In this final part of three articles which discuss the current and future models plans for the Volkswagen passenger car brands, just-auto takes a look at electrified models, crossovers and SUVs. This follows features which looked at cars, and then pick-ups and MPVs.

VAG says it will spend 10bn euro on not just PHEVs but EVs too, for the Chinese market.

China is where the Volkswagen Group and the VW brand in particular see potentially large sales for electrified models in the coming years. Manufacturers have no choice but to build such vehicles, as the Communist Party has mandated production quotas for these so-called NEVs (New Energy Vehicles). VAG says it will spend 10bn euro on not just PHEVs but EVs too, for the Chinese market.

In late November, Jochem Heizmann told the media that Volkswagen AG is aiming to be delivering as many as 400,000 electrified vehicles a year to Chinese customers by 2020. Following a second phase of spending, the target moves to 1.5 million per annum by 2025.

A huge amount of money is also set to be spent on the group’s European factories, and to a lesser extent on ones in Mexico and the USA as the I.D. range of VWs is gradually rolled out worldwide. These vehicles will come in various sizes and shapes but each will be fully electric. Will there be demand enough for such models? No-one knows. Volkswagen is being understandably and sensibly cautious, saying only that it plans to sell 100,000 I.D. vehicles in 2020, the first full year of production.

An EV brand for China

Few details of this JV are known, other than the fact that the logo looks very similar to that of SEAT’s stylised S.

An EV brand is planned for China, with the first model to be supplied by JAC.

Jochem Heizmann told Chinese journalists attending the 2016 Paris motor show that an EV brand was planned for China, with the first model to be supplied by JAC. The reason given was that Volkswagen could this way have an electric vehicle ready for the local market ahead of legislation which mandates their production.

The deal with JAC is believed to be a short term solution although Volkswagen AG and JAC have since then expanded their relationship into another potential JV for pick-ups and vans/MPVs. The electric model to be supplied by the Chinese company will likely be a small sedan based on the JAC iEV6 or else the replacement for the iEV4.

The Volkswagen Group’s own MEB architecture will be the basis of the electric models which the company will produce in China with its JV partners, SAIC and FAW, in 2020 or 2021. Heizmann also made this announcement to Chinese journalists at the 2016 Paris motor show, where the MEB-based electric Volkswagen I.D. concept was revealed. He did not give any details of the models to be built by SAIC Volkswagen and FAW Volkswagen.

I.D. family: five models

The five vehicles in the I.D. line-up should be as follows: I.D. (hatchback), I.D. Cross (crossover), I.D. Lounge (sedan), I.D. Aero (fastback) and I.D. Bus (MPV/minivan).

The five vehicles should be as follows: I.D. (hatchback), I.D. Cross (crossover), I.D. Lounge (sedan), I.D. Aero (fastback) and I.D. Bus (MPV/minivan).

The first of the five will be the I.D. itself. Also known inside Volkswagen as the Neo, this will be an electric five-door hatchback.

Production of the I.D. will commence first at the Zwickau plant in Germany late in 2019, Volkswagen stated in November. Modularer Elektrifizierungsbaukasten (Modular Electric Drive Kit) or MEB is the name of the architecture. VW is thought to be planning to restrict sales of this model to Europe.

The I.D. is expected to have an NEDC range of up to 500km (311 miles) and to be capable of being recharged in 15 minutes. These details were announced by Volkswagen on the eve of the 2016 Geneva motor show.

The I.D. concept appeared at the Paris show six months later, with Volkswagen announcing an on-sale date of 2020 for a vehicle based on this design study. This will be the brand’s first EV to be specifically designed as such.

The output of the concept’s motor was claimed to be 125kW (170PS) and the vehicle was about the same size as a Polo, but with a wheelbase (2,740mm) almost on a par with a Passat. The I.D. was 4,100 mm long and, thus, 155 mm shorter than a Golf. Width was 1,800 mm and height 1,530 mm. Front and rear overhangs were minimal. VW also says a fully autonomous model is being developed for release in 2025. A self-driving prototype version of the I.D. had its world premiere at the 2017 Detroit auto show.

MEB will be the basis of the electric models which Volkswagen will produce in China with its JV partners, SAIC and FAW, in 2020 or 2021. Jochem Heizmann made this announcement to Chinese journalists at the 2016 Paris motor show, where the I.D. was revealed. He did not give any details of the vehicles to be built by SAIC Volkswagen and FAW Volkswagen.

