New Patent Images Could Point To Volkswagen’s EV Future
Details are scarce, but these patents look intriguingby Kirby Garlitos, on
Volkswagen made its plans loud and clear when it introduced the ID Concept at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. The prototype marked a turning point in the German automaker’s future as it signalled the start of its pursuit towards electrification and autonomous vehicle. Specific details about this future have not yet been revealed, but the company has already said that a production version of the ID concept will hit the streets in 2020, becoming the first of many EV models that VW plans to release.
On that note, recent patent filings released by the Intellectual Property Organization and unearthed by Autocar have given us a glimpse of possible new models that could be included in Volkswagen’s EV family. One of these models appears to be a low-slung sports coupe that features gull-wing doors and an active set of aerodynamic features, including an extendable rear fin at the roof of the car. Separately, the inquiring minds over at VWVortex have also discovered other vehicles that have been identified in the same patent filing, two of which appear to be vehicles of the public commuter variety, including one that literally looks like an oversized oven toaster with hidden wheels.
While the patents do reveal some striking designs, none of them have been confirmed for production capacity like the ID Concept. Given Volkswagen’s timetable for the production version of the ID, it’s very unlikely that we’ll see any of these patents come to life soon, even in concept form. For what they’re worth, they may not even amount to anything, but at the very least, they point us to the electric and autonomous driving future that Volkswagen is planning to go to.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
VW’s planning for something big
It’s no secret that the diesel emissions scandal took a lot out of Volkswagen. Between hemorrhaging billions of dollars and getting tangled up in one lawsuit after another, there was really no other direction for the German automaker to go to than this one. Granted, it probably would’ve pursued electrification and autonomous driving technology given the current landscape of the business, but if there was ever a moment that forced Volkswagen to really hunker down and go all-in on EVs and self-driving cars, the diesel emissions scandal is that moment.
So where does this lead the company now that it’s straight-up pursuing electrification and autonomous driving technology? That’s a question that will only be answered in time, but for what it’s worth, these patent filings are a clear indication that the German automaker isn’t pursuing this field with one foot inside the door.
On the surface, the patents don’t reveal too much other than what these concepts could look like if they’re built. But this isn’t about the patents themselves as it is about the intentions of Volkswagen. It’s already confirmed plans to build a production version of the EV Concept in time for the car to hit dealerships in 2020. Once that’s done, look for the German conglomerate to turn its attention towards developing and building other models to complement that one.
One day, we’re probably going to have to revisit these patent filings to see if Volkswagen lives up to its promise of becoming a dominant player in these burgeoning segments. Until then though, we’ll have to sit back and wait what becomes of these images.
Read our full review on the 2016 Volkswagen I.D. Concept here.