Say hello to V.ṀO – Volkswagen Group China’s first electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) passenger drone prototype

Volkswagen Group China has unveiled its first electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) passenger drone prototype, as part of its strategy to explore and break new ground in fully electric and sustainable individual mobility concepts.

Volkswagen Newsroom

The prototype is the culmination of intensive research, conceptual work, and development of the Vertical Mobility project launched in 2020 by Volkswagen Group China. The initial prototype, nicknamed the “Flying Tiger”- due to its distinctive black and gold livery painted to commemorate its launch in the Year of the Tiger, would be the company’s first validation model.

The V.MO eVTOL

Based on existing autonomous driving solutions and battery technology for emission-free mobility, the concept features a luxury x-wing configuration of 11.2m in length and a span width of 10.6m.

Volkswagen Newsroom

The prototype has eight rotors for vertical lift and two propellers for horizontal flight The Group will conduct several flight tests later this year to optimize the concept and an improved prototype will undergo further advanced test flights by late summer 2023.

The final version of the fully electric and automated eVTOL could eventually carry four passengers plus luggage over a distance of up to 200km.

Through this pilot project, we are bringing Volkswagen’s long tradition of precision engineering, design, and innovation to the next level, by developing a premium product that will serve the vertical mobility needs of our future tech savvy Chinese customers. This is a pioneering project which our young team of Chinese experts started from scratch – they are working with new design concepts and materials while developing new safety standards, disrupting and innovating every step of the way. The launch of this stunning validation model – the V.MO – is the first of many remarkable milestones on our exciting journey towards urban air travel, and a perfect example of our ‘From China, For China’ mission. Our long-term aim is to industrialize this concept and, like a ‘Flying Tiger’, break new ground in this emerging and fast-evolving new mobility market

Dr. Stephan Wöllenstein, CEO of Volkswagen Group China, said
Stephan Wöllenstein | Source

Volkswagen Group China is rapidly expanding local R&D and software expertise to respond faster to what customers want and significantly accelerate the pace of innovation.

In the first phase of its commercial use, V.MO is likely to be pitched as a premium product for high-net-worth tech-savvy Chinese customers-for example for VIP air shuttle services. eVTOL air vehicles will be able to transport passengers more quickly and efficiently than current conventional means of terrestrial transport and with greater flexibility. As the Vertical Mobility project develops, Volkswagen Group China will work with the relevant Chinese authorities to achieve certification.

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COVER: Volkswagen Newsroom

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