Volkswagen told the media in November 2016 that it would begin building MEB architecture vehicles in the USA from 2021.

The I.D. Cross, the second model in the series, will be based on the I.D. Crozz, a 4,625mm long concept which first premiered at April 2017’s Shanghai motor show. An evolution then appeared at the Frankfurt IAA five months later. Both were 4,625mm long, 1,891mm wide, 1,609mm high and with a 2,773mm wheelbase.

The powertrain of the concepts combined an 83kWh lithium-ion battery pack with a pair of electric motors; one on each axle. The front motor generated 101 horsepower and the rear 201hp, for a combined system output of 302hp. This concept vehicle was claimed to have “an anticipated range of 300 miles”.

“By 2025, we want to boost annual sales of electric vehicles to one million units. The I.D. CROZZ will play a key role in that. Production will begin in 2020.”

Herbert Diess, the chairman of the Volkswagen brand’s Board of Management, made this statement at Auto Shanghai: “By 2025, we want to boost annual sales of electric vehicles to one million units. The I.D. CROZZ will play a key role in that. Production will begin in 2020.” The four-door car is the brand’s first electrically powered crossover utility vehicle (CUV) – a coupé and sport utility vehicle (SUV) in one.

To be similar in size to the Tiguan, the I.D. Cross will be available in Europe, North America and China. Volkswagen of America told the media at the LA auto show in November that a production model based on the I.D. Cross would be the first I.D. model to be available in the USA. This will be from 2020. The I.D. Bus will follow in 2022.

The I.D. Lounge should be mainly for China and the USA. That should mean a sedan body style. Expect a concept version to appear in either 2018 or 2019. Production is due to begin in the third quarter of 2021. As with other I.D. models, there should be a facelift after four years and a seven-year life cycle.

Insiders speak of a concept called I.D. AEROe which is likely to be revealed at a Chinese or US motor show. Other than this name, few details of what should result in an eventual series production vehicle are known. The body style might be a fastback coupe but this is speculative. Build should commence in 2021.

The styling direction of the I.D. Bus (see image) was revealed by the I.D. Buzz concept at the 2017 Detroit auto show.

VW had revealed a prototype of an earlier electric Microbus at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in January 2016. This, the BUDD-e concept, was said to have been based on the Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB). The company hinted that a production version of the BUDD-e could come to market in 2019 but did not explain why there would be such a long delay between concept and showroom launch.

Volkswagen stated, upon revealing the BUDD-e, that its electric drive would give a driving range of up to 533km (233 miles) according to the NEDC and EPA estimated real-world driving ranges. The all-wheel drive vehicle’s system had a claimed total power output of 235 kW (317 PS) and it was to be possible to charge the battery to 80 per cent of its capacity “within just around 30 minutes”.

A year later, the I.D. Buzz appeared, with its name possibly a play on ‘bus’. This design study looked like a modern take on the 1960s and 1970s Bulli and could seat up to eight people. It had all-wheel drive, two electric motor shows and 369hp. Also according to Volkswagen, the Buzz used an extended MEB-XL platform and was 194.6 inches long, 77.8 inches wide and 77.3 inches tall.

The Bus will be the fifth I.D. model. It will come to market in 2022. VW confirmed the timing and the plant in August.

The I.D. Bus will be the fifth model in the series and will come to market in 2022. VW confirmed the timing and the production plant in August 2017. The Bus will be manufactured in Hanover by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. This means that both passenger microbus and cargo variants will be available, some with Level 3 autonomy. Volkswagen of America intends to sell both passenger and commercial van versions. It might import these from Germany or build them at its Chattanooga plant.

Other electrified models

The e-up! is Volkswagen’s smallest EV. This electric version of the up! city car was previewed by the e-UP! concept at the Frankfurt motor show in September 2009.

The e-up! had its public debut at the Barcelona motor show in May 2013. The vehicle has an electric motor with 60kW (82PS) peak power. Its continuous power is stated as being 40kW (55PS), with maximum torque of 210Nm.

Volkswagen says the car accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h “within 14 seconds” and reaches a top speed of 135 km/h. The lithium-ion battery integrated in the underfloor area has a total energy storage capacity of 18.7kWh; this means that the car can reportedly cover up to 150 km (per NEDC) on a single charge. The e-up! is claimed to weigh 1,185 kg.

