Volkswagen Considering a Rough-and-tumble Electric

volkswagen considering a rough and tumble electric

The sky’s apparently the limit when it comes to the variety of vehicles that might emerge from Volkswagen’s dedicated MEB electric architecture. While the automaker’s looming EV onslaught already contains a hatchback, crossover, microbus, panel van, and possible luxury sedan, VW feels something’s missing: a tough, off-road ute.

One VW exec is pushing hard to give electric vehicles a brawnier image.

In a sit-down with Auto Bild (via Auto Express), VW strategy boss Michael Jost said the MEB platform could give Volkswagen a first-in-segment coup — a spartan, zero-emission trail denizen.

“There are no producers in this sector yet, [building] a robust electric car that loves scratches and wears them as a badge of honour,” Jost said, adding that he’s championing the project internally. Jost’s candid convo with Auto Bild is part of his strategy; he plans to use the publication’s readers as a focus group to measure public interest. The executive even provided sketches of a boxy, upright utility vehicle that eschews the egg shape of other VW I.D. models.

Jost said he’s aiming for a simple design, both inside and out. Rather than having the vehicle adopt a few off-road cues to please timid, grocery-getting consumers, the exec stated the vehicle would come ready for action with scratch-proof display covers and an interior designed for cleaning via pressure washer.

In the course of the discussion, Jost aired another article of VW’s product laundry. A flagship SUV based on the MEB platform is under development, and the would-be off-roader would draw its underpinnings from this model — in two wheelbase lengths. If that sounds like something Land Rover might slap a Range Rover name on, well, that’s the idea. Jost said the off-roader would boast a three-door and five-door variant in wheelbases of 177 and 191 inches, offering space to five or seven occupants. The dual-motor/all-wheel drive setup seen in other I.D. models would attain its maximum usefulness in this model. Range? Like other I.D. models, the ceiling on that stands at 373 miles on the European test cycle.

As there’s already a number of vehicles coming down the pipe, VW’s proposed off-roader would need to wait its turn. That means, if VW pulls the trigger, the brawny ute wouldn’t make its appearance until at least 2021.

[Image: Volkswagen]

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  • TDIandThen.... TDIandThen.... on Jan 11, 2019

    I am a former VW customer and would go back for the R, or get excited for a Defender replacement which could be pressure-washed inside and doesn't have screens and tech all over. There must be hell, threes of me.

  • Vulpine Vulpine on Jan 11, 2019

    At least a couple BEV pickup trucks stand to beat VW to the punch on off-roading. Though if it's a BEV rig meant to compete with the Jeep Wrangler, they might have a chance.

  • IBx1 Took them long enough to make the dashboard look halfway decent in one of their small trucks.
  • Mcs You're right. I'd add to that right now, demand is higher than supply, so basic business rules say to raise the price. The battery tech is rapidly changing too. A battery tech in production today probably won't be what you're using in 2 years. In 4 years, something different. Lithium, cobalt, and nickel. Now cobalt and in some cases nickel isn't needed. New materials like prussian blue might need to be sourced. New sources might mean investing in mines. LMFP batteries from CATL are entering production this year and are a 15% to 20% improvement in density over current LFP closing the density gap with NCA and NCM batteries. So, more cars should be able to use LMFP than were able to use LFP. That will lower costs to automakers, but I doubt they'll pass it on. I think when the order backlogs are gone we'll stop seeing the increases. Especially once Tesla's backlog goes away. They have room to cut prices on the Model Y and once they start accumulating unsold vehicles at the factory lot, that price will come tumbling down.
  • Acd Fifteen hundred bucks for OnStar makes some of the crap Southeast Toyota Distributors and Gulf States Toyota forces their customers to buy seem like a deal.
  • EBFlex Remember when Ford was all self pleasuring about the fake lightning starting under $40k? We all knew it was BS then and that Ford was taking a massive loss just to make that happen. This solidifies that.
  • SCE to AUX Matt, I think you've answered the question well.
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