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VW Reveals Next-Gen Platform, Bulli Cometh?

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On: Thu, Feb 2, 2012 at 11:54AM | By: Chris Salamone


VW Reveals Next-Gen Platform, Bulli Cometh?

Volkswagen has just unveiled perhaps the most significant development of 2012: an all-new platform meant to underpin everything from the Up! to the A3 and next European Passat. As the photos show, the MQB platform – short for Modularer Querbaukasten or modular transverse-engine – has an adjustable wheelbase to fit a variety of different vehicle sizes, engines, and transmissions. And best of all, the introduction of a production ready MQB signals one really enticing possibility…

Last year’s Geneva Auto Show included an MQB concept vehicle which effectively stole the show: the Bulli microvan. Since the MQB’s wheelbase can range between 98.2, 101.8, and 103.5 inches, this single platform is capable of underpinning a wide array of glorious new models – including the Up!, Polo, future Audi TT and A1. And you guessed it, the success of Volkswagen’s new MQB platform might herald the much-anticipated second coming of the company’s ultimate camper van.

The first MQB car available for sale will be Audi’s latest A3, which is slotted to debut this summer. Unfortunately US buyers will have to, once again, hold their tongues and begrudgingly accept the A3 sedan only. Phase II of the MQB’s introduction will begin with the next generation VW Golf at September’s Paris Auto Show.

VW engineering chief Ulrich Hackenberg told Motor Trend that a Bulli could join the company’s production lineup as soon as 2015. “The wheelbase and track and front overhang are possible. It can crash.” But don’t expect the same concept Bulli we witnessed last year. The concept’s flat floor would be a virtual impossibility pursuant to the MQB’s scaffolded seating. But even so, Jonathan Browning, head of VW’s US sales, wants to see an MQB Bulli in the near future: “This goes back to our US heritage, and the strength of our brand.”

So far, VW is planning to build at least 30 models off the MQB, cut platform production costs by about 20 percent, and greatly improve handling/interior ergonomics. In addition to a variety of engine offerings which can be paired to the MQB’s infrastructure, future VW vehicles will include lots of aluminum construction to cut down weight and beef up stability. And judging by an already super enthusiastic response from car critics judging the all-new Up!, it’s safe to say the MQB looks to be a brand victory in the making.

Which of course leaves one final question: how soon can we preorder a Bulli?


Photo Gallery (click a thumbnail to enlarge)


Comments

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Sami18 | 10:00AM (Fri, Feb 3, 2012)

This is awesome to hear i cant wait to see it on other cars.


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Stephy21 | 10:47AM (Fri, Feb 3, 2012)

Great Article very interesting.



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