The first LHD European market deliveries commenced in December 2013, with customer deliveries in the UK following from January 2014.

A facelifted e-up! was announced in September 2016. A second generation e-up! is set to enter production at Bratislava in 2020.

The e-Lavida, an electric version of SAIC Volkswagen’s New Lavida sedan had been under development but it has reportedly been delayed until the next generation model appears in 2019. A prototype debuted as long ago as the Beijing motor show in April 2010. VW announced the car’s production name as New Lavida blue-e-motion the following month, confirming at the same time that its launch in China would be in 2013. The launch did not take place.

Following a policy change for plug-in Volkswagens’ model names (e-up! and e-Golf), this car’s name is likely to have changed to e-Lavida. In June 2015, the company told the media that an EV based on the Lavida would be launched in China “in four years’ time”. SVW says the car will be manufactured at its Anting plant west of Shanghai.

The replacement for the Beetle could be an electric, RWD car.

MEB allows for front-, rear- and /or all-wheel drive. This could well mean that the replacement for the Beetle could also be an electric, RWD car. Some say the model name might be e-Bug, e-Bugster or Bug-e. Should that be VW’s intention, the car would be delayed until 2020.

Meanwhile, another C segment model, the e-Golf, was launched in pre-production form at the Frankfurt motor show in September 2013. After multiple concepts, each of which had a different name, finally, Volkswagen settled on ‘e-Golf’.

The car is a pure EV, originally powered by a 85kW (115PS) motor. This produced its maximum drive torque of 270Nm as soon as it started off. VW said the car reached 100 km/h in 10.4 seconds and had an electronically limited top speed of 140 km/h.

The e-Golf entered production during the second quarter of 2014, with LHD European market deliveries commencing in May/June, and cars for the UK in dealerships from July. Volkswagen of America began deliveries of what was its 2015 e-Golf in November 2014. For the 2016 model year, VW of America added an SE model grade and a new infotainment system. For the 2017 model year, the e-Golf was carried over largely unchanged, although there was then a specific media release concerning the 2017 e-Golf in September 2017.

A synchronous electric motor, which the Volkswagen Group designed and builds, powers the car. In the original e-Golf it would spin at up to 12,000rpm and develop up to 114bhp and 200lb ft of torque, depending on which one of three driving modes was selected. Drive was via Volkswagen’s own EQ270 single-speed gearbox. Power came from a 24.2kWh lithium ion battery supplied by Panasonic. This weighed 318kg and was mounted below the boot floor.

The first e-Golf could be fast-charged in four hours but via a home socket, it took 13 hours.

Volkswagen announced an additional 30% range for the e-Golf at January 2016’s CES in Las Vegas. Volkmar Tanneberger, the company’s head of electronic development, said the spec of the battery cells would become 37 amp hours compared to the then existing 28 amp hours. This car had its public debut at the LA auto show in November 2016. This was North America’s 2017 model year e-Golf and there was also a facelift.

The updated e-Golf’s battery pack has a capacity of 35.8kW, whereas the original’s was just 24.2kWh. Volkswagen says this improves the range by up to 50%.

The updated e-Golf’s battery pack has a capacity of 35.8kW, whereas the original’s was just 24.2kWh. Volkswagen of America says this improves the range by up to 50%, meaning the car can travel up to 124 miles. Recharging takes six hours or to 80% of capacity in under an hour if using a DC socket.

The motor now develops 134 horsepower, which is 19 more than the first version of the e-Golf. Maximum torque has been boosted from 199 pound-feet to 214 lb-ft. The car is now a second faster to 60 mph (now 9.6 seconds) and top speed increases to 93 mph.

The USA is the e-Golf’s largest market (it is available only in certain states), followed by Norway.

Volkswagen began building the e-Golf as its so-called Transparent Factory in Dresden in April 2017. The car is also still manufactured in Wolfsburg. There will be build in China too, it was announced in July 2017. Cars will be assembled by the FAW Volkswagen JV and batteries supplied by local firm Contemporary Amperex Technology.

