Volkswagen AG will this year introduce the Modular Transverse Matrix platform, known as the MQB, for the Audi, Seat, Skoda and Volkswagen brands worldwide. In the last few years the entire company has been preparing for this moment. A thousand engineers at Volkswagen and many thousands more engineers at the suppliers have been involved in one of the biggest development initiatives in the creation of the matrix platform system, which is intended to secure the future of the Volkswagen Group and will be used in every segment from the Polo to the Passat. Everything has been optimised in recent years with an eye to the aspects which matter for the customer and for society, today and in the future: efficiency, safety, comfort, convenience, design and driving pleasure.
The forward relocation of the front wheels results in especially balanced proportions in the design, plus the optimised use of space for the vehicle's occupants: in other words, the package. In contrast to the platform concept, a modular matrix principle opens up much more scope for the design of all sorts of vehicles, including emotional niche models - thanks to variable wheelbases or track widths, for example.
Thanks to the entirely redeveloped engine families, consistently trimmed for lower CO2 figures with start-stop recuperation systems as standard, the global innovation of active cylinder management in four-cylinder engines, EU-6 certification and a CNG option, emissions are significantly reduced. Several million new customers will benefit in the final development of the MQB. The MQB will reduce CO2 emissions by more than a million tonnes per year. And if you want emissions-free motoring you can get it from 2013 with a purely or largely (plug-in hybrid) electrically powered Blue-e-motion model.
Thanks to an intelligent mix of materials and ultra-modern construction principles, the MQB will also lead to a reversal of the weight spiral. Take the example of the Golf: In spite of tremendous advances in the areas of comfort and safety, the weight of the next-generation Golf will be on a par with that of the fourth-generation Golf (1997-2004). More driving pleasure, lower fuel consumption.
The modular matrix principle makes possible around 20 innovations in the areas of safety, driver assistance and infotainment which were previously reserved for the higher vehicle segments. This is not only a positive development for new customers but is also of benefit to other road users. For example, the MQB brings a new feature to the compact class as standard: the new multi-collision system. The same applies to the wide range of driver assistance systems which are now available in the compact class. The high number of vehicles based on the MQB means that we can expect a significant reduction in the number of secondary collisions in real traffic situations. Along with the new active safety systems, the MQB increases passive safety in all models thanks to an improved impact-absorbing structure.
The modular matrix principle has also been translated for all the infotainment systems. This provides the driver with access to functions which until now have only been familiar from higher vehicle classes, if at all. For example, vehicles can be equipped with a touchscreen which, thanks to an innovative surface, enables intuitive and safe use of the controls even while driving. This is made possible by a proximity sensor system especially developed for Volkswagen – with the look and feel of leading smartphones and tablet PCs.
The modular matrix principle makes the latest sustainable technologies accessible to every new car buyer in emerging markets. Above all, a genuine positive effect for society is achieved by means of innovations that make road transport safer for all road users around the world, and developments which reduce air pollution in every market. The high flexibility of intelligent modular systems makes the implementation of regional requirements more feasible.
All these aspects help to secure the success of the Group from both economic and ecological perspectives. As a result of the high number of vehicles and customers that will benefit, as well as suppliers to the Volkswagen Group in Europe and worldwide, they also represent a contribution to meeting the social challenges of the present and of the future.