The brands in the Volkswagen Group are setting trends in the global SUV boom with a plethora of new models.
The brands in the Volkswagen Group are continuing the selective expansion of their range of sports utility vehicles (SUVs) with great diversity and dynamic growth. The automakers are doing particularly well with models tailored to individual markets as well as in terms of sustainability. With respect to fuel consumption, the latest generation of SUVs is just as efficient as comparable vehicles from the relevant compact or saloon class.
Market for small SUVs seeing exceptionally strong growth
The Group’s latest highlight is the Volkswagen T-Cross, which celebrates its world premiere this Thursday in Amsterdam, Shanghai and São Paulo. This urban crossover model – the brand’s first compact SUV – is setting new standards in its class with its versatility and practicality. Like its sister model the Polo, the new T-Cross will also be produced at the Spanish Volkswagen plant in Navarra. There, Volkswagen plans to invest around one billion euros up until 2019 to cater to the particularly fast-growing small SUV market. Studies predict that the number of SUV models in the small and compact vehicle segment will double over the next ten years.
Volkswagen is stepping up its worldwide SUV offensive with the new T-Cross. This started in 2015 with the current Tiguan model. The Tiguan Allspace with room for up to seven passengers and the more compact T-Roc followed in 2017. Special emphasis is being placed on vehicles that are specifically tailored to the markets in China and the United States, where SUV sales are continuing to grow. Forecasts suggest that by 2020 as much as 40 percent of all Group vehicles sold in China could be SUVs. Between 2018 and 2020, a further twelve Volkswagen SUVs, four ŠKODA SUVs and, by 2022, ten Audi SUVs will be coming onto the market in China alone. The particular importance of the Chinese market is also underlined by the fact that Volkswagen presented the third generation of its flagship Touareg in Beijing in spring 2018. The new Touareg will be produced on the basis of the Modular Longitudinal Matrix (MLB) platform developed by Audi, a concept that has been used to design many other SUVs such as the Audi Q7, the Porsche Cayenne, the Bentley Bentayga and the Lamborghini Urus1.
Thanks to strong demand for SUVs, the Volkswagen brand has also recorded good sales growth in the US market this year. The Tiguan and Atlas2 crossover SUVs are particularly popular with US customers. At Monterey Car Week (USA) in September, Volkswagen presented a pickup and a cross-sport version of the Atlas as show cars.
Audi is gaining favor in the premium class with the second generation of the Q3 – a compact SUV with considerable everyday practicality as well as top-class infotainment and driver assistance systems that will be launched on the European market in November. The Q8, the new top model in the Q family, has been available since the summer and combines the elegance of a four-door luxury coupe and the practical talents of a large SUV with state-of-the-art control and chassis technologies as well as intelligent driver assistance systems. Audi recently launched its electrification offensive with the world premiere of the e-tron3 luxury SUV in September. By 2025, the brand hopes that electric models will account for around one-third of its unit sales.
In July, Porsche unveiled the model update of its bestselling Macan, of which more than 350,000 units have been delivered since 2014 – a powerhouse with an efficient two-liter four-cylinder turbo petrol engine and a 10.9-inch touchscreen. The next major highlight will be the Porsche Taycan, the first all-electric Porsche to be manufactured in a carbon-neutral process. It accelerates to 100 km/h in less than 3.5 seconds and can be charged in four minutes to cover a range of around 100 kilometers (in accordance with the NEDC).
World premiere in China
ŠKODA is also focusing squarely on China and will soon be showcasing the Kodiaq GT, the brand’s first SUV coupe, which, like the ŠKODA Kamiq4, will be available on the Chinese market only. The world premiere is set to take place at the Guangzhou Motor Show at the end of November 2018. The KODIAQ, ŠKODA’s first large SUV that was launched in September 2016, sold more than 250,000 units within the first two years. The ŠKODA KODIAQ RS, a particularly sporty version, was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in October of this year.
SEAT will continue its product offensive at the beginning of 2019 with the seven-seater Tarraco, the brand’s third SUV after the Ateca, and the new compact crossover Arona. As the new top model in the SUV family, the SEAT Tarraco combines state-of-the-art technology, dynamic, agile handling, unlimited everyday usability and functionality with elegant, forward-looking design.
SUVs are also gaining ground in the super-premium segment. Bentley is launching the Bentayga, dubbed the “world’s most powerful and most exclusive SUV”, whose diesel version also boasts the lowest carbon emissions of the entire Bentley fleet. The hybrid version of the Bentayga that is set to come onto the market in 2019 will clearly top this figure with CO2 emissions of just 75 g/km (NEDC). Finally, Lamborghini offers the Urus1 as a “super SUV” – the fastest SUV currently available with a top speed of 305 km/h.
SUV production to become much cleaner
2020 will be the year in which Volkswagen enters the era of mass-produced electric vehicles in the SUV segment as well – it is then that the I.D. CROZZ, the first Volkswagen SUV from an all-electric series, will come onto the market. However, the brands’ state-of-the-art SUVs are already making a considerable contribution to the reduction of carbon emissions. For example, a Volkswagen T-Roc 1.6 TDI5 with 85 kW/115 PS emits around 113 g of CO2 per 100 km – comparable to a Golf 1.6 TDI6 with the same engine (108 g/100 km).
The Group is working very hard to reduce its carbon emissions, particularly in SUV production. By 2025 the Group aims to have cut CO2 emissions per vehicle by 45 percent (versus 2010) through higher energy efficiency – for example by optimizing plant infrastructure and switching to renewable energy. This means that the Volkswagen brands’ SUVs will meet the highest expectations not only in terms of technology, innovation and comfort, but also in terms of sustainability.
1 Lamborghini Urus: Mileage, l/100 km: combined 12.7; CO2 emissions combined: 290 g/km; efficiency class: G.
2 Volkswagen Atlas: The vehicle has not gone on sale in Germany.
3 Audi e-tron: The vehicle has not yet gone on sale in Germany.
4 ŠKODA Kamiq: The vehicle has not gone on sale in Germany.
5 T-Roc 1.6 TDI: Mileage, l/100 km: city 5.0 – 4.9, highway 4.0 – 3.9, combined 4.4 – 4.3; CO2 emissions combined: 115 – 113 g/km; efficiency class: A.
6 Golf 1.6 TDI: Mileage, l/100 km: city 4.7 – 4.6, highway 3.9 – 3.8, combined 4.2 – 4.1; CO2 emissions combined: 109 – 106 g/km; efficiency class: A.
Note in accordance with Directive 1999/94/EC, as amended: Further information on the official fuel consumption and the official specific CO2 emissions of new passenger cars can be found in the “Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO2-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch neuer Personenkraftwagen” (Guide to fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and electricity consumption of new passenger cars), which is available at all points of sale and from DAT Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH, Helmuth-Hirth-Strasse 1, D-73760 Ostfildern, Germany, or at www.dat.deunentgeltlich.