The next e-Golf should be one of the first vehicles for the Volkswagen Group’s MEB battery-electric compact architecture, as announced in a 13 October 2015 media release:

“An MEB electric toolkit for future use in compact segment vehicles is to be developed based on the experience gained with existing vehicle architectures. This will be a multi-brand toolkit suitable for both passenger cars and light commercial vehicles and will thus leverage synergies from other electric vehicle projects in the Group. The standardized system will be designed for all body structures and vehicle types, thus allowing particularly emotional vehicle concepts,and will enable an all-electric range of 250 to 500 kilometers”.

Although no details were given, Volkswagen announced plans for a Golf hybrid at the Geneva motor show in March 2010. A launch date of October 2013 was given. The project was then subject to delay, with the production model finally being revealed at the Geneva motor show in March 2014. As expected, the Golf GTE is a PHEV, not merely a hybrid, and uses the same powertrain as the Audi A3 e-tron.

The plug-in hybrid system consists of a 1.4-litre 150PS TSI direct-injection petrol engine and a 102PS electric motor.  Together, they combine to produce claimed power of 204PS. Torque is 350Nm. Volkswagen says that in electric mode (activated by pushing a button), the GTE can travel up to 31 miles, depending on conditions, and the electric power can also be saved – for example when driving to a zero-emissions zone.  The 8.8kWh lithium-ion battery can be charged in around three and a half hours from a domestic mains outlet, or two and a half hours from a domestic wallbox. The battery weighs 120kg, giving the GTE a total kerb weight of 1,520 kg.

The standard transmission is a six-speed DSG with a triple-clutch system specially developed for hybrid vehicles. The electric motor is integrated into the gearbox housing, while further hybrid components include power electronics and a charger. The brake servo is electro-mechanical and the air conditioning compressor is electric.

Visually, the Golf GTE combines elements of the look of the e-Golf and the GTI. The front bumper features C-shaped LED daytime running lights, like those on the e-Golf, as well as aerodynamic horizontal ‘fins’, like those on the GTI. Where the GTI features red, the GTE has blue accents, including across the grille and into the headlights.

Deliveries in European markets commenced in October 2014, with cars for the UK following two months later. Volkswagen of America stated in February 2014 that it had no plans to launch the GTE. A facelifted model was part of the revised Golf range announced by Volkswagen in November 2016.

The next generation e-Golf and Golf GTE are due to appear in 2019.

The next generation e-Golf and Golf GTE are due to appear in 2019.

Though no details were given, plans for a hybrid variant of the then next Passat were announced at the Geneva motor show in March 2010.

In December 2012, there was media speculation which suggested that the car would be a plug-in hybrid. This was confirmed by a short statement within VW’s 26 May 2014 media release on the forthcoming Passat range: ‘A plug-in hybrid model will also be offered with potential to travel 31 miles on battery power alone, and with a potential maximum range of around 600 miles’.

The Passat GTE had its world premiere at October 2014’s Paris motor show as both a sedan and an estate. It can travel up to 50km on the energy stored in its batteries. The powertrain is similar to that in the Golf GTE. This consists of a turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol engine and an electric motor. The motor is more powerful than the one in the Golf GTE.

This model went on sale in relevant markets from the second half of 2015. It will be facelifted in 2018. The next Passat GTE will use the same MQB A/B architecture. That car is set to appear in 2021.

The second generation Phideon plug-in hybrid is due for release in 2024. It might instead be a fully electric car.

The Phideon PHEV, a sedan for China, had its world premiere in April 2017 at Auto Shanghai with production following four months later. This was the first of thirteen electrified VWs which the German firm will introduce to the Chinese market by 2020. SAIC Volkswagen’s big sedan is based on the MLB Evo architecture. A facelifted model should be released in 2020. The second generation Phideon plug-in hybrid is due for release in 2024. It might instead be a fully electric car.

The project to replace the former Phaeton, Volkswagen’s largest sedan, has had many twists and turns, the latest development announced in a media statement on 13 October 2015:

“The Volkswagen Phaeton has embodied the brand’s technological competence and brand ambition from the first generation onward. The future generation of the Phaeton will once again be the flagship for the brand’s profile over the next decade. In light of this, the Board of Management redefined the current project. The specification features a pure electric drive with long-distance capability, connectivity and next- generation assistance systems as well as an emotional design”.

The new model is likely to be sold in North America – the current car was withdrawn at the end of that region’s 2006 model year due to poor sales.

