Ferdinand Piëch, chairman of the Volkswagen group was responsible for commissioning  Italdesign Giugiaro to take on a project aiming to enhance the performance of the new engine developed in Wolfsburg, the W12.
"For once - explained Giorgetto Giugiaro - I did not concentrate on the body when designing this prototype: I put together a casing, a shell around the central engine, which I left on view to emphasise its importance and enhance performance levels".