The first vehicle to use Volkswagen’s Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB) has been revealed at CES in the shape of the BUDD-e Concept. Sitting on the VW Group’s new electric vehicle platform, the BUDD-e Concept might make it into production, but even if it doesn’t, it is still an important car nonetheless.The large family-sized MPV is larger than a Touran but smaller than a Caravelle T6 and makes the most of the improved packaging opportunities opened up with the new architecture. Volkswagen has placed a large and flat 101 kWh battery into the floor, with an electric motor on each axle – one with 110 kW and one rated at 125 kW.
The concept offers a range of around 330 miles, a top speed of 112 mph and a 0-60mph time of just under seven seconds. The charging time is the most conceptual element of the vehicle with VW predicting that by 2019, the rapid charging time for the battery will have been reduced to around 15 minutes.Importantly the BUDD-e, whether it goes into production in the next couple of years or not (and the likelihood is that it will), shows that VW is at an advanced stage of developing its MEB. The platform will work in the same way as the current MQB platform which underpins a number of VW Group models including the VW Golf, Seat Leon, Audi A3 and Skoda Octavia. With a similar platform, but one designed specifically for electric powertrains, VW is set to produce a number of new plug-in models in the course of the next five years.
Other features showcased in the BUDD-e Concept include a flexible interior with front seats that swivel around to a lounge-like interior, autonomous driving systems, gesture control and advanced, button-less displays, mirrorless rear-views and high levels of connectivity with home and personal devices.A number of these features are included in another product presented at CES – the VW e-Golf Touch. The EV is primarily a vehicle for presenting a new infotainment system that will be introduced across the VW Group’s compact car range. Gesture and intuitive voice controls are included, as are improved and customisable apps and wireless smartphone charging points.