Volkswagen C Coupe GTE concept, 2015 Shanghai Auto ShowEnlarge Photo
In the wake of its diesel emissions scandal, the Volkswagen Group has decided to double down on electric car development and promote a future of zero emission vehicles. In this regard, the VW Group will accelerate plans for a new modular electric car platform and develop an all-electric version of its next-generation Phaeton flagship sedan.
The modular electric car platform, or MEB for short, will be for compact cars and should offer a driving range anywhere between 155 and 310 miles. It will be a multi-brand platform suitable for both passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, and it will be designed for all body structures and vehicle types including “emotive” designs.
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As for the next Phaeton, the new flagship sedan will serve as a technology demonstrator for the VW brand. Changing requirements have delayed the car yet again though we can confirm that it is safe from the VW Group’s company-wide cost cutting measures announced recently by new CEO Matthias Müller. The VW Group says it will now offer an all-electric Phaeton with long-distance capability. The car is also said to have an emotional design previewed by the recent C Coupe GTE concept.
The current MQB platform which underpins models like the VW Golf and Audi A3 will also be improved, with the focus being on increasing the electric-only range of plug-in hybrid variants, introducing a new 48-volt power supply system and offering more alternative powertrains on more models. A new standard with regard to connectivity systems and electronic driver aids will also be developed.
In addition to these announcements, the VW Group has also confirmed that it will accelerate its efficiency drive aimed at reducing costs and streamlining operations. This will include a reduction in planned investments of about one billion euros ($1.14 billion) per year.
Finally, the VW Group has stated that it is not completely abandoning diesel engines. However, for the European and North American markets all diesel engines from the automaker will feature selective catalytic reduction (SCR) and urea-injection (AdBlue) designed to reduce nitrogen oxides.