VW: 60 Models, One Platform
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.