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Retro dashboard dials are the best digital gimmick yet

by Gavin Braithwaite-Smith
16 March 2023 2 min read
Retro dashboard dials are the best digital gimmick yet
Photos: Volkswagen

The VW ID. 2all concept car sees Wolfsburg going back to the future. On the one hand, it previews a small electric car due in 2025. But on the other hand, it thrusts elements of VW’s past into the present. How so? Its digital instruments will display cool retro graphics from Volkswagens of the past.

This is probably the best digital gimmick we’ve yet been treated to by the touchscreen-generation of modern cars and their haptic-equipped, gesture-controlled dashboards and gizmos.

It means you could call up the instrument cluster of a Golf MkI and imagine you’re back in the mid to late 1970s, tugging at a choke lever, twisting the key in the ignition barrel and looking for the ignition lights before cranking it to life and waiting for the telltale engine check lights to go out. Cool, right? Okay, maybe it’s just us…

It will also mimic the spartan look of a classic Beetle, while the virtual cassette player is another neat touch – one that won’t chew up your cassettes or get stuck in a never-ending cycle of auto-reverse because the tape is in a bit of a mangled state.

VW ID2all cassette player

VW’s head of design, Andreas Mindt, said: “We are transferring the DNA of our icons into the future. The ID. 2all is therefore also an homage to the Beetle, Golf and Polo.”

Mere words in a press pack, but Mindt’s comment about DNA has some substance.

Take the C-pillar, which pays homage to the Mk1 Golf. “The C-pillar is the backbone of the Volkswagen design. In the ID. 2all, the stability of the C-pillar initially flows from the backbone into the side body elements,” said Mindt.

VW ID2all concept rear

It, ahem, blends particularly well with the heckblende, which we suspect will be illuminated on the production version. Time to dig out that Hella rear panel catalogue from the attic?

There’s more good news on the inside, where you’ll find a “self-explanatory infotainment system with classic volume control and a separate air conditioning block”. A victory for common sense and, we suspect, a response to the less than positive response to the make-everything-digital Mk8 Golf and other ID models.

For now, the ID. 2all is a concept, but rest assured it’s destined for production. VW says the 58kWh battery will offer a range of 280 miles and be charged from 10 to 80 percent in 20 minutes. 

The 0-62mph time of seven seconds will keep a Mk1 Golf GTI driver on their toes, but the 99mph is more Golf 1.6 LS than hot hatch.

VW says it’ll come with a starting price of less than €25,000 (£22,000), which would make it one of the more affordable electric cars on the market.

As you can tell, we dig the retro instrument panel and tip of the hat to VW’s heritage, but what do you think? Let us know in the comments.

Read more

2023 Volkswagen ID Buzz review: An irresistible rethink of the original Camper
Flower power to the people: Volkswagen ID Buzz debuts
Volkswagen ID Buzz review: Dream van or EV nightmare? | Henry Catchpole – The Driver’s Seat

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