Thomas Schäfer, the CEO of Volkswagen published an interesting post on his LinkedIn profile, going through future goals for the brand, including the return of push-button steering wheel controls, and ten new EV launches by 2026 covering a wide spectrum of segments.
More specifically, Schäfer wrote: “We are sharpening our portfolio and our design, plus creating a new simplicity in operating our vehicles. For example, we are bringing back the push-button steering wheel!” adding “That’s what customers want from VW”.
Read: 2024 VW Golf Facelift Reveals Larger Infotainment Screen In First Spy Shots
The touch-sensitive controls on the steering wheels were introduced in the VW Golf MK7 in 2019 before finding their way into other models by the German automaker. This feature was heavily criticized by reviewers and Volkswagen owners, eventually forcing the company to acknowledge it as a mistake. While touchscreens are integrating more and more features, most people agree that tactile feedback is important for specific operations, making push buttons and rotating dials the best option for steering wheels and HVAC controls as they allow the driver to keep their eyes on the road.
We guess that the upcoming VW Golf facelift, expected in 2023, will be one of the first models to revert to the more traditional steering wheel buttons, together with a larger infotainment touchscreen. Unfortunately, it seems that the also heavily criticized touch-sensitive slider found in several VW Group models for the climate controls and the volume, will retain its position on the center console. We expect similar changes to more VW-branded models in the near future.
Ten New EVs Coming By 2026
Besides the news on the steering wheel redesign, Schäfer confirmed that VW will launch ten new EVs worldwide by 2026, covering “every relevant segment”. Among those, we expect the small and affordable ID.2 which will get sibling models from Skoda and Cupra. Another already-confirmed model is the facelifted ID.3 and the more powerful GTX-branded hot hatch coming in 2023. There is also the production version of the ID.Aero sedan, set to rival the Tesla Model 3. Finally, it is safe to assume that VW will launch more electric SUVs of all shapes and sizes, including a smaller model to sit below the ID.4.
VW will also push digitalization, not only inside future vehicles but across “the entire customer journey”. This means that while dealerships will retain their role, more and more buyers will have the chance to complete the entire vehicle acquisition process online, something that is already happening in Germany, France, and Italy.
H/T to Motor1