Interview: Klaus Bischoff’s Favorite, and Least Favorite Cars

As head of design at Volkswagen, Klaus Bischoff has a lot of responsibility on his shoulders. The German went to school in Braunschweig, not far from Wolfsburg, and has been working at Volkswagen since he left school. Not only that, but his first and second cars were Volkswagens. Bischoff has VW in his veins, and as such knows the what driving VW design means.

Recently, at the Detroit auto show, VW Vortex had the opportunity to speak to Bischoff, and we naturally wanted to know what cars he thought had some of the most important designs in history. “Easy,” he said. Not only was the Volkswagen Beetle is first car, it was his first love. Given to him by his family, the Bug, he says is one of his favorite designs.

1974 Volkswagen Beetle HR

Next, he says, was the microbus. “The first car that I [bought] on my own was a T2,” explains Bischoff. “I kept it for quite a bit, but then I had to scrap it,” he says, his voice heavy with regret.


Moving forward in time, Bischoff says that the Golf GTI/R are some of his favorite designs.


Similarly, says Bischoff, old Porsches get his motor running. “The Porsche 911 Targa is very nice,” he says, also noting the 356.


Finally, Bischoff, says that he likes the design of the new Tiguan.

VW Tiguan LWB 4

When asked which cars he thinks are less pretty, meanwhile, Bischoff, like the rest of us, goes straight to the Aztek. “With all respect to the creative work of those guys,” he says, “one has to admit that the Pontiac Aztek was not a brilliant piece of design.”


As for more recently designed cars, Bischoff has opinions of Ssangyong. “There’s some of the Ssangyong cars that make you wonder,” he says. At the very least, he says that they are not to his tastes, he said, but I’m not quite sure to whose tastes they are.