DETROIT -- Volkswagen has confirmed that an SUV will be the second full-electric car to use its MEB modular architecture. The concept version of the battery-powered SUV will debut at the Shanghai auto show in late April. A production version is expected after 2020.
"The SUV will come, that's been decided," Klaus Bischoff, head of design for the VW brand, told Automotive News Europe on Sunday on the eve of the auto show here.
He declined to say whether the MEB-based SUV would be a compact or midsize model. VW can use the platform to create vehicles that are more than 16 feet (4,941mm) in length, as shown by the I.D. Buzz microbus concept that debuts at the Detroit auto show on Monday.
When asked why VW chose to show the Buzz, a minivan, in Detroit, rather than an MEB-based SUV, Bischoff said he wanted to increase the likelihood that the Buzz would generate enough interest to ensure it would go into series production. The SUV, by comparison, has already been granted production approval.
One of the core strategies of Volkswagen to help it boost its market share in the U.S. has been to roll out more SUVs. The midsize Atlas was unveiled at the Los Angeles auto show last November and the long-wheelbase version of the Tiguan compact crossover will appear in Detroit.