor? And do the mirrors and the windows of the doors really need frames and bevels? It's a good place to explore extravagant design ideas and concepts, but the Volkswagen ID The Vizzion concept car seems to have been caught in the middle between this Gallic spirit and the brand's traditional reputation for building highly practical cars. That led to a strange mixture of luxurious features and cheap materials.
The ID. All-electric Vizzion will have a production version with steering wheel and level 4 autonomy on board, but the concept shown at the Geneva plant was that of total autonomy and without human controls. To look at the wide opening created by the Vizzion's vast doors and the carpeted interior and the contoured seats inside it, I would recall the equally grandiose Lagonda concept of Aston Martin. But where the Aston Martin is sumptuous and attractive, the VW carpet is made of an unpleasant synthetic material, and the entire interior looks cheaper than it looks.
There is not much in the way of features inside the I.D. Vizzion: like most concepts, it's minimal and it's combed, with only one shelf on the front of the car to throw away your sunglasses. There are wireless charging devices for phones, which are becoming a standard feature even in current production models.
On the outside, large and thick LED strips adorn the front and rear of the car. Its unrefined shape does not seem appealing up close, and the VW logo lit with LED seems to cheapen rather than improve the brand. What comes to mind when I look at I.D. Vizzion is not the refinement or sophistication of Audi's OLED taillights, but rather the sticky LEDs you can buy to color the interior of your gaming PC. It is not a good appearance. At least VW does something useful with the LED bits in the doors: they replace the door handles with a mechanized opening activated by contact.
Due to its considerable size, the I.D. Vizzion offers surprisingly little practicality. It's limited to a four-seat configuration, which works for Aston Martin's luxury Lagonda, but here it feels inadequate. Where the Lagonda and other limousine concepts for the future feel indulgently spacious, the VW I.D. Vizzion seems to be wasting space indulgently. (It is possible that it is not charitable because I continue to be offended by the silly and unpleasant to the touch that is the carpet).
Volkswagen has tried borrowing styling cues from its sporty Arteon, the brand's Geneva debutant last year, while trying to select some of the features and ideas of the luxury car segment. That could be a decent tactic to try to divert the conversation from the ongoing Dieselgate headaches of the company, but it's not an attractive car or a cohesive design. The identification. Vizzion is weird because it shows a company that wants to have everything, but is also aware of how much it will cost. As much as I like the blood orange color that dresses here in Geneva, I am struggling to understand many of the other decisions that VW made with the ID. Vizzion.