Volkswagen has confirmed it is working on a breakthrough new electric sedan due to launch in 2026, known as the Project Trinity.
While specific details remain thin on the ground – particularly given the vehicle isn't slated to launch for five years – Volkswagen promises the Trinity (a codename, with the final production moniker yet to be decided) will set "new standards in terms of range... and digitisation", and will charge "as fast as refuelling".
Riding on the brand's all-new Scalable Systems Platform – derived from the current MEB electric platform, but with new electronics and software systems under the skin – the Trinity will offer Level Two+ semi-autonomous driving from the outset, with fully-autonomous Level Four capabilities to be switched on over-the-air by 2030, according to Volkswagen passenger cars CEO Ralf Brandstätter.
Those autonomous functionalities will make the Trinity a "time machine [for customers]", according to Brandstätter, with data from Volkswagen's current and future vehicle fleet to build an artificial intelligence-based neural network that will make the Level Two to Four systems available to "many people".
Above: Volkswagen's maiden MEB-based electric vehicle in Europe, the ID.3.
The new vehicle will debut an overhauled new-car business model for the German brand, which will see "considerably fewer variants" offered and all hardware features standardised across the range – a method adopted most prominently by EV specialist Tesla.
Instead, features previously available as options – such as increased DC charging capabilities or autonomous functions – will instead be locked behind software, with owners able to unlock functions "on-demand" by paying a set monthly or one-time fee via the car's "digital ecosystem" (read: infotainment system).
Trinity production will take place at Volkswagen's home plant in Wolfsburg, Germany, with new production processes and technologies to be used that centre around "digitalisation, automation and lightweight [vehicle] construction".
While pricing details have yet to be indicated, Brandstätter's claim the 2026 Project Trinity will "launch new technology in large volumes for the mainstream market" indicates it will be a flagship in terms of technology, but not on price.
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