Dr Frank Welsch, Member of the Board of Management for Volkswagen Passenger Cars with responsibility for Technical Development: “We are continuing to develop the vehicle as a joint effort and want to make the latest innovations available to all car drivers. These awards are due to the entire global developer team at Volkswagen. They work day in, day out to ensure we can enter this technology into series production in future.”
The jury pointed to the fact that Volkswagen developed 62 individual innovations during the previous year as proof that the company is the most innovative high-volume brand in the automotive industry. The official statement issued by CAM and PwC went on to state that “at 26%, Volkswagen has the highest share of global innovations among high-volume brands.” Highlighted as prime examples were the Volkswagen Arteon for its optional Emergency Assist 2.0 system with lane change function, the concept of the Arteon as a four-door coupé in the upper mid-range segment, the Golf 1.5 TSI with its eco-coasting feature (where the engine is switched off), and the petrol particle filter fitted in the Volkswagen up! GTI.
Ten Volkswagen innovations highlighted by the study led the brand to win the award in the Alternative Drives segment. According to CAM, innovations that stood out in particular included the revamped Volkswagen e-Golf with its significantly improved range and power (an added 15 kW / 20 PS) and the natural gas version of the Polo (TGI), which has low CO2 emissions.
The Volkswagen brand’s pioneering character was also lauded in the Autonomous Driving and Safety category, with the jury singling out the Arteon, which is the first model to be fitted with a second-generation emergency assistance system. The parameters of this system enable it to warn other road users if the driver is incapacitated due to health reasons, and then automatically guide the vehicle into the right lane and bring it to a halt.
In this year’s study, Volkswagen also came out on top of the high-volume brand ranking for the Conventional Drives category, with seven innovations to its name. Key innovations highlighted by the jury for this category include the brand’s research into a double-SCR catalytic converter (a world’s first) and the installation of a petrol particulate filter in the up! GTI and the Volkswagen Arteon, a first for the mini-car model segment and one that results in major improvements to fuel consumption.
Professor Stefan Bratzel is the head of the Center of Automotive Management, located in Bergisch Gladbach. Each year for the past seven years, the independent scientific institute for empirical automotive and mobility research has – with support from PricewaterhouseCoopers – honoured the most innovative automobile manufacturers in the world. A total of 60 international automotive brands were assessed as part of this year’s study.