Volkswagen Newsroom

#TBT: How the design of the Volkswagen New Beetle secured its place as a pop-culture icon

December 9, 2021

Every generation finds nostalgia for a time when many of its members were just being born. It’s how young adults in the ‘90s found the ‘70s fascinating, and how the styles and trends of the ‘80s and ‘90s have enjoyed their own revival in the years since.

Generation Z has kept this streak alive in recent months with a boom for all things #Y2K- – a unique historical marker that’s become something of a touchstone for a simpler, happier time, even if those old enough to experience it don’t share that point of view. Part of this nostalgia for turn of the century culture has manifested in a renewed appreciation of one of the most unique cars of the era – the Volkswagen Beetle.

We asked Freeman Thomas, half of the design duo behind the Beetle and current CEO of Meyers Manx, how the iconic design has maintained a pop-culture edge through the years.

1994 Volkswagen Concept One

Originally conceived as an electric car in 1993, the New Beetle started as a small-scale model captured with a photo shoot on the sunny beaches of California before being greenlit as an auto-show concept car. At the 1994 Detroit Auto Show, Volkswagen unveiled “Concept One” a nostalgic concept car that paid homage to the original Beetle while offering a modern, front-engine chassis. The car was revealed with a sentimental video asking viewers to “remember when…,” hearkening to the golden age of the original Beetle.

“The journalists were all tearing up [at the video],” said Thomas. “The overwhelming response from the press was so big that they would not leave the show stand and go to other press conferences, they wanted to see if Volkswagen would actually build the Beetle.”

After immense success at the Detroit Auto Show, Concept One was approved for production and Thomas and his team designed every interior and exterior detail. They took the original Beetle down to its most geometric elements—the three arches— and were inspired by industrial design to mix Bauhaus flavors with warm character design, making the New Beetle stylish and approachable. They wanted to go forward with a design that brought in modernity rather than relying on the shapes and lines of the past.

The original interior of the vehicle reflected its exterior body lines, featuring a simple arched instrument panel with aquamarine-colored dials inspired by glistening swimming pools of California. Thomas designed the famous flower vase in Concept One as a bit of humanity for each vehicle and as a tribute to the porcelain Rosenthal bud vases in the original models.

“Everybody has their own Volkswagen Beetle story,” said Thomas. “Memories based not just off the charisma of the design but the reliability of the vehicle and [how] it represented Volkswagen’s philosophy of how to build, design and sell a vehicle.”

Introduced to consumers in model year 1998, the New Beetle was immediately popular. In 2003, the cabrio model was introduced and once again inspired by a mixture of modernity and nostalgia. Thomas and team designed the cabrio model’s rag top to fold down and sit on the rear of the vehicle in a way reminiscent of original convertibles.

The New Beetle was all about cohesive design—one that even today maintains a precise balance between welcoming and whimsical. The vehicle is still the star of music videos, movies and now social-media posts because of its iconic design and the feelings of nostalgia it evokes.

“The [Beetle] means the simplicity of the past, when things were innocent and accessible and fun”, said Thomas. “That’s really what the Beetle represented.”

VW’s telepresence robot CHAMP helps siblings with cerebral palsy play on

December 3, 2021
Kelley O’Hara #5 of the United States Women’s Soccer Team talks with two young soccer fans via CHAMP

For many fans and players, soccer is an escape from everyday life. For Cooper and Anna Leigh, it’s a gateway to one.

The two siblings from Lexington, Kentucky were both diagnosed with cerebral palsy at a young age and have faced many medical challenges since. But the siblings were able to find a sport and a passion through Cerebral Palsy Soccer, an organization that runs a nationwide soccer league and summer camp for children with cerebral palsy who would otherwise be unable to play on a team.

Cooper, 13, was diagnosed with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy, a form that primarily affects his legs, at age two. At age nine, he began to play CP Soccer for the first time and found camaraderie with children who understood his limitations. After an intense leg surgery, with a two-year recovery period, Cooper began to relearn how to walk—and most importantly for him—participate in virtual training sessions with his CP Soccer team.

