Future Cars: VW’s Project Trinity EV Kicks Things Up a Notch

WHAT IT IS: Project Trinity is a new initiative by Volkswagen to create an electric sedan with “high range, extremely short charging times, and revolutionary production.” The ambiguously named project is still at least five years away, but another electric vehicle from VW is much closer to reality: the production version of the ID Buzz concept. The 21st-century van’s imminent arrival is almost enough to make us forget about VW’s disastrous “Voltswagen” April Fool’s gaffe from earlier this year.

WHY IT MATTERS: EVs still have a way to go before the mainstream buying public finds these vehicles as appealing as their gasoline- and diesel-powered counterparts. Certainly, electric vehicles need to be easy to charge quickly, not to mention offer ample driving range. VW’s Project Trinity, along with its ID-badged cars, aims to deliver all of this in a package that’s both user-friendly and reasonably priced.

PLATFORMS AND POWERTRAIN: Although Project Trinity might rely on a new platform, VW’s present EVs all ride on a modular architecture known as Modularer E-Antriebs-Baukasten, or MEB. It’s a modular (i.e. stretchable or shrinkable) architecture that underpins the likes of the ID4. MEB will also serve as the basis for the brand’s upcoming van based on the ID Buzz concept.

The production ID Buzz won’t look dissimilar from the concept that first made an appearance in 2017. There will likely be more seating, the front will get real headlights, and the steering wheel won’t resemble a video game controller. The rest of the concept van’s features, however, should largely carry over to the production model. This is a good thing, given the concept’s excellent execution.

Because MEB will underpin the brand’s new electric van, it’s probably safe to assume the vehicle’s specs will closely mirror those of VW’s other ID products, such as the ID4. That means buyers of this retro-inspired van can expect at least 250 miles of range on a single charge, as well as a powertrain consisting of a single electric motor mounted at the rear axle that produces 201 hp and 228 lb-ft of torque. Additional variants with more motors, more power, and slightly less range will likely come after the vehicle initially launches.

ESTIMATED PRICE: $50,000

EXPECTED ON-SALE DATE: The ID Buzz should hit dealers in early 2023, with Project Trinity EVs landing closer to 2025.

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