VW brand boss Ralf Brandstätter has revealed the name of the brand’s new electric flagship first announced in December. The Trinity EV will roll off the production line from 2026.
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Brandstätter also had news about the affordable and size-effective smaller cars below the size of the ID.3 but more on this later. The main clue, unearthed by the German Automobilwoche was that the Trinity EV would use the next-generation MEB platform. VW will then make electric car at the German carmaking giant’s main plant in Wolfsburg with a planned number of units of around 300,000 per year. “The car represents the next generation of electric mobility,” Brandstätter said. “The Trinity is set to become an innovation leader for the Volkswagen brand.”
Audi’s Artemis approach will inspire the model. In other words, VW plans to set up a kind of task force to bundle all activities from the development of the vehicle to production. The brand also wants to set new standards in the production of the Trinity in Wolfsburg. “Wolfsburg will then become the flagship for efficient production,” says Brandstätter.
There is to be further commonality with the Artemis electric cars from Audi, Porsche and Bentley. Starting in 2024, all three luxury models built in Hanover will use software which VW’s Car Software Organisation (CSO) is developing. The Trinity is expected to become the first VW and volume model to feature the CSO software two years later. “We want to show that autonomous driving can be offered in a volume model,” Brandstätter says, announcing Level 3 autonomous driving for the vehicle.
The VW brand boss is not yet giving any details on the body shape of the Trinity. The working title of Aeroliner, suggests a remarkably streamlined sedan in the style of an Arteon. However, with the planned number of 300,000 vehicles per year, the model must also be suitable for mass production. As a reminder, starting in 2023, VW plans to build the ID.4 at its Emden plant based on the current MEB and the ID. Aero, which should be an electric sedan the size of a Passat. Based on the study shown in LA in 2019, ID. Space Vizzion, a station wagon model, could also follow.
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And what about the small and low-cost VW electric car?
Almost as an afterthought, at the end of the German article, Brandstätter mentions the much-promised small entry-level model below the size of the ID.3. The Polo-sized model, which could then be called ID.1 or ID.2, is to be priced below 25,000 euros. It could go “in the direction of 20,000 euros,” but Brandstätter did not reveal further details to Automobilwoche. He only pointed out that the more space-effective vehicle will only become available in 2025. This is significantly later than the 2023-date Herbert Diess gave near the end of last year.
The small electric car is a project that has been occupying the brand for some time. According to the current status, the model is to be developed in China by Volkswagen Anhui, i.e. the joint venture with JAC.
Demand for a smaller car is certainly there. In the second half of last year, Volkswagen raised a few eyebrows when the VW daughter brand Škoda sold out of its small electric Citigo-e iV and took the car permanently out of circulation. At the same time, VW imposed a temporary order stop for the e-Up in Germany due to high demand. It seems that until 2025, Volkswagen customers will be largely without options for small electric cars below the size and price of the ID.3.
Update 26 January 2021: Volkswagen has named a target price for the Trinity. VW brand manager Ralf Brandstätter told German media that the starting price will be around 35,000 euros. At the same time, another figure in the report also attracts attention: “It will be a dynamic and flat car with a length of just over four metres, which does not yet exist in this form in our current model range,” Brandstätter said. At around four metres, the expectation may have been that Trinity would be shorter than an ID.3 (4.26 metres), but it seems Volkswagen may be taking the effective use of city space to heart.
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