Cooper’s sister, Anna Leigh, 7, was diagnosed with hemiplegic cerebral palsy due to a stroke on the right side of her brain, along with an autism spectrum disorder and epilepsy. She defied odds and learned to walk with the aid of orthotics, but still struggled to speak because of her autism. When Cooper began virtual training sessions with the CP Soccer team, Anna Leigh was only 4, but eager to keep up with her big brother. She practiced every day and started being able to speak to members outside of her family.

Soccer became an escape from medical procedures for the siblings.

“Soccer helps with my motivation, my confidence and my working skills, said Cooper. “I feel like I’m more confident and I can do more things that I want to do, because I’m doing more physical activities and feeling better about myself.”

“After an hour or two of playing [my legs] start hurting but you just have to get through it,” said Anna Leigh.  “[Soccer] keeps me going.”

Anna Leigh and Cooper received a personal invitation from the U.S. Women’s National Team starting defender Kelley O’Hara through CHAMP to become virtual player honorees during the U.S. Women’s National Team match in Kansas City. As massive soccer fans, the news was a dream come true. On October 21st, Anna Leigh and Cooper were virtually transported into the center of match-day action.

CHAMP, a telepresence robot developed by Volkswagen in collaboration with OhmniLabs, a Silicon Valley-based robotics company, allows young soccer fans who are unable to attend matches in person the ability to interact with players, participate in activities on the field and enjoy the gameday experience.

CHAMP was positioned field-side, allowing the siblings to watch the U.S. and South Korean teams warm up for the match. Through CHAMP, the siblings were able to partake in a private meet and greet with O’Hara as well as a privately guided tour of the WNT locker room. Both Anna Leigh and Cooper were shown custom lockers with personalized nameplates and jerseys in the locker room during their tour. CHAMP enabled Anna Leigh and Cooper to be on-field during the National Anthem and be part of the pre-match ceremonies.

 

“The determination those two kids have and how they handle it is incredible,” said Kelley O’Hara, WNT starting defender. “And they are little warriors and fighters and for me so inspiring. CHAMP gives the experience of being in the stands and seeing the fans to any kid…I’m excited to have them on the field with us.”

Taking design cues from the Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV, CHAMP is engineered to mimic the appearance of a physical player honoree using a “head” screen that projects the user’s face and a 3D-printed body on wheels. Users can take the life-like robot on a variety of surfaces—from the concrete of the stadium locker room to the turf on the field. The video feed is then transmitted back to the user’s device so they can see and hear everything that is happening at the stadium.

CHAMP will attend future Women’s and Men’s National Team matches providing children the opportunity to be a virtual player honoree throughout 2021 and beyond. And to help other children like Cooper and Anna Leigh, Volkswagen of America has given a financial donation to CP Soccer. To learn more, visit ussoccer.com/vwchamp.

#TBT: Remembering the Busse, an amphibious ATV powered by Volkswagen

December 2, 2021

The ‘70s were an era defined by bell-bottoms, disco music, revolutionary movements, and a craze for small vehicles that could go anywhere over land – and sometimes water too.

The first “all-terrain vehicle” was dreamed up by a Canadian inventor in 1959, using two chainsaw engines for power. To conquer every type of terrain, the ATV used six wheels with low-pressure balloon tires that provided floatation as well as traction. Though unprofitable, the design proved quite popular, and sparked decades of ATV innovation and enthusiasm.

During the ‘60s and early ‘70s, builders and inventors from across the country began to follow suit and build their own 6×6 ATVs and companies. The U.S. saw the creation of its first ATV racetrack known as Pine Lake Raceway, while ATVs grew in popularity for racing and recreational use alike. In August of 1970, one magazine counted more than 60 models either for sale or under development – including one with a unique Volkswagen connection.

The Busse All-Terrain Wagon, an aluminum 6×6 ATV designed by Busse SJI Corp., stood apart from other ATVs of the time. Where many used small two-stroke engines, the Busse was powered by the hearty 1.6 liter, 55-hp air-cooled, flat-four engine used in the then current era Beetle. Volkswagen’s 3-speed, semi-automatic gearbox and torque converter were also responsible for putting the power to the ground.

By ATV standards, the Busse was a tank among toys, with an aluminum body instead of typical fiberglass and a payload rating of 1,500 lbs. At 126 inches long, 65 inches wide, and 1,700 pounds, the Busse came equipped with hydraulic disc brakes, 26×12-inch tires, maximum speeds of 28 mph on land and 10 mph on water, with the ability to climb slopes of 45 degrees. If needed, owners could also opt for snow tracks.

