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    First Editorial Notes from MQB Technical Presentation this Week in Wolfsburg

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    As mentioned yesterday, Fourtitude contributing editor (and VWvortex Editor-in-Chief) Jamie Vondruska attended Volkswagen's MQB Introduction presentation this week in Wolfsburg. Though presented in a Volkswagen context, this presentation is very pertinent to future transverse Audis such as the upcoming next generations of Audi A3, TT, A1, Q3 and who knows what else. Jamie has filed some initial notes from the event and will be filing a more thorough report by next week. Below are his notes with a few modifications to tailor the text to our Audi-owning readership:

    Quote Originally Posted by jamie@vwvortex View Post
    I'll have a more thorough article on this later, but the MQB modular architecture is a huge fundamental shift in everything Audi and the other Volkswagen Group brands will do in the future. There are actually four levels of modular platforms - NSF (new small family and likely Audi A2), MQB (all transverse cars Next-generation A1, A3, TT, Q3), MLB (all longitudinal except the sports cars including A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, Q5 and next-generation Q7) and MSB/MSS which is mid-engine longitudinal (front, mid and rear according to Georg Kacher), RWD mostly for sports cars (Porsche, Lamborghini, third generation R8, etc., etc.). MQB is being developed by Volkswagen. MLB is Audi's development project and MSB is Porsche's development project. The Volkswagen Group currently has 200 models of vehicles across their various brands to deal with, so by moving everything to this modular architecture, they are able to simplify things quite a bit. Here is the basic MQB platform where you can see the amount of latitude they have in the basic structure:

    But it isn't just the car itself. The engines are all moving to a modular strategy. The EA288 for example will share components with the 1.8T FSI, 2.0T FSI and new 2.0 TDI. Not only are the engines being put into a modular strategy, but they will all be mounted with the same inclination angle and thus require less space since the configuration will be the same for all engines. That means the engine can be moved back a bit more in the chassis and the overall complexity of things like exhaust routing and placement go away. The car stereo/infotainment systems are a shared modular system with just three different head units and a variety of modules that can be added and subtracted. Even the factories will be using a modular system to build cars where a longer wheelbase Volkswagen Passat can be built on the same line as a Volkswagen Polo (think A1, Q3, A3 and TT all on one line). In addition, there was a massive simplification of parts as well. Take the mount for the dashboard as an example below. The graphic below compares the current Kaluga factory in Russia to the future MQB Kaluga with just one common dash mount bracket:

    So overall this is a huge step for Audi and the Volkswagen Group and they have been preparing for years now to make this switch.

    Other notes:

    - they have reduced engine variations by 88%
    - HVAC system variations will be reduced by 73%
    - 1.8T FSI horsepower (for now) will top out at 180hp
    - 2.0T FSI horsepower (for now) will top out at 280hp
    - The VR6 can work in this application, but it sounds like Volkswagen is taking a hard look at V6 engine strategies and whether the 2.5l inline-5 turbo engine ( perhaps in lower cost and hp configuration - ed.) might be an alternative solution.
    - The new transverse differential lock (VAQ in Volkswagen speak) is an electronically controlled locking differential. I should have more specifics on this later, but the marketing materials say that, "The system is based on a multi-plate coupler that is located between the differential cage and the right drive shaft. The pressure required to operate the actuate the VAQ is produced and regulated by an electrically-powered pump. A control unit continually adjusts for the optimal locking power as a function of the driving situation." The materials go on to describe it as a torque vectoring effect (sounding similar to the S4's Sport Differential but applied to front axle for a front-wheel drive application - ed.). Volkswagen says they have been testing this system for years now and have used it in their Scirocco natural gas powered 24 hour endurance race cars for the last two years and it helped shave 8.5 seconds off of their Nurburgring times (8:42 lap time overall).
    - new variable steering ratio system
    - electronic parking brake system is all one module now that can also handle hill-hold functions and such
    - traffic sign detection
    - fatigue detection
    - light assist (for dimming the high-beams with oncoming traffic, but also varying the beam pattern as well depending on how dark it is)
    - park assist 2 which requires even less space to auto-park the car
    - park pilot radar/sonar system is now 360 degrees and split into zones so individual objects (like a pole in a parking garage) are tracked
    - depending on the model the weight savings for the overall MQB car is 40-60kg (88 lbs. to 132 lbs.)

    Some of the technology features are likely to get caught up in U.S. regulations or cost issues obviously. However, once the Volkswagen Group makes the investment fully in MQB for North America, then anything transverse could be built here which opens up the possibilities quite a bit. (Theoretically this could mean the transverse Audis on the Chattanooga line, a dedicated Audi line or in their own MQB-prepped Audi facility).


    Couple more pics:


    1. R5T's Avatar
      I wonder how this would translate into the new alloy TT body.
    2. George@Fourtitude's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by R5T
      I wonder how this would translate into the new alloy TT body.
      Much as PQ components (from A3, Golf, etc.) effect the alloy TT. Parts are still shared so information about engines, drivetrain, infotainment, etc. directly apply.
    3. 4000sfan's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by George@Fourtitude
      Much as PQ components (from A3, Golf, etc.) effect the alloy TT. Parts are still shared so information about engines, drivetrain, infotainment, etc. directly apply.
      I read a part of the notes where it says the engine moves back a little bit in MQB - which is certainly a good thing for handling. I'm glad they said their is weight loss for the platform as a whole. Thats also bodes well for the TT. Any word on the new system Haldex was developing?
      As an aside - what are the odds that the MLB-evo Audi is able to nudge the engine back even just a little more...?? Or is strictly about using lighter materials (which is certainly good in and of itself)?