Despite trying to differentiate the vehicles within it's group in order to support various marketing and pricing strategies, the Volkswagen Group has announced it will introduce the Modular Transverse Matrix (known in German by the acronym MQB) for the Volkswagen, Audi, ŠKODA and SEAT brands.
The MQB strategy is said to represent a turning point in the design and production of automobiles with transverse-mounted engines. The Modular Transverse Matrix standardizes many vehicle components across brands and vehicle classes. At the same time, it offers access to new technologies.
The MQB extends from the A0 to the B segment. At the Volkswagen brand, for example, it covers the Polo, Beetle, Golf, Scirocco, Jetta, Tiguan, Touran, Sharan, Passat and CC.
In the future, all these models could theoretically be produced on the same assembly line – despite their different wheelbases and track widths. It will also be possible to produce MQB models for different brands together on the same assembly line.
The first new vehicles to be produced based on the MQB will be the successor to the Audi A3 and the next generation Golf.
One of the prominent characteristics of the Modular Transverse Matrix is the uniform mounting position of all engines. Two systems integrated in the MQB strategy which play a key role are the modular gasoline engine system (MOB) with the new EA211 engine series (60hp to 150hp) – this range includes the world’s first four-cylinder engine with cylinder deactivation (ACT). It will also accommodate the modular diesel engine system (MDB) with the new EA288 engine series (90hp to 190hp).
This new engine series will reduce the Group’s engine and transmission variants in the MQB system by approximately 90 per cent.
The platform will also accept natural gas and hybrid versions as well as electric drive. Volkswagen has already announced the launch of the latter within the MQB in 2013 in the new Golf Blue-e-Motion.
The MQB opens new opportunities at Volkswagen Group, allowing it to produce high-volume and niche models worldwide at competitive costs over the long term – vehicles that are individually tailored to the requirements of diverse markets such as Europe, China and America, as well as emerging markets such as India.
In parallel, Volkswagen Group will significantly reduce vehicle weights with the launch of the first MQB model series and introduce 20 innovations in safety and infotainment, which until now were reserved for higher vehicle segments.
They include the new multicollision brake; after an initial collision, it helps to reduce the intensity of secondary collisions by automatically initiating braking.
MQB is supplemented by the Modular Longitudinal System (MLB) from Audi, the Modular Standard System (MSB) with Porsche and finally the ‘New Small Family’ – the most compact model series that includes the Volkswagen up!, SEAT Mii and ŠKODA Citigo.