With all its capability, the Busse listed at a whopping price of $4,875, far more than other ATVs at the time. Built in Randolph, Wisconsin, the Busse was shopped overseas as a potential military vehicle, but a contract never materialized, and its expense made its existence brief with minimal production. Today, there are only a few known Volkswagen-powered Busse ATWs still in existence, though its spirit lives on in six-wheel ATVs and side-by-side models for those still venturing to go anywhere.

Holiday gift ideas for the VW fans in your life

November 29, 2021

If you’re a part of the Volkswagen family of owners and enthusiasts, you probably know someone who’s so passionate about their Volkswagen vehicle that they’re always talking about it, always offering rides, and always keeping up with the latest in the world of VW. (Okay, maybe that person is you.)

For the holidays this year, indulge their VW fandom. Browse this list of unique gift ideas, from stylish Volkswagen-branded items to distinctive products and experiences that cover the broad range of interests among Volkswagen owners. While you’re at it, go ahead and treat yourself.

A light gray Eddie Bauer women’s jacket with a VW logo on the upper left side.

Eddie Bauer® Jacket – Ladies
$86.95
drivergear.vw.com

She’ll face the colder weather with confidence in this sleek hooded jacket made of 12.8-ounce, 100-percent polyester diamond dobby fleece. The jacket also features stretch side panels, an anti-pill finish on the interior, and an embroidered VW logo.

Welly® Voyager Tumbler
$46.95
drivergear.vw.com

Brighten the commute of a VW owner with this insulated 16-ounce tumbler. Wrapped in bamboo and showcasing a lasered VW logo, it keeps beverages cold for 24 hours and hot for at least 8 hours. The manufacturer donates 1 percent of sales to clean water projects worldwide.

A Welly beverage tumbler with a black lid, white upper portion, and bamboo lower portion including a VW logo.

A plush German Shepherd toy including a navy blue bandana emblazoned with a white VW logo.

Wolfie
$14.95
drivergear.vw.com

Who knew VW fandom could be so adorable? Wolfie, the plush German Shepherd toy, looks dashing with his VW-logo navy bandana. He makes a great gift for kids and adults alike.

Book: Moon USA
National Parks

moon.com

Published by Moon Travel Guides, this book is the definitive guide to all 62 U.S. national parks, and makes a great gift for VW owners who are dreaming of their next big road trip. Organized by region, the book offers activity recommendations, maps, expert advice, and more.

Open pages of the book Moon USA National Parks, set against a background of a U.S. map.

A charcoal gray OGIO backpack with a black VW logo on the top portion and a laser-cut front panel.

OGIO® Backpack
$99.95
drivergear.vw.com

This high-quality backpack is ideal not just for everyday living, but rugged outdoor use. It features a VW logo screened on the top flap, and offers lots of storage space including a laptop sleeve and a laser-cut Hypalon front panel for attaching light items.

Taos Ski Valley
skitaos.com

Give your group the gift of an unforgettable trip to Taos Ski Valley ski resort, an official Volkswagen partner. With a base elevation of 9,350 feet and 110 trails, the resort is a ski and snowboard paradise. It’s also home to warm-weather activities like hiking, mountain biking, and rafting. Choose from a number of year-round deals and packages.

A group of skiers stands around an outdoor fire pit at Taos Ski Valley Resort.

A fringed scarf with alternating black and white panels, including VW and U.S. Soccer logos.

Official U.S. Soccer VW Scarf
$35.95
drivergear.vw.com

Whether they’re cheering for the team or strolling through the park, they’ll keep warm in style when you give them this striped and fringed scarf, which celebrates the partnership between U.S. Soccer and Volkswagen.

LEGO® Volkswagen T2
Camper Van

$179.99
lego.com

The true LEGO® aficionado will have serious fun building this incredibly detailed homage to the classic VW T2 Camper Van. With more than 2,000 pieces, the kit includes a sliding side door, a fabric folding pop-up roof, a surfboard, and a mobile kitchen.

