Yesterday, Volkswagen announced its plan to transform itself into a “software-driven mobility provider.” Those buzzwords represent a profound shift for the company – and the industry – as it looks toward an electrified and digitized automotive future. However, that transformation will take time, which means VW will continue to rely on combustion engines for the foreseeable future.
Its petrol-powered decade will continue to rely on a core stable of products – Golf, Passat, T-Roc, and Tiguan. VW CEO Ralf Brandstätter said that the company will “still need combustion engines for a while,” though he added that they should be “as efficient as possible,” too. VW’s boss said that the next-gen version of these products – which will be available worldwide – will come fitted with the latest plug-in hybrid technology that will allow up to 62 miles of all-electric range.
Gallery: Volkswagen Golf 8 GTI (2020) test
Missing from VW’s core lineup is any mention of the Arteon, which isn’t too surprising. A report from late last year noted that a second-generation model likely wouldn’t happen as the company focuses on better-selling crossovers and SUVs. VW positioned the Arteon as a sleek and stylish saloon, though sales have been abysmal. VW recently gave it a facelift, though it still feels like it’s a product living on borrowed time.
VW’s digital transformation won’t happen overnight, even as it invests €16 billion into “e-mobility, hybridization, and digitalization” up to 2025. That means we’ll be seeing more new products this year, such as the all-wheel-drive ID.4 GTX in the first half of 2021, followed by the ID.5 in the second half. China will see the ID.6 X/Crozz arrive this fall, too. The company is also planning to slot a new model below the ID.3, which has had its arrival pushed up two years to 2025. VW has quite a busy decade planned for itself.