Volkswagen Golf Variant HyMotion Fuel Cell Vehicle, courtesy of VW Global Media

VW Introduces the Golf SportWagen HyMotion Fuel Cell Vehicle

On the heels of yesterday’s premiere of the Toyota Mirai, Volkswagen used the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show as the stage to pull the curtain on the Golf SportWagen HyMotion fuel cell vehicle.  VW calls the HyMotion is a a progressive research vehicle, a testbed for integrating innovations into production models.  Here’s more from Volkswagen:

 

Volkswagen is showing the Golf SportWagen HyMotion to demonstrate for the first time how a hydrogen fuel cell could be implemented based on the MQB as soon as research and development work has been completed and a solution could be developed whose price would be acceptable to new car buyers.

 

The introduction gives us a glimpse into VW’s fuel cell strategy.  We already know that Toyota will approach the market by accepting slow initial sales and concentrating on the commuter-rich areas of Southern California and the Northeast Corridor.  VW is taking a different tack:

 

Unlike many of its competitors, Volkswagen is following the strategy of implementing its alternative drives in high-volume production vehicles. That is, precisely as the all-electric e-Golf and the Golf GTE that is equipped with a plug-in hybrid drive, future fuel cell drives would also be integrated into a production model that has everyday practicality, has been optimally engineered and is offered at an attractive price.

Volkswagen Golf Variant HyMotion Powertrain cutaway, courtesy of VW Global Media

The fuel cell powertrain in the HyMotion is built into VWs Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) platform.  The MQB is the frame that underpins most of their offerings.  This means that they won’t need to create a new vehicle from the wheels up, saving development costs.  It also means that when consumer adoption of fuel cell begins to take off, VW could easily put the model into production.  The Golf HyMotion joins a Passat HyMotion already in testing on California’s roads.  Audi is presenting the same fuel cell powertrain in the A7 Sportback H-tron, to be revealed in Los Angeles as well.

 

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Sebastian James

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