A LEGO model of a VW T2 Camper Van, including a pop-up roof, a surfboard, and beach chairs.

A navy blue dog tent with light blue edges, a light blue bed, and a “Vdub dog” logo.

Vdub Dog Teepee
$125
drivergear.vw.com

Let your furry friends express their woof for VW as they kick back and relax on a comfortable foam bed. This cozy dog teepee is lightweight, easy to assemble, and machine-washable.

V-Dub Ornament
Sold Out
drivergear.vw.com

Help friends and loved ones deck the halls with V-Dub coolness. This eye-catching license plate-style ornament includes a VW charm and blue ribbon.

License plate holiday ornament with “V-DUB” lettering, including a blue ribbon and black storage pouch.

A group of bicyclists passes by a large cactus in a desert setting.

REI® Co-op Trips and Tours
rei.com

Give an experience that any outdoorsy VW owner will cherish: an expert-led adventure trip by REI®. The outdoor retailer offers everything from hiking at Zion and Bryce Canyon to kayaking off the South Carolina coast. Tip: You can get big savings on trips by joining the REI® Co-op.

Bamboo Watch
Sold Out
drivergear.vw.com

Here’s a conversation piece that’s both stylish and sustainably made. This lightweight and durable bamboo watch, featuring Japanese Quartz movement, lets someone wear their love for VW on their sleeve.

A bamboo watch including a black VW logo in the upper portion of the face.

A man sits inside a light blue VW Camper Van filled with coffee supplies, with a “COFFEE” sign above.

Carabiner Coffee
carabinercoffee.com

Give that coffee lover a gift with a Volkswagen story behind it. Founded by a former climbing instructor and VW Van enthusiast, Colorado-based Carabiner Coffee directly ships small-batch roasted beans and even sells coffee locally out of its 1971 VW Van dubbed “Ol’ Blue.”

Volkswagen Snowboard
$495.95
drivergear.vw.com

For that VW fan on your list whose idea of a fun winter weekend involves shredding at the nearest mountain, there’s this high-quality snowboard designed with VW-themed art. It’s constructed with Tri-Ax Fiberglass around a full-length poplar wood core.

A blue snowboard adorned with Volkswagen-themed, sticker-style artwork.

A black jacket from The North Face, with a North Face logo on the left sleeve and VW logo on the left chest.

The North Face®
Soft Shell Jacket

$156.95
drivergear.vw.com

They’ll be protected from the wind and rain during their outdoor pursuits with this all-season, VW logo-embroidered jacket. It incorporates WindWall® material to greatly reduce the effects of wind chill, and has Double Water Repellent applied to the face of the fabric.

VW Beetle PLAYMOBIL® Set
$39.95
drivergear.vw.com

Kids can explore their own family trip to the beach with this fun play set. Along with three PLAYMOBIL® figures, it features a PLAYMOBIL® Volkswagen Beetle with roof rack, removable roof, opening tailgate, surfboard, sand toys, and more. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

A PLAYMOBIL play set including a VW Beetle model, play figures, and a carrying box.

A Bluetooth audio speaker in the shape of a VW Bus with white roof and red lower body.

Red Bluetooth Loudspeaker
$59.95
drivergear.vw.com

Every song sounds like a road trip when it’s coming from this Bluetooth speaker modeled on a vintage VW Bus. Charged via USB, the speaker offers up to 5 hours of play time on a full charge. Perfect for those who love their tunes as much as they love their VW.

2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI
vw.com

If you really love that VW fan on your list, you’ll get them the hottest gift of the season: the newly redesigned 2022 Golf GTI. In addition to being the most powerful Golf GTI ever sold in the U.S. (241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque), it boasts upgraded handling, new tech features, and dramatic new styling. You might even want to top it with a gigantic gift bow.

A 2022 VW Golf GTI in Moonstone Gray, shown in front three-quarter view.

 

Product availability may be impacted as a result of global supply chain issues.

