Volkswagen’s revolutionary MQB chassis system
Volkswagen’s revolutionary MQB chassis system can now be considered well and truly tried and tested and it seems that, so far, the results are as good as expected. Ulrich Hackenberg, the auto engineer who came up with the idea and who is now research director at VW, has reported that the savings he predicted are now beginning to show
MQB, short for Modularer Querbaukasten – the English of which is Modular Transverse Matrix – is the new chassis system, or architecture, designed to be a simple and flexible base that can accommodate anything from the smallest Polo to the largest MPV. The modular platform uses an enormous range of common components to which “tool kits” are added for character and individuality of each model. Predicted savings for parts were up to 20 per cent with similar figures for manufacturing costs
Is this the first step towards a vehicle manufacturers’ dream of a “global car”, with staff at rival manufacturers quietly admitting that they are monitoring results closely, or is it a step too far? Some critics consider that 20 per cent to be a rather too neat and convenient figure, although they do accept that it appears savings have indeed been made. Another cautionary note is that very large volumes of standardised components can become a huge and potentially expensive problem if one of them fails and vehicle recalls are necessary.
Special thanks Petr Magera for providing the image