Volkswagen has confirmed that it will launch a 'high-volume' compact SUV in 2026, likely serving as a raised, rugged alternative to the Volkswagen ID 3.
To be built in Wolfsburg, Germany, alongside the ID 3, it is expected to be based on an updated version of the VW Group's MEB platform, known internally as MEB Evo.
Confirmation of the new crossover's launch date comes as the company reveals details about the shape of its factory network through to 2028, following a meeting of the board of management earlier today. The company is in the process of allocating various upcoming models to each of its global production hubs, with a focus on maximising efficiency by grouping platform-sharing models together.
Volkswagen's production boss, Christian Vollmer, said: "We are using the transition to electromobility as an opportunity to reduce the complexity of our production operations and increase the efficiency of our plants even further. We are systematically bundling vehicles based on the same architecture across all brands in our plants.
"By doing so, we will save significant investments in the integration of different vehicle architectures. Rather, we want our plants to produce several different models on the technical basis of one vehicle architecture.”
As well as the ID 3 and new SUV, Wolfsburg will continue to build the Volkswagen Golf hatchback – to be heavily updated in early 2024 – and the latest version of the Volkswagen Tiguan, revealed earlier this month. The seven-seat Volkswagen Tayron SUV – a replacement for the Tiguan Allspace – will be built in Wolfsburg from 2025.
In today's announcement, Volkswagen has also confirmed that "as things stand today", it will not build a dedicated new factory for its long-awaited Trinity flagship. Instead, it will build this new highly autonomous EV at Zwickau, Germany, where it currently builds the ID 3 and ID 5.
Autocar reported last year that delays to the Trinity programme had prompted internal discussions about the viability of a dedicated factory for the model, given that the forecasted easing of demand for combustion cars could free up space for a new model within the existing network.