Back in 2012, Volkswagen Group had announced a new architecture for front-engined, front-wheel-drive (FWD) cars. Called Modular Longitudinal Matrix or MLB Evo, this flexible platform is used by them across different models of different brands. In the coming years, Volkswagen is planning to launch seven new SUVs, all of which would be based on this scalable platform.
The new Audi Q7 would be the first SUV to be based on the MLB Evo platform and is expected to be launched later this year. The car has been spotted testing quite a few times and is rumoured to have lost 295kg compared to the previous model, thanks to MLB Evo. The new Q7’s looks more grown up owing to the less rounded design and shorter overhangs. The front is dominated by a large grille which is flanked by big LED headlamps. The new Q7 will be slightly more premium than the current model and as such, the price is also expected to increase.
The third-generation Porsche Cayenne is expected to arrive in 2017. The new Cayenne’s styling will be influenced by many of Porsche’s recent concept cars as well as the Macan. While the Cayenne will retain the oval headlamps, it will get a new clamshell bonnet, creases running across the length of the car and tail lamps influenced by the Panamera Sport Turismo Concept. The Cayenne will also be moved up in the segment, so as to have a sizeable gap between the Macan and the Cayenne.
The Bentley Falcon, as it is internally called, is the British manufacturer’s first ever SUV. Expected to carry a price tag over GBP 1,40,000 (Rs 1.41 crore), Bentley claims that the Falcon will be the most luxurious and powerful SUV in the market when launched in 2017. The Falcon will be powered by the company’s existing V8 and W12 engines as well as a petrol-electric hybrid. It gets Bentley’s trademark styling details like the mesh front grille with twin-round light clusters and massive air dams, similar to the Continental GT. The Falcon is a key component of the company’s strategy of achieving 15,000 worldwide car sales by 2018.
While the Volkswagen Touareg facelift was shown at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show last month, not many details are known about the next-generation car. To be unveiled in 2017, the Touareg will be available with a hybrid powertrain along with the host of V6 and V8 engines.
The Audi Q8 will be a luxury SUV which will feature a lower roofline and look more coupe-like than the Q7. The car will have a longer wheelbase than the Q7 and sleeker styling with a high waist and will be a sporty, road-focused product. It will be available as both five and seven-seaters and will rival the likes of BMW X6 and the Range Rover Sport.
The Cayenne coupe will be Porsche’s contender in the popular SUV-coupe segment, when it will be launched in 2018. The segment was kick-started by the BMW X6 and has turned out to be quite popular, especially in China. At the 2014 Beijing Motor Show, Mercedes-Benz also revealed its plan of entering the segment with the MLC. Engine options are expected to be carried from the Cayenne, while pricing of the Cayenne coupe would be around 15-20 per cent higher than the flagship SUV.
The Lamborghini Urus concept was unveiled at the 2012 Beijing Motor Show. The car makes extensive use of carbon fiber with a low-slung, streamlined body. The spiritual successor to the LM002, Urus features aggressive styling in line with the company’s design language as seen on the new Aventador and Huracan. In its hybrid guise, the Ursus will be powered by a V8 engine, which in conjunction with an electric motor will churn out around 670bhp. It was recently revealed by Rupert Stadler, business executive and chairman of Audi AG that the development of the Urus is on track for a 2018 launch.
A common platform only assists in component sharing across different models, but also helps the manufacturer reduce research and development costs. The MLB Evo platform will have many weight saving measures like the extensive use of aluminium and carbon-fibre in the construction, which will not only assist the performance, but also the efficiency and emission figures. Besides this, the MLB Evo platform has been developed to be compatible with a number of powertrains including petrol, diesel as well as hybrid ones.