Platform (automobile)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In automobiles, a platform refers to a technical basis on which different models are externally based. This includes sheet metal parts of the body such as the base plate, inner parts of the wheel arches , bulkhead , front longitudinal members, but also the electronics architecture and other not directly visible assemblies such as parts of the chassis, tank, exhaust system and heater. The structure of the body - i.e. front mask, fenders, side panels and rear - is model-specific. Technical components such as a motor or gearbox from a modular system can be mounted on the platform so that individual technical developments can be used in several models. This reduces the development costs per model. Not infrequently, which is vertical integration of automotive platforms with more than 40 percent.


Before the Second World War, when the bodies were not self-supporting but rested on a chassis frame, the platform was independent as a technical basis. Custom-made bodies by small manufacturers were particularly common in the luxury class .

If vehicles differ only in equipment and small design features such as the radiator grille, then they are structurally identical . If they come from the same manufacturer, they are referred to as badge engineering , as was the case with the BMC ADO 15 , which came onto the market as the Austin Seven and Morris Mini-Minor. Vehicles manufactured under license are also identical, such as the Renault 12 and the Dacia 1300 . At a different time, the Opel Kadett E was continued to be built as the Daewoo Nexia after production ended at Opel ; old Fiat models continued to be produced in India, Poland, the Soviet Union and Russia for a long time.

This is associated with low-cost production of the individual parts in larger series. Furthermore, development costs are saved. The disadvantage is that almost all the conveyor belts of the respective platform model come to a standstill if a component is missing due to manufacturing problems, strikes, etc. Identical vehicles only have to be developed once, only because the brand logo has been exchanged, no additional crash tests are necessary.

The technical responsibility for construction and design must also be fully clarified. If, for example, a sheet metal part is changed without consulting the technical development department of the other group brand, this can have negative effects on the scheduled production of an automobile.

Different rear shapes such as hatchbacks , notchbacks or station wagons can be produced more cheaply on the same platform, even if the length and wheelbase differ. Here the body is usually the same up to the B-pillar .

Features of a common platform

Platforms are often used by different brands within a corporate group . The main features of a common platform are the chassis and drive .

There is a smooth transition between the extent to which two or more cars are the same or use the same components. Typical levels are:

  • Identical design: only the brand logo, radiator grille and possibly headlights are different. Identical vehicles are often produced on the same line.
  • Same platform: Different bodies have the same fixation points, so that the wheel suspension, engine, transmission, etc. can be exchanged.

Example: VW Golf (4th generation)

An example of a platform strategy is that of the Volkswagen Group . Outwardly, this builds different models of its brands on the same platform. The platform of the VW Golf IV (built in Germany between 1997 and 2003) was also used for the VW Bora , VW New Beetle , Škoda Octavia I , Seat Leon I , Seat Toledo II , Audi A3 8L and Audi TT 8N .

The internal VW name of this platform is PQ34. The abbreviation means:

  • P = platform
  • Q = engine installation position, Q = transverse (from "left to right"), L = longitudinal (from "front to back")
  • 3 = vehicle type A-class ("golf class") (1 = mini, 2 = small car, 3 = compact class, 4 = middle class)
  • 4 = 4th generation (see Golf IV)

Similarly, current projects are based on the PQ35 platform of the Golf V. The current Passat (model year 2014) is based on the MQB platform; the predecessor was built on the PQ46. The other names s. O.

The platform at the VW Group contains the following functional groups:

  • Motor, transmission and their bearings
  • Front axle
  • Steering and steering column
  • circuit
  • Pedal mechanism
  • Rear axle
  • Braking system
  • Fuel tank
  • Exhaust system
  • Wheels (sizes)
  • tires
  • Front end (side members, wheel houses)
  • Front wall (including heating and air conditioning)
  • Middle floor (floor in front)
  • Rear end (rear floor, side members, inner wheelhouses)
  • Seat frames
  • Cabling of the named components

The remaining parts of the vehicle are divided into hat parts and system parts. The “hat” is then, among other things, the body shell, which can differ considerably (compare VW Golf V and Seat Altea ). System parts are actually identical parts (COP = Carry Over Parts) that are adopted but adapted to the respective group brand. Examples: wheel cover or the airbag module in the steering wheel, completely the same, just a different brand symbol. This can lead to production problems, as in the early days of the platform of the VW Sharan I / Seat Alhambra I / Ford Galaxy when system parts were installed in the wrong vehicles.

