6 January 2016
 

Volkswagen BUDD-e

Volkswagen showcases BUDD-e concept

Autozine
6 January 2016 | Volkswagen is opening a gateway to the future at the CES in Las Vegas with the zero-emission BUDD-e minivan. The first model based on an equally new Volkswagen technology matrix for electric vehicles. The van's range: up to 233 miles (USA/FTP 72) or 533 kilometers (Europe/NEDC). And BUDD-e also has charisma with its iconic design. BUDD-e promises a completely new method of operation and information processing. Everything is more intuitive than ever before. Touch and gesture control merge seamlessly; switches and buttons are a thing of the past; individual displays blend into large infotainment panels; analog mirrors are replaced by digital screens.
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Volkswagen demonstrates how much travel will have changed by the time we are in or around the year 2019 at the CES on board the BUDD-e. Four friends will set off on an imaginary journey in the car from San Francisco to Nevada to go to a legendary American festival on what is to be an interactive journey into the world of tomorrow. A world that will most probably have become the world of the present in January 2016 in Las Vegas with the technologies of the future presented in the BUDD-e. These technologies include Volkswagen's new conceptual matrix for electric vehicles: the Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB), with which it may, for the first time, become possible for the pure electrical of large series models to match that of today's gasoline-powered cars by the end of the decade. In parallel to this, the time it takes to charge the batteries should have been cut to about 15 minutes (80 percent capacity) by then. This would mark the breakthrough of electric cars.

Volkswagen

MEB - The new architecture for Volkswagen's electric vehicles: With the BUDD-e Volkswagen has developed a minivan that is more thoroughly networked with its surroundings, as part of the Internet, than any car before - the most communicative car of its time. Many of this Volkswagen's features are different. It was the first concept car developed by the Volkswagen Group to be designed on the basis of the new Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB). This architecture heralds a fundamental change in electric cars and thus for the car in general, because the MEB throws all fossil fuel ballast of the present overboard, having been designed specifically for electric cars. And this means that the body design, the interior design, the package and the drive characteristics of the electrically powered Volkswagen will change significantly. Advantages of the MEB at a glance:

  • Spacious interiors and the smallest possible traffic footprint, to make handling as easy as possible around the world.
  • Great agility; powerful acceleration combined with maneuverability.
  • Interiors designed for optimal use with a positive feeling for space thanks to the new vehicle architecture.
  • Maximum functionality and networking thanks to new display and control concepts.
  • The greatest possible degree of occupant safety.
  • A new, recognizable and distinct design identity thanks to new proportion and styling possibilities - each MEB vehicle will be recognizable as such.
  • Cost-effective access to e-mobility, accompanied by long ranges to match today's gasoline-powered cars, so that the car can be used as the primary car in the household.
  • Drive system data - the first MEB concept car. The BUDD-e being presented at the CES in Las Vegas is, as outlined, the first Volkswagen to have the DNA of the new MEB. The MEB results in a drivetrain architecture that is specifically tailored to the use of compact electric motors and high-performance batteries. The flat and space-saving battery with an energy content of 92.4 kWh is integrated into almost the entire vehicle floor of the BUDD-e. It powers two electric motors, which drive both of the axles.

The front electric motor produces 100 kW (200 Nm), while the rear motor produces 125 kW (290 Nm); resulting in a mechanical system power of 225 kW. This results in a total range of up to 233 miles (USA/FTP 72) or 533 kilometers (Europe/NEDC) when the battery is fully charged, putting the BUDD-e on a level playing field with today's gasoline-powered cars. The battery can either be charged by plugging it into a power socket or by inductive charging. At a charging power of 150 kW (DC), the battery is 80 percent charged after about 30 minutes. The concept car's all-wheel-drive system gives the BUDD-e a top speed of 112 mph/180 km, and it can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.9 seconds.

Volkswagen

The minivan, which is 181.0"/4,597 mm long, exploits the enclosed space perfectly, true to the MEB concept. The BUDD-e is 76.4"/1,940 mm wide and 72.2"/1,835 mm high, putting it between Volkswagen's Touran and Multivan T6 vans, both of which have been very successful in Europe, in terms of length; although the concept car is wider than these two well-known production models. It also shares the handy tailgate with these two models as well as featuring the Multivan's sliding door on the right-hand side. Due to its generous width and a relatively long wheelbase (124.1"/3,151 mm) with very short overhangs (27.3"/694 mm at the front and 29.6"/752 mm at the back) the BUDD-e's proportions are very taut. A newly developed rear steering system results in a very tight turning circle of 37.7 ft/11.5 m and improved dynamic response.

 

Volkswagen

The architecture of the new Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB) completely changes the package of the car, which is a tall order for the interior designers, who had the opportunity to create a space that is hardly restricted by the drive technology at the front of the car. This is precisely what the BUDD-e demonstrates, because the conventional dashboard along with all its knobs and switches have been entirely done away with. It just isn't necessary any more in the future of electromobility. Instead, the design team arranged the instruments - the next-generation human-machine interface - as a display that looks like it is floating in mid air, like a tablet floating in the space in front of the driver. But it isn't just the driver's workplace that is characterized by lightness, but all of the interior surfaces, which are immersed in blue, silver and white.

The zero-emission van configured for the CES is a four-seater due to its special technical specifications. The interior style of the BUDD-e is characterized by the completely new and progressive human-machine interface - the display and control concept of the future. The design is extremely clean and intuitive to use. The whole technical architecture of the infotainment and control systems as well as their design makes a quantum leap akin to the jump from mobile phones with numerical keypads to smartphones or, more recently, from analog watches to smartwatches. Revolution instead of evolution.

Volkswagen

The idea behind the design and structuring of the panel was rooted in the car's most basic function: driving, because behind the entire panel there is a sliding 3D navigation map with graphics - the visualization of travel - that thus become the stylistic matrix of an interactive human-machine interface (HMI). This is accomplished using two physically separate displays, which blend into one visually and functionally: first of all the Active Info Display as a freely programmable instrument cluster in front of the driver and secondly the head unit (HU) as what was once a separate screen for the infotainment system. The Active Info Display comprises the conceptional focus on driver information, while the HU provides infotainment and information for all of the passengers on board. And yet both of these areas form a united visual and textual realm, as the navigation graphics and the arrangement of media content such as the display of Points of Interest (POI), playlists (audio), apps (App Connect) and online services (CAR Net) are freely configurable. In addition to all this, the main points and content should also be able to be swapped between the Active Info Display and the head unit in the future.

Not only does the BUDD-e's completely new infotainment concept make traveling more interactive and media more tangible, it also creates a link between the car and the world of its users. But there's more - BUDD-e itself becomes part of the Internet and becomes a key to digitized realms of service and infotainment: People will be able to access their homes and workplaces from cars like this Volkswagen and control the air conditioning system, turn the lights on or off, or simply take a look online to see if the kids are home yet. @home on the Internet. @home in the car.

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