“Volkswagen” and the Volkswagen logo are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG. The North Face® is a registered trademark of The North Face, Inc. THULE® is a registered trademark of Thule Group. PUMA is a registered trademark of PUMA SE. Champion® is a registered trademark of HanesBrands Inc. Fossil® is a registered trademark of Fossil, Inc. Patagonia® is a registered trademark of PATAGONIA, Inc. Eddie Bauer® is a registered trademark of Eddie Bauer Licensing Services, LLC. OGIO® is a registered trademark of OGIO International, Inc. PLAYMOBIL® is a registered trademark of Geobra Brandstatter GmbH & Co. KG. Welly® is a registered trademark of Welly, LLC. REI and the REI Co-op logo are trademarks of Recreational Equipment, Inc. ©2021 Volkswagen of America, Inc. Printed in the USA.

How features available in the 2022 Golf GTI and Golf R can help avoid collisions with cyclists and pedestrians

November 17, 2021

 

If you haven’t driven a new vehicle in the past few years, you may be amazed at how far advanced driver assistance technology has come.1 The gee-whiz system that could help you parallel park your car 10 years ago has now evolved to a full suite of available driver assistance features that use cameras and radar designed to work with adaptive cruise control and read road markings, with advanced software stitching all the data together.

A lot of that progress has happened one step at a time, and the 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI and Golf R exemplify that with a new upgrade to the available Front Assist feature to help avoid collisions with cyclists and pedestrians.

Front Assist is part of the Volkswagen IQ.DRIVE driver assistance technology; available across the 2022 Volkswagen lineup, the Front Assist feature works to warn drivers of potential collisions, and in some cases, provide automatic braking assistance.

Prior versions of Front Assist used radar sensors built into the front of a vehicle to detect moving objects that could lead to a collision and could distinguish between a vehicle and a pedestrian. The newest version of Front Assist, available on Mk8 Golf models, also employs the forward-facing camera to help identify and distinguish cyclists and pedestrians from other objects – not just directly in front of the car, but those traveling alongside it as well.

“By using sensor fusion that combines the data from the camera and the radar, this technology can help detect pedestrians and cyclists who the driver may not see in front or alongside the vehicle,” said Izzuddeen Hack, Electronic Strategy Lead for Volkswagen Group of America. “That can give the driver more warning and our systems more intelligence about what’s happening to help avoid a potential crash”

As the system operates with radar, it can detect people and cyclists ahead of the vehicle in darkness or dusk that the driver might have inadvertently overlooked. If the system senses a pedestrian or cyclist could be in the vehicle’s path, Front Assist can activate the Forward Collison Warning system and in some cases provide Automatic Emergency Braking.

Within physical system limits, Forward Collision Warning can alert the driver of a potential critical front-end collision situation, both acoustically and visually by a warning symbol in the instrument cluster if the car is traveling above 18 mph. It can also issue an automatic jolt of the brakes to help warn the driver of the danger. If the driver fails to brake, Automatic Emergency Braking can activate to help slow the vehicle. If the car is traveling below 18 mph and the system detects a potential front-end collision, Automatic Emergency Braking activates without a prior acoustic and visual warning. If the brake pedal is applied but the driver brakes too lightly, Braking Support automatically increases brake pressure.

How sheep and solar power work together at the Volkswagen Chattanooga factory

November 9, 2021
©Joe McUbed – Adobe Stock

Volkswagen Chattanooga has been creating jobs in the region for over a decade, with more than 4,000 workers there today. Recently, that workforce has also grown to include some non-human coworkers – a herd of about 50 sheep – who are essential to Chattanooga’s solar operations.

Volkswagen’s solar park, built in 2013, at the Chattanooga facility is one of the largest such facilities at a U.S. auto plant. The 9.5-megawatt solar system provides up to 12.5 percent of the plant’s electric needs during full production, with 33,600 solar modules spread over 33 acres next to the VW factory.

Nashville-based Silicon Ranch Corp. manages the Volkswagen solar farm in addition to other regenerative energy projects across the country. Currently, Silicon Ranch Corp. has about 6,000 of 11,000 acres nationwide beneath its solar panels used as grazing land for sheep—or what it calls “regenerative management.”

“Adaptive grazing with sheep is an efficient and cost-effective way to control vegetation and minimize erosion risks on utility scale solar facilities,” said Loran Shallenberger, Silicon Ranch Regenerative Energy Project Manager.

”The sheep keep the grasses low via grazing and trampling and the solar panels provide sheep with shade, minimizing heat stress in the height of summer. Regeneratively grazing sheep can help provide  important ecological benefits, as well as a secondary and stable source of income for our farming partner.”

