Volkswagen plans to take some big steps at the Frankfurt Motor Show next week, the automaker not only introducing the production version of its first long-range battery-electric vehicle but also badging the BEV with the first major makeover of its familiar logo in decades.
It also plans to introduce what is calling a “sound logo” that will be used in its various marketing campaigns. While the automaker has already given us a look at the new brand badge, it hasn’t revealed the new audio yet, but Volkswagen sales and marketing chief Jochen Sengpiehl recently suggested, “This sound will make Volkswagen unmistakable acoustically as well.”
The decision to make over the familiar VW logo, which has gone through only minor tweaks since gracing the original Beetle many decades ago, is part of the German automaker’s push to rebuild its brand image and shed the tarnish from its diesel emissions scandal. But the launch of the production version of its new ID.3 will set in motion the most critical part of that journey.
The electric hatchback will become the brand’s first long-range battery car, though there are an assortment of others to follow. That includes the production version of the ID.Buzz. Set to launch in the 2022 model-year, this modernized version of the classic Volkswagen Microbus was, in fact, the first VW product to be seen with the updated VW logo.
For those who believe electric propulsion is the way of the future, the ID.3 could be seen as a good omen. Within just 24 hours of launching European sales last May, the automaker said it had already taken 10,000 orders. Earlier this week, meanwhile, VW said it had already sold out the special First Edition version of the ID.3 which was limited to a run of 30,000 vehicles.
Though the production version of the ID.3 will debut in Frankfurt, the new electric vehicle won’t actually start rolling off the assembly line until late this year, with the first deliveries not expected to begin until sometime next spring.
Those who placed reservations for the ID.3 First Edition had to plunk down 1,000 euro deposits, or about $1,100. The special model will go for something just under 40,000 euros, or $44,000, when delivered, or about 10,000 euros more than a base version of the battery-car.
Along with the ID.3 and the production version of the ID.Buzz, the Volkswagen brand will offer a wide assortment of battery-electric vehicles, and the greater VW empire is expected to offer as many as 50 BEVs through its dozen brands by the middle of the coming decade. The Audi e-tron began the rollout process earlier this year and, on Wednesday, Porsche staged the public debut of its first battery-electric model, the Taycan.
It’s likely no surprise that VW will use the launch of the new ID sub-brand to help it launch its updated logo. The automaker would like to focus on its new zero-emissions line-up and put “Dieselgate” as far in the past as possible.
The reality is that the new logo isn’t all that dramatically different from the outgoing version, with the same letters surrounded by the familiar circle. But it will adopt a more colorful, if flatter, two-dimensional layout.
“The new logo has been reduced to its essential components,” explained Sengpiehl, adding that the updated design “has been reduced to its essential components.”
The new badging will be rolled out as part of Volkswagen’s “Transform 2025+” program. It will first be used in Europe, with China to follow this autumn. The global changeover, including the U.S. and other markets in the Americas, will be completed in 2020.
As for the “sound logo,” we’ll apparently have to wait until next week to learn what’s in store. But we are quite confident that whatever it is, it won’t sound anything like the old “Fahrvergnugen” audio meme that anchored VW’s U.S. marketing efforts throughout much of the 1990s.