There are reports that the car’s entry-point price will be lowered so as to bridge the current large gap between VW’s larger sedans, the Arteon, Phideon and Phaeton.

Crossovers & SUVs

The CrossFox is an high-riding five-door version of the Brazilian-built Fox. Its debut was at the São Paulo show in October 2004. Despite the looks, this A segment model does not have all-wheel drive. There have been two facelifts for this model: December 2009 and August 2015.

A new CrossFox is expected to be launched during 2018. It should again be built in Brazil and restricted to certain markets in the Americas.

The Saveiro Cross replacement is expected to be launched in mid-2019.

The Saveiro is a two-door pick-up version of the Gol (hatchback) and Voyage (sedan). It was launched in Brazil, where it is built, in August 2009. VW added the Saveiro Cross in February 2010. This variant has unique bumpers, roof rails and wheelarch extensions, giving it an off-road look. The Saveiro Cross replacement is expected to be launched in mid-2019.

The cross up! had its global debut at the Geneva motor show in March 2013. This tiny crossover sits higher than the up! and has wheelarch extensions and larger bumpers. Despite its mini-4×4 looks, it remains front-wheel drive. Its main rival is the Fiat Panda Trekking. The replacement for the cross up! might become a global model and change names to T-Track.

One size up, Volkswagen will soon be adding a B segment/Sbcompact SUV called T-Cross. The company revealed a small SUV concept, the Taigun, at October 2012’s Sao Paulo auto show. The first plant to build a production model based on that concept had been expected to be Taubaté but the economic downturn in Brazil saw those plans put on hold. As the economy improves, so now VW is revising and reviving its plans.

A modified Taigun concept debuted at the Delhi motor show in February 2014. The main change was an externally mounted spare tyre. According to VW, the Taigun concept was 3,859mm long; with mounted spare wheel, it was 3,995mm. Width was 1,728mm and height was 1,570mm (with roof rails 1,605mm). The wheelbase was quoted as being 2,470mm.

A fresh B-segment SUV concept appeared at the Geneva motor show in March 2016 and a production model based on this prototype should be manufactured in Europe (Bratislava seems likely), India and China. This vehicle will be closely related to the SEAT Ateca. The Geneva 2016 concept, the T-Cross Breeze, was a convertible but the production model would be a five-door hatchback.

Volkswagen of America is not expected to sell the T-Cross, at least initially, even though many dealers want this model as a challenger for the Jeep Renegade, Hyundai Kona and Chevrolet Trax.

Volkswagen of America is not expected to sell the T-Cross, at least initially, even though many dealers want this model as a challenger for the Jeep Renegade, Hyundai Kona and Chevrolet Trax.

A 6 August 2017 news story on stated that the T-Cross would be built in Brazil at the company’s São José dos Pinhais plant from the second half of 2018.

A crossover wagon variant in the style of the Volvo V40 Cross Country went on sale in China during November 2016. This is the Volkswagen C-Trek. A further derivative, the C-Trek Boundless, was revealed at Auto Shanghai in April 2017. Both models are due for replacements in early 2019. They will again be restricted to customers in the PRC.

A crossover in the same size category as the Golf is the Golf Alltrack. This had its world premiere at the Paris motor show in October 2014. It has a 4MOTION all-wheel drive system, higher ground clearance, wheel arch mouldings, flared side sills and different bumpers. 

Volkswagen of America announced its equivalent, the 2017 Golf SportWagen Alltrack, at the New York auto show in April 2015. This, the first all-wheel drive Golf to be built at Puebla in Mexico, was in North American showrooms from October 2016. A pre-production car premiered at the New York auto show in March 2016.

A facelifted Golf was revealed to the media in November 2016. North America’s SportWagen Alltrack has gained the facelift and other changes for the 2018 model year.

Expect the next Golf Alltrack and next Golf SportWagen Alltrack in 2020. They will again be based on MQB A/B.

The T-Roc is Volkswagen’s latest SUV. It is positioned in what the company calls the Golf class. The second generation Tiguan is larger than the first so this is the reason why there is space in VW’s range of SUVs for this additional model above the future T-Cross.

FAW Volkswagen is understood to have been chosen as the JV which will build this model in China. Most other Volkswagen SUVs built in China are made by SAIC Volkswagen. The European production location for the T-Roc is Palmela (Setúbal) in Portugal.

