Volkswagen are getting ready to launch their award-winning Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB).
The cutting-edge technology heralds a new era for the way VW manufactures cars across all its main brands.
The new VW architecture makes use of synergies in new technologies and allows high-volume models like the VW Beetle, Golf, Tiguan or Passat access to new technologies normally only seen in luxury cars.
What is MQB?
The VW MQB is a system that will make it possible for a production line to make more than one model at time, or even cars of different brands.
It does this by standardising many VW vehicle components.
One of the key features of the VW system is the way the engines are mounted, which is identical across all VW MQB compatible models.
Thanks to the new series of VW modular diesel and petrol engines, which includes the global launch of the very first four-cylinder engine with cylinder deactivation, VW is able to reduce the different types of engine and gearboxes it produces by 90%.
Standardisation in producing the body shell is so advanced with the MQB system that it can even punch out floor plans for different cars using the same stamp.
When producing a car with a longer wheelbase, all that’s needed is to insert a bigger piece of steel.
It also means that the VW team can experiment with alternative powertrain technology, including hybrids, fully electric vehicles and natural gas drive systems.
The Volkswagen MQB system looks like it will revolutionise the way VW construct their cars, and could see them developing pioneering new technology to rival the Far Eastern companies.
An exciting new world for Volkswagen
VW are understandably enthusiastic about the opportunities their MQB system brings them.
And its good news for anyone looking to purchase, lease or finance a new VW, as they expect it to allow them to build both mainstream and niche vehicles at very competitive prices.
It also means that VW can tailor their models easily to different markets, responding to the differing demands from Europe, America, China and India.
The new VW models created using MQB are predicted to be significantly lighter than previous Volkswagens, which may offer improvements to fuel efficiency, CO2 emissions and handling.
Estimates conclude that the new VW models could be lighter by as much as 110 pounds.
Plus although at the moment Volkswagen say they aren’t planning on using aluminium in any of their MQB vehicles, the system is able to use the ultra-lightweight metal.
Another innovation bound to be appreciated by customers is the introduction of new safety and infotainment features normally seen in the luxury sector to mid-range Volkswagens.
This includes the new Volkswagen multi-collision brake, which won an ADAC ‘Yellow Angel’ award.
It diminishes the impact of secondary collisions during an accident by automatically starting to brake after the initial collision.
This pioneering safety feature is going to be standard equipment when the new generation Audi A3 and Volkswagen Golf are released for purchase, lease or finance.
With a few exceptions
Strangely enough, the one Volkswagen one would expect to find included in the MQB framework isn’t.
The award-winning Volkswagen up! cannot be manufactured on the system, surprising given VW’s desire to push this vehicle across existing and emerging markets.
We will have to watch the progress of both the VW up! and the MQB architecture to see if this helps or hinders the new city car’s progress.
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