This week’s road test subject, the Skoda Enyaq iV, brings to mind a recent development in the product line of world-famous toy maker Lego.
For a few years now, the Danish firm has been offering sets of building blocks that can be made into as many as three different menu-built models, as well as whatever else your imagination might inspire. You can make your blocky supercar and then disassemble it and turn it into a truck or a boat, before departing from your instruction booklet completely.
And it just so happens that today’s automotive engineers may feel, to a greater or lesser degree, like they are 10 years old again, making cars in a similar way: using platform-engineered common component sets and trying to create from them cars that – to the end customer, at least – need to feel like special and distinct products. The approach isn’t new, of course, but it does seem truer than ever right now, as we enter the era of the mass-produced, big-volume, affordable electric car.
Other manufacturers are following suit, but the Volkswagen Group is perhaps the most prominent user of such a widely shared electric car platform. Think the Lego analogy is dismissive of the VW Group’s work? MEB stands for Modularer E-Antriebs-Baukasten – and Baukasten translates from German as ‘child’s building set’. Fortunately they seem to be taking the actual engineering a bit more seriously than do the kids.