Next week, Volkswagen will show off its all-electric concept car as it tries to distance itself from the diesel emissions cheating scandal that has eviscerated sales and forced the company to restructure.
In prelude to the unveiling at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the automaker has dropped a few hints. The latest image, tweeted on Wednesday, appears to reveal the rear of the concept car.
Dr. Herbert Diess, chairman of Volkswagen's passenger car division , will unveil the concept car—which many believe will be a microbus—on stage Tuesday. He is expected to focus on electrification and connected car technologies.
WATCH: The financial cost of the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal:
In the weeks since VW said it would appear at CES, the company has released a number of teasers via Twitter and YouTube about its highly anticipated car. One of the first, a photo of the front grill of a square-looking VW vehicle, prompted speculation that the company would reveal a microbus.
This latest photo adds to that theory. It shows a few letters (or is it numbers too?) that auto enthusiasts speculated were part of the car's name. They spelled "UDD.e," which led many people to try to guess at the rest as if playing Wheel of Fortune. A few options:
- Budd.e (Volkswagen really does want to be your buddy)
- Dudd.e (The opposite of what Volkswagen wants)
- Mudd.e (Oh! An all-terrain microbus)
The "D" in the photo could also be viewed as a "0" and the U could be a "4." Perhaps the name is a number (with an "e" slapped on the end for electric) instead.
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Whatever the car's name, Volkswagen's future depends on its ability to move past the emissions cheating scandal. And that means more than trotting out a concept car—even if it is electric. It will mean production models. Other VW-owned units such as Audi and Porsche are already making moves to electrify their lineups.
Audi of America president Scott Keogh told Fortune during a dinner event ahead of the Los Angeles Auto Show in November that by 2025, at least one quarter of all Audi cars sold in the U.S. will have a plug. Earlier this month, Porsche announced it would produce an all-electric four-door sports car—its first on the market.