Volkswagen is planning an all-new halo electric car, and today VW brand emperor Ralf Brandstätter announced the name, Trinity, and some details about the car that are using some, well, confusing terms. The car will be based on a new version of the MEB electric car modular platform, and, with the positioning of it in the premium space, potentially competing with Audi, it seems VW must have new tech that wipes their brains of any lessons learned from the VW Phaeton.
A couple of tweets from the announcement event in Germany give some interesting details about the new car:
...and there’s a second tweet that quotes Brandstätter:
This car stands for 3 things: We are taking the lead for a flat-panel electrical platform, helping to shape the new group backbone Level 2+ (level 4 ready) autonomous driving and neural network Fully networked production processes.
Wow, there’s a lot going on here.
First, let’s talk about that name, Trinity. It’s a strangely ecclesiastical choice for Volkswagen, and doesn’t fit in at all with any of its previous naming schemes, which traditionally have been related to various winds, descriptive names, the occasional horse, sports, made-up words, and, most recently, the ID.(number) series for their new electric cars.
I suppose VW has sort of dabbled in gods or god-adjacent names before, with Atlas, but “Trinity” still feels like something of a departure.
Based on the slide included with the tweet, it may reference triples of concepts, such as the “New Architecture, Radically New Production Approach, Autonomous Driving & Neural Boost” mentioned in the slide, which were restated in Brandsätter’s quote.
The “new architecture” I’m guessing refers to the new version of MEB, the “flat panel electrical platform” might have to do with the “radically new production approach,” which maybe suggests using more unitized printed circuits for various elements? Is it referring to flat-panel screens? I’m not really sure.
Autonomous driving I understand, even though I’m not expecting it (in full Level 5 form at least) anytime soon, but what the hell is “neural boost?” Is that like those “smart drugs” from the ‘90s all those awful people at parties would tell you about?
Then there’s the beautiful mystery of just what the hell a “flat seat concept” is. My initial guess is that it refers to some sort of autonomous vehicle that’s not intended for human driving at all, and as such has flat, bench or couch-like seating instead of traditional bucket seats like in a human-driven car.
I mean, I think. Maybe they’re seats you could sleep on? I’m really not sure yet.
The car in that slide, luxuriantly draped under a while silken sheet, looks a lot like a very squashed and stretched Golf or maybe Scirocco, and I wouldn’t expect the Trinity to actually look much like that at all.
Really, I’d expect a “flat seat” design — if it means what I suspect it might — to be more box-like, more room-on-wheels-ish. Maybe it is planning on sharing a platform with the new Microbus?
It’s all still a bit confusing, not the least of which is the fact that it appears to be positioned in such a way as to directly compete with their own sibling Audi, which didn’t go so great the last time VW tried this, with the impressive but likely mis-badged Phaeton.
Still, I’m curious, VW! Now hit me up with some of that neural boost!