It only made its debut less than a month ago, but it appears German auto giant Volkswagen is already planning a production future for its all-electric BUDD-e mini MPV concept
Speaking to CAR magazine, Volkswagen's head of electronic development Dr Volkmar Tanneberger said the productionised BUDD-e will be one of the first models to use the company's MEB electric-specific modular architecture and will come to market by the end of the decade.
Don't expect it to be an electrified version of the VW Transporter or Multivan either. The MEB platform is specifically engineered for plug-in electric powertrains, and puts the battery beneath the entire cabin floor for optimal weight distribution and minimal impact on cabin packaging.
"The basic idea is to develop a modular toolkit and take this flat battery idea into serial production, one motor on the front, one on the rear," said Dr Tanneberger.
"The California and Transporter will continue separately as combustion engines."
On the BUDD-e concept thrust was supplied by a 100kW/200Nm front electric motor and a 125kW/290Nm rear electric motor, though a production version could be offered with just one motor.
Claimed range for the concept was a healthy 533km - more than enough for the daily grind.
It's unclear which of the BUDD-e concept's more forward-looking features will make it to the production line, with inductive-loop charging, swivelling front seats and button-free capacitive steering wheel controls maybe too futuristic for the real world.
That said, in-car tech is evolving at a rapid pace and four years is an eternity in the world of modern electronics.
Tanneberger says to expect the BUDD-e's production-spec offspring to look very similar the concept, so it's perhaps not unreasonable to expect more than a few of the BUDD-e's innovative features to end up in the showroom.
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