Originally set to arrive in 2026, VW's CEO reportedly decides a delay is necessary.
Volkswagen Group's top secret Project Trinity, an advanced EV flagship with equally impressive autonomous driving technologies, will reportedly not debut in 2026 as originally planned. The news comes from German language publication Manager Magazin via Reuters. Newly installed VW Group CEO Oliver Blume decided to delay the project because the new software will not be ready for the original launch date.
VW has struggled with software development in the past, so the news is not surprising. Vehicles based on the Trinity EV platform will utilize the German automaker's SSP software platform, which is capable of Level 4 driving autonomy. In other words, the car can mostly drive itself. It's a significant technological leap forward, considering the most advanced autonomous technology on the road today is rated at Level 2, although Level 3 tech is getting better.
Trinity is not the only big VW project being delayed.
The report further claims a new €2 billion factory near VW's Wolfsburg headquarters - intended for new EVs with self-driving tech - may be on the chopping block. Construction was initially planned to get underway this coming spring, but now VW's top management is questioning whether a new factory is still necessary. However, Project Trinity itself is not being canceled; those vehicles will simply be built elsewhere.
But still, Trinity's delay is not the best news for VW as it desperately tries to catch up to rival Tesla. That new state-of-the-art factory, if built, would have dramatically cut down on production times to either meet or beat Tesla's output and was intended to exist as a sort of response to Tesla's Gigafactories, which have arguably revolutionized the automotive manufacturing industry.
For example, Tesla claims it can build a Model Y in just 10 hours at its new Berlin Gigafactory, whereas a VW ID.3 hatchback, the sister model of America's ID.4 crossover, takes three times as long to roll off the assembly line.
Along with Project Trinity, VW Group brand Audi is continuing to develop its own EV platform, dubbed Project Artemis, which remains on track for a 2026 launch. Audi remains understandably quiet on specifics, and development challenges still remain, but Tesla has undoubtedly awoken a sleeping giant in VW. And now it's up to Blume and his team to cut costs in an expected economic downturn while still keeping the R&D momentum.
Tesla, Ford, and Volkswagen's other competitors in the electric space can breathe a collective sigh of relief - for now.