Volkswagen Chattanooga solar installation

For solar farms, erosion can be problematic and the need for solid ground cover is incredibly important. At Chattanooga, about 50 sheep graze on the grass while fertilizing the soil at the same time, and unlike traditional mowers, sheep manage to get in hard-to-reach places to ensure the grass is neatly maintained.

The sheep move around the four different tracks of land of the solar farm to ensure grass can regenerate and the land isn’t overused. The sheep are reliable workers, munching through grass every day of the year in varying temperatures. To help keep the sheep safe, Silicon Ranch Corp. employs “rescue” donkeys to alert the sheep of any threatening wildlife.

“The solar park is another proof point of Volkswagen’s worldwide commitment to environmental protection,” said Tom du Plessis, chief executive of operations in Chattanooga. “Knowing that we are producing renewable energy maintained by more sustainable solutions like sheep makes this initiative an example for other large factories in the United States.”

Sheep are an adorable lawn-mowing solution that cause less damage than their goat friends, who are prone to jump on solar panels and bite through cables. The way sheep graze gives a uniform look to the grass they nibble and offers a more sustainable solution compared with  gas powered mowers and clippers.

The solar farm mowed by sheep was integral in the Chattanooga Volkswagen facility  achieving its initial Platinum LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) status in 2011. The plant is  a key part of Volkswagen strategy to make its business carbon neutral worldwide though electrification – and in this case, also embracing a natural maintenance solution.

TBT: The Rad electric Volkswagen van from EV island

November 4, 2021

The road to making electric vehicles become reality stretches back many decades, from the beginnings of the auto industry to global electric vehicles like the Volkswagen ID.4 SUV. One of the side roads Volkswagen took on its path to electrification involved converting an entire island to electric transportation – and the creation of a Rad-era VW van.

In the early 1990s, the German government asked automakers to push the boundaries of what was possible with current day EV technology. To create a real-world environment for testing EVs, Germany set up a long-term test on Rügen, the country’s largest island and a resort destination in the Baltic Sea. The island provided daily driving demands that were well suited to the limited EV ranges of the time, and as much of its electricity came from wind power, the vehicles had a low carbon footprint.

Various German automakers contributed 60 custom-built EV models to the experiment between 1992 and 1996, with 19 cars and vans from Volkswagen. Volkswagen made nine Golf III CitySTROMer models available – an evolution of prior EV prototypes that had several innovations, including an alternating-current synchronous motor, flexible battery location and the ability to use a variety of battery chemistries, from lead-acid gel to sodium-nickel chloride.

Ten Volkswagen Elektro-Multivans used similar technology, updating the work Volkswagen had done since the early 1970s exploring electric cargo haulers. Due to low energy density, the CitySTROMer only made about 21 hp, with a range of roughly 55 miles – which, while limited, was enough to handle daily driving around Rügen.

Over three years, residents of Rügen put tens of thousands of miles on the CitySTROMer and electric van, but the experiment demonstrated the need for longer-range batteries, more engine power and a charging infrastructure. All of those challenges will have far more advanced answers when the production version of the ID.Buzz electric van debuts in the not-too-distant future.

In “Electric Like I’m Five,” VW explains the basics of EVs

November 3, 2021

Switching from gasoline-powered cars to electric ones like the Volkswagen ID.4 can raise all sorts of concerns for those who are new to EVs. That’s why Volkswagen of America created “Electric Like I’m Five” – a video series hosted by a Volkswagen EV expert and his daughter who answer some of the most frequently asked questions about electric vehicles.

The series was spurred by a Reddit thread with over 700 comments from EV-curious posters, about things like whether or not you need to change the electric motor’s oil, how regenerative braking systems work and what maintenance is like for an electric car. The two-minute videos feature Volkswagen Director of E-Mobility Dustin Krause and his daughter, Harper, who answer basic questions from how EVs can help reduce carbon emissions to how you take a road trip in one.

“We have a tremendous amount of interest in electric vehicles right now, and as a company we’re committed to leading the charge in EVs,” said Krause. “We know big changes can seem daunting, so Harper and I were happy to help address why EVs can make so much sense for so many people.”

