Currently reading: New Volkswagen electric compact SUV confirmed for 2026
Higher-riding, rugged electric hatchback set to be built alongside the Volkswagen ID 3 in Wolfsburg

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. 


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Felix Page

Felix Page
Title: News and features editor

Felix is Autocar's news editor, responsible for leading the brand's agenda-shaping coverage across all facets of the global automotive industry - both in print and online.

He has interviewed the most powerful and widely respected people in motoring, covered the reveals and launches of today's most important cars, and broken some of the biggest automotive stories of the last few years. 

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Bob Cholmondeley 1 October 2023

When "rugged" just means, a few piecs of grey plastic stuck to the body, the word becomes meaningless.

The Apprentice 1 October 2023
I come on this site less and less, the daily release of yet more generic looking all perform about the same, always seem to cost 40k EV's is dull. Lack of innovation too, it seems pretty simple to churn out these samey vehicles now.
macboy 30 September 2023

Every time I read about VW's ID range and especially the lack of demand and factory shutdown "due to slowing EV sales", I can't help thinking that it's actually because it's really not a good car. My ID3, now thankfully long gone, was the least reliable, poorly built car I have owned in the past 30 years. The forums are full of ID3 and 4 owners with faults or asking for help to overcome the "foibles" of its design and software. It's cost reduced and beta-release levels of development, even now. They honestly need to stop and rethink. I would never buy nor recommend anything in the VW EV line-up until a generation change takes place.