Volkswagen Group held an investor presentation last week in which it provided an update on plans for a highly modular electric vehicle platform known as the Scalable Systems Platform (SSP) that will eventually underpin most vehicles across the automaker's portfolio of brands.
The SSP platform was first announced in 2021 by former VW Group CEO Herbert Diess, who at the time said the platform would debut in 2026 in a compact model from the Volkswagen brand, code-named Project Trinity. However, current VW Group CEO Oliver Blume delayed the platform's introduction pending a review on all major projects, which he initiated after replacing Diess in 2022.
During the recent investor presentation, VW Group said the SSP platform is back on track for a 2026 introduction—and with improved performance. The automaker didn't say in what vehicle it will debut, however.
According to VW Group's presentation, the SSP platform will support power outputs ranging from 160 hp to more than 1,740 hp. It will also offer automated driver-assist technology rated at Level 4 on the SAE scale of self-driving capability, the automaker said. Level 4 means a vehicle can handle itself without driver intervention for extended periods.
The SSP platform will also use many more standardized parts compared to current platforms used by the automaker, including the battery, which will have a common cell and require only 12 minutes for a charge from 10-80% when using a DC fast charger. The common cells will be used across roughly 80% of VW Group's vehicles, and will primarily be supplied by VW Group's own battery company known as PowerCo, which was established in 2022.
The use of standardized parts means VW Group will be able to slash manufacturing costs of its EVs to the point that most SSP-based EVs will have similar margins as comparable gas-powered vehicles. According to the automaker, capital expenditure and development costs of vehicles based on the SSP platform should be around 30% lower than comparable vehicles based on VW Group's current MEB platform designed for mainstream EVs.
Certain brands will also be given responsibility to develop different versions of the SSP to help accelerate development. The VW brand will be responsible for versions underpinning minicars and other small models. Audi will develop versions for the compact and mid-size segments, and Porsche will develop versions for large segments. At least one version being developed by Porsche, dubbed the SSP Sport, will underpin a new three-row SUV that Porsche plans to launch around 2027. Porsche will also have its own EV platforms for sports models like the electric 718 due around 2025 and a potential electric hypercar due in the second half of the decade.