The beleaguered company are hoping their range of electric cars will spark a positive change moving forward from the emissions scandal.
According to Autocar, company boss Herbert Diess has challenged Volkswagen’s selection of top designers to produce a new electric car that will become as instantly iconic as the Volkswagen Golf, and he is reportedly quoted as saying he wants to build the ultimate ‘Volkswagen for the digital age.’ The move is bolder than usual for Volkswagen, whose electric car developments have up to now been reserved on already existing models, and can be seen as the first bit of foundation work in rebuilding their reputation following the diesel emissions scandal.
According to the new reports the car is expected to be the first to use the Volkswagen’s new MEB architecture, which has been developed especially for electric cars. Speaking about their newest platform when it was unveiled at the Consumer Electrics Show earlier this year, a rep for Volkswagen said the MEB “heralds a fundamental change in electric cars, and thus for the car in general, because the MEB throws all fossil fuel ballast of the present overboard, having been designed specifically for electric cars.” This essentially means that the company can be daring and radically redesign the electric car as we have come to know it, with redesigns on a car’s body design, interior design and packaging as well as the actual driving characteristics a possibility. Expected changes could include a more spacious interior, better agility and greater connectivity opportunities which aim to highlight Volkswagen’s technical competency and remind worried and disenfranchised consumers that the carmakers are industry leaders.
Though still a mere twinkle in the eye for Volkswagen designers future hopes for this vehicle also predict it to perform for longer on a single charge, with an estimated range of 311 miles, equalling that of the Porsche Mission E saloon. When, and if, this car is produced to their optimistic plans, it could radically revolutionise electric car driving for consumers as this is expected to be an affordable and leading vehicle in the field. This car, tentatively slated for a 2019 debut, leads Volkswagen’s plans to have 20 electric or hybrid vehicles in their production range by 2020, a plan sprung as a consequence to the emissions scandal that led Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller to declare that the focus for the company is to “fundamentally realign” and “build a new and better Volkswagen.”
Volkswagen can only hope that embracing electric cars will cause a surge in good luck for them.