IS VOLKSWAGEN on the cusp of productionising this low-slung, gullwinged EV sports car?
Some corners of the motoring media are saying “maybe”, but as much as we’d love to see Germany’s auto giant bolster its battery-powered EV efforts with a gorgeous, well-proportioned coupe, we’re throwing cold water on this one… and more than pinch of salt for good measure too.
The patent images that spawned the rumour depict a sleek elongated form with a short front overhang, a tapered rear deck and a B-pillarless cabin accessed through roof-hinged doors. Its apparent size suggests it could be a Tesla Model 3 rival, and cool factor is off the charts.
The car is indeed part of an official Volkswagen patent filing, and its recessed rectangular fascia is an obvious throwback to the original Volkswagen Golf - as are the twin LED headlamp rings hidden behind its slatted grille.
The relative scarcity of cooling apertures and absence of tailpipes suggests this machine is purely electric – or even a fuel-cell hybrid – which meshes with Volkswagen’s plans to roll out a new series of battery electric cars starting from the end of this decade. A performance car is expected to be part of that electron-munching family.
But is this it? Unlikely. Volkswagen has patented this design and that usually signals some serious intent on the part of the manufacturer to bring it to market. However, the patent filing also contains 22 other designs besides this one, and most of them are definitely not anything we’d expect to see any time soon.
For instance, how about this driverless semi-trailer:
Or this Smart car alternative modelled on a Stack Hat:
Or this… thing:
Even the reaction from VW is non-committal, with the company’s local PR chief saying, “we haven’t heard anything official about it yet”.
There’s also the small inconvenience of the car in question not having a windscreen. We assume it’s autonomous as a result, or a red herring – or just the product of a car designer’s fertile imagination about what cars may look like in the distant future. Note the emphasis.