Volkswagen is in the early stages of designing an all-electric vehicle for the masses, a new report finds. The yet-unnamed model will ride on the MEB platform, a highly modular architecture developed specifically to underpin EVs. It will borrow most of its mechanical components from the electric version of the upcoming eighth-generation Golf, but it will launch as a standalone model designed as a European-flavored alternative to the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt.
The car is still at the embryonic stage of development so it’s too early to tell whether it will take the form of a hatchback or a sedan.
To further differentiate the two models, the so-called people’s EV will cost less than the e-Golf and it will offer a longer driving range. Australian website Motoring reports that company executives in Wolfsburg, Germany are still debating whether the people’s EV should launch before or after the battery-powered Golf, which is expected to land in late 2018.
The Volkswagen lineup will look a lot different in 2020 than it does today. Near the turn of the decade, the people’s EV and the next-gen e-Golf will be joined by the production version of the well-received Budd-e concept that was introduced in Las Vegas last month at the Consumer Electronics Show. The van will change little in its transition from a concept to a production model, meaning it will feature a retro-inspired design, a spacious cabin, and a twin-motor electric powertrain with a roughly 375-mile driving range.
Finally, the next generation of the range-topping Phaeton sedan will launch with an evolution of the 430-horsepower battery-powered drivetrain that will also power Audi’s upcoming Q6 e-tron crossover. Like the first-generation model, it will take the form of a highly luxurious, Audi A8-sized sedan with an elegant, understated design. Production is scheduled to kick off in Dresden, Germany, in 2019.