Car platforms serve as the architectural backbone of modern vehicles, combining essential automotive components like the chassis and transmission to form a comprehensive foundation. Specifically, modular car platforms are designed with adaptability in mind, often fitting a multitude of vehicles across one or several brands. One such exemplary embodiment of this concept is the Volkswagen MLB car platform. Read on to learn everything you need to know about the Volkswagen MLB car platform.
What Cars Use the MLB Platform?
Despite being a Volkswagen design, the MLB platform is primarily found in vehicles outside the Volkswagen brand. This can be attributed to its specialized design for high-performance vehicles with longitudinal engines, a feature often deemed too costly for Volkswagen’s specific market. The most notable vehicles built on the MLB platform are predominantly from Audi, including the A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, and B8 models, along with the Q7 and Q8 SUVs. Additionally, the platform extends its reach beyond Audi to the world of luxury sport utility vehicles, underpinning the Lamborghini Urus, Porsche Cayenne, and Bentley Bentayga. Interestingly, the VW Touareg is the only Volkswagen vehicle that utilizes this platform.
Notable MLB Features and Benefits
As mentioned above, the primary benefit of the MLB platform is its support for longitudinal engines. A longitudinal engine’s crankshaft axis runs parallel to the length of the vehicle. This configuration offers superior performance, allowing for better weight distribution across the vehicle and facilitating improved handling and stability at high speeds. The MLB platform is uniquely designed to accommodate this configuration, providing an ideal framework for the powerful engines found in luxury sports cars and SUVs.
In addition to its compatibility with longitudinal engines, the MLB platform is also modular in nature. This modularity means many components used in vehicles built on this platform are interchangeable. This significantly reduces the costs associated with repairs and maintenance, as parts can be swapped out rather than replaced entirely. Given the high cost of vehicles built on the MLB platform, this feature presents a significant benefit, making maintenance more affordable without compromising on performance or luxury.
Other Notable Car Platforms
Several other car platforms share the spotlight with the VW MLB. Arguably, the most famous among them is another VW design—the MQB platform. Unlike the MLB, which caters to high-performance and luxury vehicles, the MQB targets a more affordable market segment. This platform underpins many Volkswagen vehicles and extends its reach to other brands as well. It is specifically designed to accommodate cars with transverse engines, demonstrating the diversity of Volkswagen’s engineering capabilities. Notably, the VW MQB car platform is a popular foundation for modded overlanding vehicles thanks to its simplicity, affordability, and flexibility. The automotive industry also features other notable car platforms, such as the Nissan/Renault NQB, VW’s PQ25, PQ24, Toyota’s IMV, and Peugeot 405.
Ultimately, the only thing you need to know about the Volkswagen MLB car platform is its tremendous success as a foundational component for many of the most popular, high-end-performance vehicles and SUVs. As consumers, gaining knowledge about these platforms can enhance our appreciation for the vehicles we drive and the complex engineering processes behind them.