The Volkswagen Group is planning to offer plug-in hybrid versions of the Audi Q7 SUV, A7 and A8 sedans while it namesake brand will roll out a plug-in Touareg SUV and Phaeton flagship sedan in global markets, according to VW Group chief executive Martin Winterkorn. VW brand r&d chief Hans-Jakob Neusser also disclosed that the carmaker offer the Golf GTE plug-in hybrid in the United States in 2016.
The carmaker is targeting to become a leader in the area of electrified vehicles in the next few years in the face of stiffening as global emissions rules. According to Winterkorn, VW can electrify up to 40 models with “no major additional effort” and with little extra cost through its “toolkit” platform strategy.
Vehicles underpinned by toolkit platforms can be fitted any powertrain type, including fuel cell, compressed natural gas, battery-electric or conventional internal combustion engines, while not needing separate assembly lines.
“This saves a lot of money and above all means that we are extremely flexible,” Winterkorn remarked, adding that plug-in hybrids are the best medium-term technology to cut emissions without sacrificing range.
VW is currently working on EV systems that could travel over 300 miles or 30 miles greater than the Audi R8 e-tron EV that it would launch this year.