One of the biggest surprises this year at CES 2016 was the introduction of Volkswagen BUDD-e concept, a car that makes us think that a future family car can be electric.
The BUDD-e is the first Volkswagen to have the DNA of the new MEB architecture. The MEB results in a drivetrain architecture that is specifically tailored to the use of compact electric motors and high-performance batteries. The flat battery with an energy content of 92.4 kWh is integrated into almost the entire vehicle floor of the BUDD-e. It powers two electric motors, which drive both of the axles.
The front electric motor produces 100 kW (200 Nm), while the rear motor produces 125 kW (290 Nm). Combined its results in a total system power of 225 kW.
With the help of the big battery, the total range of up to 233 miles or 533 kilometers makes the car ready for the road. The battery can either be charged by plugging it into a power socket or by inductive charging. At a charging power of 150 kW (DC), the battery is 80 percent charged after about 30 minutes.
The concept car’s all-wheel-drive system gives the BUDD-e a top speed of 112 mph or 180 km, and lets the car accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.9 seconds.
The architecture of the new Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB) completely changes the package of the car. When you open the sliding door by gesture control from the outside, you enter an interior that is more reminiscent of a lounge. The driver’s and front passenger’s seats stand on a wooden floor. And the wood isn’t plastic film or veneer, but has its genuine three-dimensional grain.
If the front-seat passenger wants to talk to his friends sitting in the back, he can simply swivel his rotating seat (just like the driver’s seat), which is fitted with an integral seat belt, around to face the back. In the back there is a soft, cozy carpet along with two conventional seats for the journey. There is also a 34-inch monitor integrated in the side wall of the Volkswagen.
Everything is operated intuitively by gesture control, touch screen (displays and touch slider) or voice control. The BUDD-e’s user-programmable instrument cluster is an evolution of the Active Info Display that was first launched by Volkswagen in 2015. Centrally positioned, right in front of the driver is a 12.3-inch curved display with a surface consisting of three individually configurable sections.