This is the first glimpse of Volkswagen’s Modularer Querbaukasten (MQB) platform that will form the basis for the next-generation VW, Audi, Skoda and SEAT models. VW unveiled the platform at its Wolfsburg HQ in Germany.
The MQB is not just an extremely flexible structure, it also is an integral part of a new production system that will be adopted by VW factories all around the world. The new platform is so flexible that it can be stretched right from the Polo to the Passat size – a first for the car industry. VW claims its MQB strategy represents a turning point in the design and production of future automobiles with transverse-mounted engines. It will also standardise many vehicle component parametres – across brands and vehicle classes.
VW insiders say that the factories will become multi-brand facilities, allowing VW, Skodas and even Audis to be built on the same line. Being able to ‘shuffle’ production should allow VW facilities to run at much higher capacities. Another key aspect of the MQB platform is a common engine mounting system, which sees both petrol and diesel motors mounted in the same way and at the same angle of inclination, a big step forward in terms of ease of production and assembly.
Two new modular petrol and diesel engine ranges have been designed for the MQB, including an 800cc diesel and a turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol unit.
The MQB opens up new opportunities at the Volkswagen Group, allowing it to produce high-volume and niche models at the highest quality and at extremely competitive costs over the long term. The company also plans to significantly reduce vehicle weights with the launch of the first MQB model series and will introduce 20 innovations in the areas of safety and infotainment, which until now were reserved for higher vehicle segments.