Stained by the Dieselgate scandal, the German manufacturer wants to wash some of its emission sins away by preparing a new dedicated plug-in hybrid.
The vehicle will join the likes of the Passat and Golf GTE models, and the electric Golf and Up! range, but unlike these cars, which are underpinned by the MQB platform, the new one will be developed on an entirely new architecture, likely called MEB.
Speaking with the company's chief, Dr. Herbet Diess, AutoExpress reports that the switch to a different platform will free up the interior, which will offer more space for passengers. "If you look further, then it's probably worthwhile thinking of an entirely new architecture because then you can let go of the technical components you put in the car because of the combustion engine. You gain a lot of space in the interior, for instance", said the VW official.
Rumored to be called the XL3, suggesting that it will grow over the XL1 concept, the new Prius rival is expected to mix an electric motor, with roughly 30 HP, along with a 1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder engine.
Oddly, the magazine reports that it will have a practically useless electric range of only few miles, but will compensate with an overall fuel consumption of more than 94 mpg UK (78 mpg US / 3 lt/100 km).
The German manufacturer is also believed to be working on a dedicated fully-electric model: "Cars with all-electric ranges of over 500 km (~300 miles) are feasible by the end of the decade", said Matthias Muller, VW Group's CEO. "Charging will only take as long as a coffee break. And in the long term, an electric car will cost less than a car with an internal combustion engine."
Note: VW XL1 pictured