Engineering work is under way on a cost-effective platform to use in a budget saloon and SUV for China

Volkswagen’s long-running budget car project has taken a new turn, Autocar can reveal.

The latest project is to engineer a new, inexpensive components set that will underpin both a saloon and an SUV, with the two models "sharing as many common parts as possible".

There are no more details because the engineering work is still under way, but if the project makes production the cars will only be sold in China. Previous work at VW on a budget car for China seems to have been put on ice. Said to be a contentious issue inside the company, the ealier budget project initially failed to meet rigorous cost targets.

It also fell foul of executives who felt that such a basic vehicle would not be worthy of the VW badge. Outside of the Chinese market, VW will not be competing on price, say sources, because the brand is centered on being the premium choice among mass-car makers.

Read more New York motor show news

Get the latest car news, reviews and galleries from Autocar direct to your inbox every week. Enter your email address below:

Join the debate


2 April 2015
If a "budget" model range would undermine the VW brand's "semi-premium" positioning in other markets, then wouldn't this also be the case in China? If so, why doesn't VAG use the Skoda brand instead for such models? It would seem sensible for VAG to settle on one logical global brand hierarchy and associated brand values, and stick to it. How about this: Skoda = budget, sensible, functional. Seat = youthful, active, alternative. VW = semi-premium, classless, conservative. Audi = premium, luxury, elegant. Just a thought...

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    21 March 2018
    The new Vantage has been developed as a Porsche 911 beater, and our first taste on UK roads suggests it can live up to that bold claim
  • Nissan Leaf Tekna
    The is the new Nissan Leaf
    First Drive
    21 March 2018
    The new version of the world's best-selling electric car gains a bigger battery and more power. How does it compare to rivals such as the Volkswagen e-Golf?
  • Range Rover p400e
    First Drive
    20 March 2018
    The original luxury SUV is now available as a plug-in hybrid, promising lower emissions and the capacity for silent electric motoring
  • BMW i3s
    Car review
    20 March 2018
    Revised hatchback sets out its range-extended electric stall in a new, sportier tune
  • BMW X2
    This is the new BMW X2
    First Drive
    20 March 2018
    Doesn’t deliver many typical crossover selling points but looks perky, handles keenly and is well capable of winning over your latent cynic