Currently reading: VW's new platform for 60 models
New front-drive platform will be used by VW Group firms by the middle of the next decade

Volkswagen is putting the finishing touches to a brand new front-wheel drive platform to be used by up to 60 models from Audi, Seat, Skoda and Volkswagen by the middle of the next decade.

Known as MQB (modularen querbaukasten or modular transverse engine mount architecture), the new structure will replace today’s PQ2, PQ3 and PQ4 platforms. The move, according to Wolfsburg insiders, will help save Volkswagen and its various offshoots up to a billion euros per year by streamlining production and creating greater economies of scale.

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The secret to the MQB is the way it provides for a common distance between the front axle and the pedals irrespective of the size of the car it is applied to. VW’s head of R&D, Ulrich Hackenberg, claims this will help reduce the number of front-wheel drive 'engine mounting architectures' used by Volkswagen from 18 today to just two.

The new platform design, which will make its debut on the next Audi A3, due in 2011, allows for a much greater variance in track width, wheelbase and wheel size than with Volkswagen’s existing transverse engine platforms, while allowing for both front drive and four-wheel drive.

“It gives us the possibility to produce models from different segments and in varying sizes using the same basic front-end architecture,” said Hackenberg. “We can go from a typical hatchback to a saloon, cabriolet and SUV with only detailed changes to the size of the wheel carriers.” He said it will be used on every model from the new Lupo all the way through to the next-generation Sharan.

The new architecture should provide between 60 and 70 per cent parts commonality between Volkswagen’s biggest-selling models. And as well as supporting petrol and diesel engines, it has been developed to support models using natural gas, liquid petroleum gas and ethanol. Modifications will also permit the inclusion of hybrid drive.

Greg Kable

Picture: Motorforecast

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J400uk 12 November 2009

Re: VW's new platform for 60 models

Jaydub wrote:

I think most manufacturers share platforms between more than one model nowadays anyway, and lots share between brands as is noted, it seems like VW have pulled out all the stops with this and who can blame them?

The Mk5 Golf platform is a good example of a lesson learned, I hope the engineering team keep their ears to the ground and not become lacklustre again, any brand can become complacent.

I realise that, but in the past its been all vehicles in one class would share a platform (e.g. C-seg Golf, Leon, A3, Octavia) but this proposed new platform will cover every single vehicle regardless of its size or class.

HyundaiSmoke 12 November 2009

Re: VW's new platform for 60 models

You guys love this platform, but this is a GM tactic. As an American, Im telling you that you Europeans will rue the day you Accepted this Platform.

5 cars on the same platform is fine, but 60 Models is absolute GM overkill. I guess since VW is the Largest Make on Earth, they want to act like "The Old GM" now.

"Yeah, they will still buy our cars anyway, becuase we're VW. We dont need to care about reliability, fit and finish, overuse of platforms, and interiors. We have nothing to prove even though our competition that used to be laughing stocks like: Ford, Hyundai/KIA has passed us years ago in terms of fit and finish, reliability, Fuel Economy, and is now starting to get better than us in Interiors and Driving Characteristics."

AwakeSpectator 12 November 2009

Re: VW's new platform for 60 models

It had been long overdue, rather seems to have taken an eternity to materialize, but it seems finally has happened: an actually exciting looking car bearing Audi badge. Whether it would look this exciting in the standard guise is something I am not so sure about, but for the time being, I would just espouse the enjoy till it lasts philosophy and cherish the fully loaded version of this feisty looking machine.