Volkswagen is rethinking their upcoming flagship model ‘Trinity’
The new VW Group CEO Oliver Blume and Brand CEO Thomas Schäfer continue to readjust the plans of their predecessors. According to a media report, the design draft for the new electric flagship Trinity has fallen through – the model will be redesigned.
As reported by German Automobilwoche, the previous body design of a flat electric limousine is said to have not gone down well with the new VW top management – Trinity was planned under the then group boss Herbert Diess and the ex-brand boss Ralf Brandstätter. “Because of the better opportunities on the market”, the newly planned Trinity model is to move “significantly more in the direction of an SUV”, according to the report.
With the SUV body – or an SUV-like crossover model – one will indeed accept cutbacks in aerodynamics (and thus range). However, it is important to focus on “what the customers want”. Another guideline of the new VW leadership: Trinity will still come with the best technology. But no longer with the best drag coefficient. That was one of Brandstätter’s goals: the cW value of the Trinity should be better than that of the ID.7, which is supposed to have a cW value of 0.23.
However, Blume and Schäfer’s criticism was probably not only about the body concept itself: “Too well-behaved, too inconspicuous and far too little distinctive” was the limousine design, according to the report. VW has had a lot of success in the past with rather inconspicuous and hardly polarising designs like the Golf or Passat. Whether only the flagship model is to become significantly more striking or whether the entire brand design is to be redesigned is still open. At least for the old Trinity concept, work on the bodywork has been stopped for the time being.
The ID. Life has also been redesigned
The German publication Automobilwoche also states that nothing has been decided yet. So it seems that a re-planning is underway, but which concept will be realised in the end is still open. A Trinity SUV was also previously planned – after the flat sedan. Whether these plans will now be reversed or a crossover model with borrowings from both body concepts will replace both models is not clear from the report.
Trinity is not the first model to be re-planned. The upcoming VW ID.2, whose design with retro borrowings was presented at the IAA 2021 as the study ID. Life at the IAA 2021, also failed at Schäfer and had to be redesigned. However, the new design was probably approved.
It had already become apparent that not everything was going well with the Trinity project. According to other reports, Blume internally questioned the planned Trinity plant in Wolfsburg-Warmenau. Instead of a completely new electric car plant on a greenfield site, the model is apparently to be built within the existing main plant. A modern plant was one of Herbert Diess’ core projects in order to compete with Tesla in terms of production – in his view, the old, grown Wolfsburg plant was not suitable with its complex logistics and space conditions.
With the new planning for production and now apparently also for the vehicle itself, the original schedule can hardly be kept. Instead of 2026, the model will not be launched until 2028, according to “Automobilwoche”. Manager Magazin” recently reported that the launch of the Trinity will even be postponed by about four years to 2030.
However, it is not only the body design that is responsible for the postponement of the Trinity’s market launch, but also the software. Since the flagship model is not only to be based on the new SSP platform, but is also to be the first model to receive Level 4 software 2.0 for autonomous driving, the software is at least as important a factor as the hardware – without it, nothing works with the Trinity.
The new Volkswagen boss Oliver Blume is preparing a new software strategy to keep the company fit for the future. Blume plans to present the key points of the strategy at a supervisory board meeting on 15 December, the Handelsblatt has learned from company sources. Since the prestige project Trinity and the associated software 2.0 have been delayed, the existing software architectures 1.1 and 1.2 must be further developed. Thus, software version 1.2, which is especially important for the premium brands Porsche and Audi, will now be upgraded for a term until the end of the decade and will be given a new name: Software Premium.
With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.