 

Beyond the questions Dustin and Harper addressed, there were a few more popular ones, which we’re happy to tackle here:

Will an electric car become more cost effective to own than a gas car?

The less expensive running costs of electric cars can ultimately displace the higher upfront prices that drivers may pay when they buy electric vehicles – so essentially, you can get more bang for your buck after only a few years of owning the car. And many electric car buyers qualify for government incentives that help lower the cost even further.

The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 includes three years of unlimited DC fast charging1 on the largest open charging network in North America – Electrify America. Additionally, owners or lessees of the ID.4 may qualify for  various federal  or state EV incentive programs, which ultimately could make the overall cost of buying an EV, such as the ID.4, more favorable.

Are there any routine maintenance procedures for electric vehicles?

The beauty of owning an electric vehicle means you avoid having to pay for things like engine tune-ups, oil changes or spark plugs. There are routine maintenance and service requirements for EVs, such as tires and cabin air filters, but generally the costs of maintenance are lower than gas-powered vehicles.

When purchasing the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4, you’ll receive three years of the Volkswagen 24-Hour Roadside Assistance Program2 as well as two years of included Carefree Maintenance Program.3

With winter approaching, what impact does cold weather have on electric vehicles?

Cold temperatures can affect EV range by a modest amount. Typically, a gas vehicle produces heat as a byproduct of creating energy, this in turn gets used for heating the cabin in winter. In an electric vehicle, where the motor uses most of its energy for propulsion, there’s no spare energy lying around to be used on interior climate control. Powering those heaters will take some extra energy from EV batteries, especially in temperatures below freezing. But the Volkswagen ID.4 EV was designed with several technologies meant to optimize heating efficiency while minimizing the impact cold temps will have on the vehicle, such as pre-heating, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. The AWD trims also add a heated windshield as standard equipment.

For more information on electric vehicles and making the switch to EV, see here. If you think electric might be the right fit for you, take the VW ID.4 quiz and find out how you can move toward an EV future with Volkswagen.

 

One woman’s 40th birthday becomes a tie-dye Beetle dream come true

October 28, 2021

Since the age of 16, Virginia native and tie-dye enthusiast Tasha Lacks had her heart set on one day becoming the owner of a Volkswagen vehicle, a brand of cars that made her eyes twinkle as she played “punch dub” from the backseat of her parents’ car in the 80s. Her dreams finally came true in 2021 when her husband, Jessie, gifted her with a one-of-a-kind present for her 40th birthday: a tie-dye, flower themed Volkswagen Beetle.

Gifting the tie-dye Beetle, which sports hearts and roses in its detailing, was no simple task. Determined to bring some positivity to the bleakness of the pandemic, Jessie, for 40 days preceding the big reveal, presented Tasha with various tie-dye gifts that further expanded her existing collection of everything from tie-dye clothes to tie-dye curtains.

“I went through the process of thinking and asking myself ‘what does she like?’ and ‘what does she need that she doesn’t already have?’,” Jessie says, recounting the gift planning process. “Once I eventually got a list of 40 things, I had to also lead up to something truly groundbreaking. And that’s when I went on the journey of looking for the Volkswagen.”

After finding the Beetle in October of 2020, Jessie then faced two major tasks: perfecting the car’s tie-dye design and hiding it from Tasha for the next seven months. With the help of a local business, his father and his 11-year-old son, Jessie was able to have the car customized with its tie-dye, flowery design, as well as repaired and hidden in his dad’s garage. All this happened right under Tasha’s nose, who had visited her father-in-law’s home several times prior to her 40th birthday.

”Do you know how many times we visited there between October and May?” Tasha asks. “I don’t know what would’ve happened if I had decided to go into the garage while we were visiting, but it’s just amazing that I never saw it at all.”

Tasha’s 40th birthday finally arrived on May 22, with family and friends hosting an outdoor cookout to celebrate. After some elaborate storytelling and necessary persuasion to get Tasha in the house and blindfolded, Jessie led Tasha outside to unveil the car for the very first time.

“I was just so shocked. I didn’t know what it was or where it was from. I honestly didn’t realize it was going to be my car,” Tasha says of her initial reaction to the car. “But when they said, ‘it’s yours to keep,’ I lost it and started jumping up and down and screaming.”

