What to expect from Volkswagen’s Trinity electric car [Update]

  • Trinity project projected to give Volkswagen its next Model Y rival
  • Likely to have fewer hardware variants and allow existing customers to "unlock" new specs
  • Will allow Level 4 autonomous driving eventually
  • Project has reportedly evolved from that of a sleek sedan to a crossover SUV

Update: The full story has been revised.

In the words of former Volkswagen Passenger Cars CEO Ralf Brandstätter, the VW Trinity is a lighthouse project and the company’s software dream car. Here’s what we know about Volkswagen’s ambitious future electric car.


Volkswagen had said in 2021 that the VW Trinity project car will be a “flat, sporty sedan” that would set new benchmarks in terms of range, charging speeds, and digitalization. However, more recent media reports have suggested that company has changed course, and is instead building an SUV.

In its report published on May 2, 2023, Autocar said that the Trinity has been reborn as a “premium-market crossover-cum-SUV.” The vehicle will be positioned between the Tiguan and Touareg, featuring the company’s most advanced software and drivetrain components.

Former Auto Bild editor-in-chief Tom Drechsler saw the covered vehicle, which we now understand was the original design proposal, while interviewing Brandstätter in Walhalla in November 2021. Walhalla is Volkswagen’s windowless secret room at its design center in Germany. The Autocar report notes that the development targets that were outlined by Brandstätter is similar despite the change in the shape.

Scalable Systems Platform (SSP)

Current Volkswagen EVs sit on the MEB electric vehicle platform. However, Trinity will be based on a Scalable systems platform or SSP. SSP is the Volkswagen Group’s mechatronics platform developed for next-gen pure electric, digital, and highly modular EVs from every group brand.

SSP will be the successor to MQB, MSB, MLB, MEB, and PPE platforms. The VW Trinity will be the first true SSP model. The development of SSP is taking place in Wolfsburg, Germany, which is home to Volkswagen Group.


Volkswagen will develop the Trinity using a new development process that is more harmonious and reduces the time taken by 25%. Vehicle projects will take 40 months from start to completion in the future, a significant improvement over the current time of 54 months. Volkswagen is developing a new R&D center, the Sandkamp Campus. It will house 4,800 engineers and come at an investment of USD 900 million.

Level 4 Autonomous

Former Volkswagen Group CEO Dr. Herbert Diess had said that the VW Trinity would bring Level-4 autonomous technology to the mass market segments. CARIAD developed VW.OS and VW.OS v1.2 systems are integrated into PPE platform-based cars. The SSP cars would have VW.OS v2.0.

The new EV will have Level 2+ autonomy as standard. At a later stage, it will be possible to upgrade, but Level 4 autonomous driving will likely be a paid subscription.


With Trinity, we are revolutionizing the all-electric mobility experience. We are setting new standards – in range, charging speed, and connected driving experience.

Ralf Brandstätter, former CEO, Volkswagen (Annual Media Conference 2022 on March 16, 2022)


Brandstätter revealed a few specifications, some of which seemed targeted figures, of the VW Trinity during the Auto Bild interview. He said that the car, presumably in its production version, will measure around 4.70 m (185.0 in.) in length and offer seats for five occupants. That means it will be smaller than the VW ID.7 sedan, which is  195.3 in. long.

Performance and range

The Trinity’s WLTP range will be more than 700 km (435 miles), Brandstätter revealed during the Auto Bild interview. A 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) sprint will take less than 5 seconds.

According to an earlier Autocar report, Volkswagen could use a cobalt-free battery pack (like LFP, for instance) in the Trinity. However, the company would need to ensure achieving performance and range standards with such chemistry is comparable to an NMC battery pack, if not better. The VW Trinity would also have the unified cell concept for the battery pack.

800V architecture

The charging power will be much higher than what current VW EVs offer (170 kW), as Brandstätter wants the flagship EV to charge as quickly as refueling an ICE vehicle.

On March 18, 2022, in an interview with Auto Zeitung, Brandstätter confirmed a highly anticipated specification of the EV. When asked when will the Volkswagen brand introduce 800-volt charging technology, he revealed that the Trinity will become that model. Volkswagen Group’s current models featuring 800-volt charging technology (Porsche Taycan family) allow fast-charging at 270 kW, but future models due after 2025 could support a higher rate, potentially 350 kW. Fast-charging the Trinity’s battery pack from 5 to 80% level at 800-volt charging stations could take around 20 minutes.

On-demand feature activation

The future project aims to eliminate production complexities. The SSP cars would have fewer variants and standardized hardware. Customers would have the option to choose from a plethora of features that enable or disable them at their convenience. The VW Trinity would mark the beginning of highly software-based EVs.

VW ID.2 & VW Trinity (VW ID.4 sedan) teaser
The VW ID.2 and the Project Trinity will challenge traditional EV market segments at either end. Image: Roland Tameling/Instagram

The subscription model will be extensive. Imagine paying extra for Spotify Premium; in the same manner, future VW cars will have features that can be activated on-demand — either for trial or even a complete purchase. This could range from buying a technical upgrade to upping the charging capacity to, say, 300 kW or higher. According to the Autocar report, 5G OTA updates will be standard in the ID.4 Sedan.


The base VW Trinity price will be EUR 35,000 (USD 37,105). That’s the target Brandstätter revealed during the Auto Bild interview. However, considering that the company has re-positioned the future model between the Tiguan and Touareg, it could be priced at close to EUR 55,000 (USD 58,308)

Production & Release Date

On September 29, 2023, Volkswagen Passenger Cars confirmed that the Trinity project will be produced at the Zwickau plant. While the company did not offer a concrete timeline for the launch of the Trinity, it is reported that the release date has been pushed back from 2026 to 2028.

As things stand today, the Trinity vehicle project originally planned for Wolfsburg will go to the Zwickau plant.

VW Passenger Cars in an announcement on September 29, 2023

New manufacturing techniques

On March 31, 2022, Reuters said in a report that Volkswagen will reduce the number of components in vehicles by several hundred and adopt techniques like large die casting to speed up production times. Launching EVs in fewer variants is among the solutions to slash production times. The implementation of these measures will benefit the Trinity project model. Volkswagen wants to cut production time to 10 hours per vehicle. Currently, they take 30 hours to produce one ID.3.

TopElectricSUV says

The VW Trinity will likely be a highly efficient, highly digitalized, ultra-long-range electric car. If executed well, it would result in one of the most futuristic eco-friendly cars to come out of Germany for the masses.

Featured image: Volkswagen