Motor vehicles with a common platform

Examples of platforms within an automotive company or a joint venture, which is often set up to save costs. Different designs are only listed if they have a different brand name.



BMW and Toyota

Daimler-Benz AG, DaimlerChrysler, Daimler AG

DaimlerChrysler / Mitsubishi

Daimler AG / Nissan


Fiat / Alfa / Lancia / Saab

Fiat / PSA

Fiat / Ford

Ford / Mazda / Volvo

See also


GM / Fiat


Hyundai / Kia

Jaguar Land Rover

  • MLA - Modular Longitudinal Architecture : Jaguar XJ, Jaguar J-Pace




x corresponds to the generation, although this is not counted up normally.


PSA and Toyota


Renault / Nissan

Suzuki / Fiat

Volkswagen group (VW, VW commercial vehicles, Audi, Seat, Škoda, Bentley, Porsche)

  • PPE : Porsche, Audi



GM / Suzuki

Volkswagen and Ford

Box vans and commercial vehicles

DaimlerChrysler / Volkswagen

Fiat and PSA

SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile


  • M49 : Wuling

PSA and Toyota

Renault / Nissan

Renault / Nissan and GM

Renault / Nissan and Mercedes-Benz

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Franz-Rudolf Esch: Strategy and technology of automobile marketing . Springer Gabler, Oestrich-Winkel 2013, ISBN 978-3-8349-3391-1 , p. 496 .
  2. from August 23, 2018, BMW Z4 reborn as 335bhp Porsche 718 Boxster rival (English), accessed on October 11, 2018.
  3. a b from April 18, 2018, New Mercedes A-Class W177 (2018), all information ... , accessed on September 29, 2018.
  4. About the author: Mercedes C-Class will be produced in South Africa from June. (No longer available online.) In: February 21, 2014, archived from the original on September 23, 2015 ; accessed on January 2, 2017 .
  5. of April 28, 2016, Mercedes is testing the new SL and SLC platform , accessed on September 29, 2018
  6. a b Tom Greenway: electric cars on the Paris Motor Show: made on thick box - car. In: Spiegel Online . October 1, 2016, accessed January 2, 2017 .
  7. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Automobil Industrie, Verlag Vogel Automedien, November / December 2016 issue, 61st year
  8. XJ, J-Pace and Road Rover are coming. Retrieved March 25, 2020 .
  9. of January 27, 2019: Japan Golf or Far East A-Class? , accessed on May 8, 2019.
  10. of March 5, 2019: Mazda is building a cross version of the 3 Series , accessed on May 9, 2019.
  11. a b Porsche: New modular standard drive kit. Retrieved March 28, 2017 .
  12. a b "Big E for BlumE", Manager Magazin, edition 7/2017
  13. "Volt instead of V8", Manager Magazin, issue 10/2018
  14. EMP2 - Efficient Modular Platform 2 - The New Vehicle Platform by PSA Peugeot Citroën on, accessed on April 9, 2015.
  15. of March 1, 2019, Corolla klingt dolla , accessed on March 1, 2019.
  16. .
  17. Novo Gol - Mudanças para continuar na liderança. Retrieved June 21, 2019 .
  18. TopSpeed, Lamborghini Urus will be built on PL73 platform , accessed: December 18, 2015.
  19. Audi modular strategy (Ralph Hollmig, Head of Vehicle Concept Control), Ingolstadt, 2012 ( Memento from November 4, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 1.6 MB)
  20. Volkswagen is looking to the future at CES 2016. In: Archived from the original on February 16, 2016 ; accessed on January 2, 2017 .
  21. VW sends E-Bulli in series production. Retrieved August 21, 2017 .
  22. Electric Cars: On Tesla's Terms. Retrieved January 7, 2019 .
  23. Wilfried Eckl-Dorna: Report: This is how pompous Geely launches the Lynk & Co car brand in Berlin. In: October 21, 2016, accessed January 2, 2017 .
  24. a b Manager Magazin, Edition 2/2017, "Yellow is Hope"