VW touts new MQB architecture on Golf hatchback

VW's Hubertus Lemke: "The MQB strategy represents a milestone in the design and production of future automobiles with transverse-mounted engines." Photo credit: Greg Horvath

UPDATED: 8/4/14 12:21 pm ET - adds details, photo

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Volkswagen, hoping to boost U.S. sales of the new Golf hatchback, today touted the vehicle's MQB architecture. 

The 2015 Golf is just now arriving at VW dealerships. The MQB architecture will underpin dozens of models globally, from entry-level Czech-made Skodas and Spanish Seats, to the Golf and even luxury Audis.

MQB, which stands for Modular Transverse Matrix, standardizes manufacturing parameters and enables VW to reduce costs and manufacturing complexities.

For example, vehicles built on the MQB platform will be available with gasoline and diesel engines of varying sizes, and with hybrid powertrains, compressed natural gas, or an electric motor.

All these powertrains are mounted in the same position, allowing uniform placement of such components as exhaust and cooling systems.

Seats use the same frames but features can added and the outward appearance can be changed to suit the vehicle.

“The MQB strategy represents a milestone in the design and production of future automobiles with transverse-mounted engines,” Hubertus Lemke, head of technical project management in Volkswagen's r&d division, said here today at the 2014 Management Briefing Seminars.

“We have to be able to offer new features fast and deliver innovation. And we have to build and produce in the most economical way,” Lemke said.

Through July, VW division sales in the United States totaled 209,697 vehicles, down 14 percent year over year in an overall market that is up 5 percent. Golf sales are down 29 percent to 13,915 units.

VW says MQB will reduce weight and enable luxury technologies to be easily installed in high volume models.

The 2015 Golf starts at $18,815, including shipping.

MQB is one of three modular toolkits VW Group has developed. MSB covers B to D segment vehicles and is lead by Audi. MSB covers D and E segment vehicles and is lead by Porsche. VW leads the MQB development.

The 2015 Golf starts at $18,815, including shipping.

Lemke said the plug-in version of the Golf hybrid will be able to travel 31 miles on electricity.

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