Volkswagen North America
The Wheel
History is made, when it's made for everyone.

As we enter 2021, the automotive industry is entering one of the biggest revolutions in its category as the battle for an electric future wages on. For the past five years, Volkswagen has been hard at work crafting a modular electric platform for the long-awaited ID.4 launch this Spring. The accessibility of this car coupled with its price point gives this launch the power to trigger mass adoption and in turn, help change the world.

We knew we had an opportunity to capture the massive impact of this moment by putting the ID.4 into the context of other great evolutions in mobility and transportation. Anchored on the concept that history and progress isn’t made until it is made for everyone, "The Wheel" is a cinematic masterpiece that invites the world to take stock in where we’ve been and be a part of where we’re going.

Directed by Sam Brown, this :90 second film uses some of the oldest devices of motion in film – the Zoetrope (praxinoscope, early projectors, and phenakistoscope) – as the key storyteller of the history of transportation in culture, from ancient Mesopotamia to the highways of today.

Each of the Zoetropes were painstakingly hand-built, tested, and fashioned by a team of 50+ artists and engineers to appear as though they were pulled out right of their respective eras.

As the music builds, the camera settles upon our current state: an animated scene of cars on a highway of pollution. Then, we pan to the new Volkswagen ID.4, with a statement asking us all to be a part of history with the adoption of Volkswagen’s first electric car made for the masses.

 Silhouette Zoetrope used with permission of Dr. Christine Veras, U.S. Patent No. 9,488,903.