Reinventing an icon: Meet the design masterminds behind the 2012 Beetle


Ever heard of the Volkswagen Beetle? Of course you have—it’s the world’s most famous car. Ever heard of Boris Grell, Susanne Gerken and Christian Lesmana? Well, now you have. They’re the three designers who were tasked with bringing the beloved Volkswagen Beetle into the 21st Century. No small feat, to be sure, but the trio were more than game.

But where does one even begin? Well, as Boris, the Beetle’s interior designer, said, “For me, a good design is timeless.” He added, “You get the feeling that the car now appeals to the whole world somehow…. The fact that people everywhere are excited about the car, I think that’s a really great feeling.” (Editor’s note: he actually said it in German, which sounded even cooler.)

For Susanne, who designed the car’s color and trim, the original Beetle served as a big inspiration, especially in her choice of materials. But what is it that truly makes it worthy of the Beetle name? According to exterior designer Christian, “I would say that it has a certain appeal; that’s what makes a Beetle.“

Watch the video for a behind-the-scenes look at the reinvention of an icon.


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