At Volkswagen Group, the next generation of flexible component sets will be the last engineered for internal combustion engines.
According to Automotive News, Michael Jost, head of strategy for the Volkswagen brand, told an industry conference in Germany “our colleagues are working on the last platform for vehicles that aren’t CO2 neutral".
The next-generation platforms are due to enter production around 2026. The vast majority of cars produced by the Volkswagen Group ride on three flexible architectures: MQB for front- and all-wheel drive vehicles with transverse engines, MLB for front- and all-wheel drive cars with longitudinal engines, and MSB for rear- and all-wheel drive cars.
"We’re gradually fading out combustion engines to the absolute minimum," Jost said. He noted the German carmaker will still produce some petrol and diesel models beyond 2050 for regions and markets where charging infrastructure is poor.
Above: Audi e-tron GT.
The automaker's big push into the electric car arena begins next year with the Porsche Taycan, a Tesla Model S rival. A production version of the Audi e-tron GT, based on Taycan, comes online from 2020.
At the more affordable end of the scale, the Volkswagen ID Neo hatch goes into production late next year. It will ride on the new MEB EV platform, and will be made at one of three German factories dedicated to electric vehicle production.
Jost acknowledged Volkswagen has "a clear responsibility" for the "mistakes" it made during the Dieselgate years, where it deliberately cheated to get its diesel engines past emissions testing.
After its scheme was revealed in 2016, the automaker made a sharp turn towards electric vehicles.