Volkswagen Hover Car shown off
Part of the People's Car Project in China
Volkswagen has released the first glimpses of its possible future, as part of the People's Car Project.
Launched in China 11 months ago, the People's Car Project asked citizens to suggest designs for concept cars and new technologies through a web-based platform. Originally due to run for just one year, Volkswagen has found the PCP so successful it has been extended indefinitely.
"The People's Car Project in China marks the beginning of a new era in automobile design," claimed Volkswagen's Luca de Meo. "We are no longer just building cars for, but also with customers and at the same time initiating a national dialogue which gives us a deep insight into the design preferences, needs and requirements of Chinese customers."
The example concept products on show at Auto China 2012 include the Hover Car, an environmentally-friendly two-seater vehicle designed to float above the road using electromagnetic MagLev-style technology and the Music Car, which is fitted with organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) on its outer surface which constantly change in reaction to the driver's choice of music.
The company is also showcasing the Smart Key, a slim nine-millimetre key with a built-in high-resolution touch-screen display which provides feedback on fuel status, climate conditions and even the car's physical security through a 3G data connection.
Sadly, Volkswagen is unlikely to bring any of the concepts to life - at least, in the near future. "In a long-term context the findings of the People's Car Project will influence Volkswagen's product strategy," de Meo explained. "The design of our models will, however, continue to reflect the tradition of the Volkswagen brand. If at some time in the future we are to produce a vehicle from the People's Car Project, it will be a combination of customers' opinions and brand tradition."