The 4,234mm long T-Roc was revealed to the media at an event in August, with its public world premiere taking place a few weeks later at the Frankfurt IAA. German market deliveries to buyers commenced in November. For the moment, there are said to be no plans to offer the T-Roc in the US or Canada.

Expect a facelift for the T-Roc in the second quarter of 2021. Before then, there should be a T-Roc GTE (plug-in hybrid). The next generation is not due until 2024.

The replacement for the Tiguan had been due to be revealed in Germany in late 2014 but was delayed until the Frankfurt IAA in September 2015. It is larger so as to fit in with one or more SUVs and crossovers below it, and the Atlas/Teramont and Touareg above it.

The standard car has a longer wheelbase than the first generation Tiguan, while the first generation Tiguan L, a model built only in China, went global for its second generation.

The LWB car for China is again made by SAIC Volkswagen. This is at the Changsha plant in south central China. Changsha opened in May 2015 and its first product was SVW’s Lavida. The factory has an initial annual capacity of 300,000 vehicles.

Volkswagen stated in March 2014 that the then next Tiguan would be manufactured in Wolfsburg and Hanover. As well as in Germany and China, the VW Group’s Kaluga plant should again build the Tiguan in Russia. There is also assembly in India – that commenced in March 2017. Further, VW’s Puebla plant in Mexico would also make the model, it was announced in March 2015.

North America’s 2018 model year Tiguan went on sale in mid-2017 and fits into the range below the US-built Atlas.

VW of America stated at the 2015 Detroit show that a long-wheelbase Tiguan would be built at either Chattanooga or Puebla from 2017. No reason for the long delay was given. North America’s 2018 model year Tiguan went on sale in mid-2017 and fits into the range below the US-built Atlas. It had been thought that the LWB derivative for North America would be called Tiguan Allspace but instead, it is simply Tiguan. Five seats are standard with a third row making seven, optional.

The 4,700mm long LWB Tiguan was revealed at the Detroit auto show in January 2017. North America’s model is available only with a 184hp 2.0-litre petrol turbo engine, though both FWD and AWD variants are offered. The LWB model for European markets is marketed as the Tiguan Allspace. Its length compares to 4,485mm for the standard Tiguan.

Volkswagen de México’s March 2015 announcement said that a “three-row version of the Tiguan” would be produced at Puebla. The company spent the equivalent of US$1 billion for the expansion and modernisation of its production facilities at the Puebla plant, as well as tooling to produce parts at suppliers. Volkswagen specified that the production capacity for this longer Tiguan would be 500 units per day. This model is supplied to North and South America, as well as other world markets (excluding the European Union and China).

The second generation Tiguan uses the latest iteration of the Volkswagen Group’s MQB architecture matrix. This is not only closely linked to the Golf and Audi A3, but also to other SUVs such as the Audi Q5 and the Skoda Kodiaq. German market sales of the Tiguan commenced in January 2016.

Expect a facelift for the Tiguan in the final quarter of 2020. The next Tiguan is due in early 2024.

Volkswagen is said to be developing a so-called ‘Tiguan Sport’, i.e. a crossover to be positioned below the Tiguan.

Volkswagen is said to be developing a so-called ‘Tiguan Sport‘, i.e. a crossover to be positioned below the Tiguan. It is reportedly going to be specifically for the Russian and Chinese markets but it may also be built in Mexico and sold in North America too. There, it would be positioned in the same way that the Nissan Rogue Sport is below the Rogue. This would likely also mean the end of the Tiguan Limited, which is the old-shape model which is still sold in the USA. Job 1 for Tiguan Sport production is expected to be in December 2018.

Yet another SUV in the Tiguan family is also thought to be in the planning stages. The ‘Tiguan Coupe‘ would be a cheaper rival for the Range Rover Evoque. It is expected to be built in both China and Europe. There may also be production at Puebla in Mexico. There have been rumours of delays to this project and some even now say that it has been cancelled. Production would commence in late 2018 if the Coupe is still going ahead.

The second generation the Passat Alltrack, an estate-based crossover, had its world premiere at the Geneva motor show in March 2015. It went on sale across Europe from September 2015. As was the case with the previous model, there are exports from Germany to China. There, it is called Magotan Alltrack. A facelifted model will be released during 2018 and a replacement in 2021.