“This is the coolest thing ever!”

So far, the local fans agree; the car has garnered honks from fellow drivers, photo requests from police officers, waves from strangers, and an abundance of comments and smiles from just about anybody who encounters it.

“That’s one of my favorite parts about driving the car,” Tasha says. “I’ve had so many conversations with strangers about it. Kids also love it and absolutely adore its color, so it’s been a fun experience all around.”

Affectionately called a “chick-magnet” by Jessie and Tasha’s son, the car has been a hit with the entire family.

“If I’m having a bad day, I get in my car and I take a drive with the top down and it just makes me feel better. The fact that it’s a Bug makes me feel happy when I’m in it,” Tasha says. “My son will also actually go places with me now because he likes to ride around in this car, and that makes me happy.”

In addition to his wife and son’s elation over the tie-dye dream, Jessie too appreciates not only the car itself, but the significance of its make and brand.

The Beetle “symbolizes to me a time when the world was in chaos and there were certain groups of people trying to bring peace and happiness to the world. And I think that’s a feeling that resonates with a lot of people when they see a Volkswagen that stands out,” Jessie says. “It makes people happy and it’s an iconic car.”

From dealerships to digital whips: How car buying is evolving with Volkswagen

October 25, 2021

Over the past year and a half, the COVID-19 pandemic has been an impetus for a virtual revolution across all industries. More than ever before, Americans find themselves not only working and socializing online but making major purchases as well. As clothing, electronics and furniture sales are adapting to a virtual society, so are car sales.

This shift coincides with an influx of new and potential car buyers, needing alternatives to public transportation, returning to work or commuting for a new job. Today, car buying has – and will continue to – transform to meet a growing virtual demand. A perfect example is the unique approach behind the ID.4, Volkswagen’s new, all-electric SUV.

Since the start of the new year, Americans have explored and purchased the Volkswagen ID.4 EV in modern and cutting-edge ways. Pinterest, a site where people are typically inspired to buy items, soon became a place where people could also experience them with the introduction of an interactive driving simulation Volkswagen launched on the platform. This 360-degree view provided car buyers the ability to virtually test drive the ID.4 and subsequently make informed purchasing decisions – all from the comfort of their homes.

“While life as we knew it rapidly changed, our customers still needed vehicles that delivered a fun and satisfying driving experience,” said Hein Schafer, senior vice president of product marketing and strategy at Volkswagen. “It was a trying time for everyone, but we saw an opportunity to reimagine the car buying experience to match the real-world demands of customers.”

Car buyers, enthusiasts and dealers once convened at public auto shows to present new and classic cars, but as the ID.4 debuted during the height of the pandemic, there needed to be an alternative way to introduce it to the public. In December 2020, Volkswagen launched a virtual, augmented reality (AR) showroom that brought auto shows into the homes of car buyers. Now, potential customers can visualize the VW ID.4 EV in their driveway or garage and scrutinize it from almost any angle.

On the heels of creating two experimental ways of digitalizing the car buying experience, Volkswagen also sought to revamp the administrative side of things. Volkswagen Credit was the first in the industry to work with a major dealer service provider to implement remote contracting tools such as Sign Anywhere. These tools reimagine the financing process and allow consumers to securely fill out paperwork and sign on the dotted line from anywhere – on a mobile device or computer – instead of stepping inside a dealership.

Meanwhile, showrooms will continue to adapt and integrate new virtual platforms into their existing structures. “We know that, for many customers, testing everything – from visibility to dashboard layout – is a crucial aspect of the car buying process,” says Schafer. “That’s why we leveraged tools like AR and 360-degree panoramas to provide car buyers with as realistic of testing and viewing experiences as digitally possible.”

As Americans advocate to maintain the newfound convenience and accessibility that comes with an increasingly digital landscape, the future of car buying is clear. We can expect Volkswagen, along with our dealers and the broader automobile industry, to continue to push the envelope by seeking and executing new ways to leverage virtual tools to modernize everyday tasks.

“We strive to continuously move with the needs of car buyers,” says Schafer. “As the challenges presented over the past year required industry innovation, we met customers with novel and engaging approaches to car buying that will only expand in the future.”

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