If you live in America or Canada, Volkswagen Lupo will tell you not much. In Europe, it will evoke an “ah, the Lupo, haven’t seen one for a while.” Well, that’s because Volkswagen had discontinued the small car in 2005. That’s not a long lifespan for a model that was introduced in 1997. All kinds of theories are floating around why VW stopped building the car. Here is the truth: lack of buyers. People looked at it, saw the price, and said: “For a little more, I get a real car. How about that Polo or Golf over there?” (If you are in Mexico, “Lupo” might sound familiar. But it’s actually a Brazilian Fox that is sold under the Lupo name.) Now would you believe that Volkswagen is resurrecting the ill-fated car? (Read More…)
Volkswagen will continue its pioneering work testing the boundaries between platform-sharing and brand-engineering, reports Autocar, with a new platform destined to underpin some 60 models globally. The modularen querbaukasten (modular transverse engine, or MQB) architecture will form the basis of models ranging from the sub-Golf Lupo to the Sharan MPV, starting with the next-gen Audi A3 which debuts in Europe in 2011. The key to the platform’s versatility is its adaptiveness to different wheelbases, tracks and wheel sizes. Says VW R&D Boss Ulrich Hackenberg:
It gives us the possibility to produce models from different segments and in varying sizes using the same basic front-end architectur. We can go from a typical hatchback to a saloon, cabriolet and SUV with only detailed changes to the size of the wheel carriers.
The new architecture will allow VW to replace some 18 engine-mounting architectures to a mere two, reportedly providing about 60 to 70 per cent parts commonality between Volkswagen’s biggest-selling models.