In August, rumours began to circulate that the Volkswagen Group is planning to restyle the Skoda Karoq and sell it in South American markets as the VW Tharu. Production is said to be planned for a plant in Argentina.

Volkswagen stated in November that it would be spending 560m euro to upgrade its Pacheco plant in Argentina so as to build a new MQB architecture SUV there from 2020 but the model in question was not named.

The Amarok SUV (not its model name) is expected to be released a year after the arrival of the next generation pick-up, which means 2021. It will be a global rival for the Toyota Fortuner, Ford Everest, Isuzu mu-X and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport.

The largest VW SUV is the Atlas. Volkswagen revealed a concept version of this would-be rival for the Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander at the 2013 Detroit auto show. A seven-seat production version would be manufactured at Volkswagen of America’s Chattanooga plant, the firm stated in July 2014. A second line was installed to build this additional model.

A shorter version of the concept from the 2013 Detroit show turned up at the Shanghai motor show in April 2013. This one was called the Volkswagen CrossBlue Coupe concept and had only two rows of seats. A production version is expected to eventually be manufactured at one of FAW VW’s Changchun plants and likely also at Chattanooga. The concept at Auto Shanghai had dimensions which were similar to those of the Touareg, which shows just how big the Teramont/Atlas is.

SAIC Volkswagen’s Changsha plant began building the Teramont in January 2017. This plant had a stated annual capacity of 300,000 vehicles a year when it opened in May 2015. Local sales commenced in March 2017.

In North America, the Atlas is available with 2.0-litre turbo and 3.6-litre V6 engines. Both have a standard eight-speed transmission, the 238hp four-cylinder variants are available in front-wheel drive or 4MOTION all-wheel drive form, and the 280hp ‘VR6’ has 4MOTION as standard. US market deliveries commenced in May 2017 for the 2018 calendar year. The first cars for dealers came off the line on 14 December 2016 as VW of America began to build up inventory ahead of the official sales release.

The Atlas had its public debut at the LA auto show in November 2016, while its twin, SAIC Volkswagen’s Teramont, was revealed at the Guangzhou show during the same month. As well as exports to Canada and Mexico, Volkswagen of America should also send some cars to Russia. There might be an eventual diesel version for that market too.

The Atlas and Teramont should be given facelifts from the third quarter of 2020. A PHEV powertrain will appear before then (see below). Replacements are due in 2023 or 2024.

Volkswagen of America is expected to add a two-row/five-seat Atlas to the model range for the 2019 model year.

Volkswagen of America is expected to add a two-row/five-seat Atlas to the model range for the 2019 model year. It might have an unrelated name or else be called Atlas Sport.

An Atlas GTE is due to be added by Volkswagen of America for the 2020 model year. SAIC Volkswagen should also give the Teramont GTE this same PHEV powertrain during 2019.

The next Touareg is now only months away. Production should start at Bratislava in February. T-Prime Concept GTE which premiered at the Beijing motor show in April 2016 is thought to have been a prototype of a PHEV version. This would mean that the new model would be larger than the existing vehicle. The plug-in hybrid will be the Touareg GTE.

If Touareg 3 is to be sold in North America and China, it needs to be bigger than Touareg 2, as it would otherwise be smaller than the Atlas & Teramont – these are longer than the current Touareg.

VW issued this statement at the Beijing show so as to explain its future SUVs strategy:

The T-Prime Concept GTE is part of an SUV product offensive that was launched this spring with the European debut of the new Tiguan. In future this successful model will, for the first time, also be available with an extended wheelbase. In the classes above it, this will be followed by a new mid-size SUV for China and the USA as well as the successful Touareg or a vehicle based on the T-Prime Concept GTE. Beneath the Tiguan, two new SUV model series will also make their debut: in the Golf class there will be an SUV based on the T-ROC concept car. The T-Cross Breeze presented in Geneva in March, on the other hand, gives a glimpse of a future SUV in the Polo class.

There are also reports that a rebodied Touareg might be under development as a kind of ‘Touareg CC‘; i.e. an intended rival for the BMW X6. This might borrow its name from the T-Prime concept.

Future model plan reports for other manufacturers can be viewed in the OEM product strategy summaries section of

Future product program intelligence

Additional data on vehicle lifetime and future product plans, such as code names, production plants and expected annual build, are available in PLDB from QUBE.

The next division of the Volkswagen Group to be looked at in this series will be SEAT.