Skoda exploring a new modular platform for India

    New MQB A0 37 platform to sit above the current MQB A0 IN architecture that underpins India 2.0 models.

    Published On Jan 06, 2024 08:00:00 AM

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    Skoda Auto India is exploring an all-new modular platform for the Indian market. This platform could sit beside the MQB A0 IN architecture that currently is the backbone of India 2.0 products for both Skoda and Volkswagen brands.  

    MQB A0 37 platform: what exactly is it? 

    Essentially, this will most likely be the all-new modular platform, specially tweaked for emerging markets like India and South America with large-scale localisation. Our sister publication Autocar Professional learns that several critical steps are already being explored. The new MQB A0 37 platform may see the light of day for India only after the India 2.5 project is ready. 

    In a recent interaction with Autocar Professional, Klaus Zellmer, global CEO of Skoda Auto, said, "We need to speed up and the challenge is that we have to decide on a new platform beyond the current platform that we use for Kushaq and Slavia. It is going to be crucial to develop competencies and keep projects going."

    He informed that Skoda Auto Volkswagen India is looking at the succession plan of the current MQB A0 27 architecture “and there's a lot of discussion because we could use that platform (MQB A0 37) not only in India but also in Latin America and South America,” he added.

    Skoda Auto is studying MQB A0 37 architecture for the Indian market, which may allow the company to transition to bigger and wider vehicles with advanced electrical and electronics architecture to cater to the upgraders’ space. This new platform is expected to be bigger than the current MQB A0 IN platform – internally known as MQB A0 27 – that underpins the Taigun, Kushaq, Slavia and Virtus in India. This platform has its limitations with dimensions, especially width and also with accommodating a battery pack for the petrol-hybrid powertrain. 

    The new MQB A0 37 platform for India is expected to be designed to be able to accommodate bigger-sized vehicles of various body styles and will also be able to handle petrol-hybrid powertrains which are gradually becoming a popular alternative in the absence of diesel powertrain options.  Also, just like the MQB A0 IN based models, the bigger line-up underpinned by the MQB A0 37 architecture will also be exported to multiple emerging markets. 

    Skoda looking beyond India 2.5 with new platform 

    With a kitty of Euro 1 billion for the India 2.0 project almost consummated, Skoda Auto Volkswagen India is close to finalising its next phase of investment. There are multiple projects or platforms that are likely to be introduced to help it sustain the product-led momentum for the coming decade.

    As against the parallel track approach of the past, wherein Skoda and VW had products in similar segments of the market — (like Kushaq and TaigunSlavia and Virtus) the group will transition to a twin track approach — with the Skoda continuing to invest in the internal combustion engine vehicle (ICE) architecture and the parent brand Volkswagen will focus on EV architecture for the Indian market.

    Skoda EV for India likely by 2026

    Additionally, as we had reported recently, the Volkswagen brand is planning to localise the MEB21G electric vehicle architecture to enter the fast-emerging SUV EV space in the country, which is currently being dominated by homegrown brand, Tata Motors. Skoda Auto has decided to make the EV on its own and if all goes well, the first vehicle is likely to hit the road in 2026, but it will be under the Volkswagen brand.  

    This would mean that the vehicles of the future will most likely be based on three different architectures – MQB A0 27, MQB A0 37 and MEB21 G for electric vehicles.

    Also see: 

    Skoda, Volkswagen line up 4 new launches for 2024

    Mahindra Thar.e, BE EVs to be powered by VW APP550 electric motor

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