Wednesday, December 1, 2010


WOLFSBURG, Germany - Today is a historic anniversary for Volkswagen as the company remembers the first Beetle deliveries: exactly 60 years ago the car dealers Gottfried Schultz in Essen and Raffay & Co. in Hamburg took delivery of nine Volkswagen saloons.

The Beetle's great market success began on a tiny scale: eight Volkswagen saloons were sent to the dealer Gottfried Schultz in Essen on 17 and 23 July 1946; one saloon was delivered to Hamburg-Altona where Raffay & Co. had their dealership on 22 July 1946. In the aftermath of the war with the economy dogged by shortages the beginning was more than difficult.

Between 1945 and 1949 the Volkswagen Company was in the trusteeship of the British military government who gave the badly damaged factory its first production order in August 1945 for 20 000 saloons. After completion of the first run of 55 vehicles in December 1945, the Volkswagen factory initially delivered vehicles exclusively to the allied authorities. The British "Highway and Highway Transport Branch’ appointed the company Gottfried Schultz in Essen as "Main Distributor for the "North Rhine Province" on 11 June 1946; Raffay & Co. received the same function for the Hanseatic City of Hamburg.

In October 1946 the British military government approved the setting up of a dealer organisation in their zone of occupation. This initially comprised 10 main distributors and 28 dealerships. As demand grew rapidly following the currency reform, the organisation was expanded and by 1 January 1949 in the western zones of Germany customers were being served by 16 general agents, 31 wholesalers, 103 dealerships and 812 authorised workshops. Sales in Germany were running at 38 666 Volkswagen saloons.

Today the 2 500 Volkswagen dealerships and service workshops constitute a dense network forming the most important point of contact between the customer and the manufacturer. In 2005 more than 644 000 Volkswagen passenger cars and commercial vehicles were delivered in Germany. Gottfried-Schultz Group and Raffay are still among the largest Volkswagen dealerships in Germany today.

Source: Volkswagen Media


Revving up from the Beetle era to the Golf age

WOLFSBURG, Germany - From very modest beginnings “Gesellschaft zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagens mbH”, established in Berlin on May 28, 1937 with a share capital of 480,000 Reichsmark, has become one of the world’s largest automakers with headquarters in present-day Wolfsburg.

With the company founded by "Deutsche Arbeitsfront", the National Socialists instrumentalized the vision of a "Volkswagen" (people’s car) which had fascinated automobile engineers and the public since the turn of the century. Ferdinand Porsche was commissioned by the German automobile industry association to design such a car in 1934 and together with his team of Karl Rabe, Franz Xaver Reimspieß and Ferry Porsche developed a standard production vehicle in 1938 with an inimitable silhouette which was to write automobile history a million times over.

Ferdinand Porsche and Bodo Lafferentz, a representative of "Deutsche Arbeitsfront", belonged to the management of the company renamed Volkswagenwerk GmbH in 1938. The foundation stone for the factory in present-day Wolfsburg was laid on Ascension Day 1938. However, the car christened "Kraft durch Freude-Wagen" remained just as much a propaganda ploy as the exemplary working and living conditions in the two main plants located in what was then called "Stadt des KdF-Wagens" and in Brunswick. When the Second World War began out, the Volkswagenwerk was converted into an armaments factory and the workforce chiefly comprised foreign forced laborers coerced into Hitler’s war.

The British military government turned the Volkswagenwerk seized by the Allies into a civilian automobile production plant, commissioning the first 20,000 Volkswagen saloons in August 1945. Standard production began in December 1945 with the assembly of the first 55 vehicles.

The British also brought with them to the factory on the Mittellandkanal a close-knit customer service and dealer organization, the quality policy typical of Volkswagen, the focus on exports which was so crucial to economic success, and worker representation. The 1948 currency reform and the normalization of foreign trade relations conclusively put the appealing Beetle on the road to growth.

The British transferred Volkswagen to the trusteeship of the Federal German government and the administration of the State of Lower Saxony in October 1949, and the company with its Beetle and Transporter models became a symbol of the German "Wirtschaftswunder" (economic miracle). In the 1950s, new factories were opened in Hanover and Kassel, and later in Emden and Salzgitter. The company also went from strength to strength abroad: exports began in 1947, Volkswagen established its first foreign sales company in Canada in 1952, the production company "Volkswagen do Brasil Ltda." followed in 1953. Wolfsburg celebrated the production of the one millionth post-war Volkswagen in 1955.

Renamed, converted into a joint stock company and partially privatized in 1960, Volkswagen evolved into a German automotive group, taking over Auto Union GmbH in 1965, which was combined with NSU Motorenwerke Aktiengesellschaft in 1969 to form the present-day Audi AG. Between 1973 and 1975, Volkswagen mastered the transition from air-cooled rear engines to modern vehicle concepts featuring water-cooled engines and front-wheel drive. Passat, Golf and Polo are the names given to the three models which today still represent the heart of Volkswagen.

In the mid-1970s, Volkswagen redefined its identity, adapting its organization and its products to changed global economic conditions in the wake of the first oil price crisis in 1973 and becoming an innovative volume automaker catering for the growing demand for safety, and offering low-consumption engines. As in the Beetle era, Volkswagen today still acts the world over as Germany’s friendly mobility ambassador, contributing to the democratization of safety, comfort and environmental compatibility.

Born and bred in Lower Saxony, early internationalization, for example by entering the Chinese market in 1982, proved a key to success. Against this backdrop, Volkswagen was also able to adapt effectively to globalization by bundling its financial services in Volkswagen Financial Services AG. Production of over 107 million Volkswagen is an achievement that speaks for itself. Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft also serves as the parent brand for other automotive brands such as Seat, Škoda, Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini, all offering attractive models to suit every taste as part of the Volkswagen Group.

The fact that Volkswagen was not only able to repeat the success of the Beetle with the Golf, but even surpass this achievement, ranks among the miracles of Wolfsburg which also include the new start under the British and the rebirth in the mid-1970's.

Source: Volkswagen Media

Monday, November 29, 2010

Volkswagen Crafter

Volkswagen Crafter Panel Van

The Volkswagen Crafter, introduced in 2006, is the largest 3 to 5 tonne van sold by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. Based on the high-end Mercedes Sprinter, the Crafter officially replaced the 31 year old LT nameplate, although it is known as the LT3 as its production plant code.

Its major European competitors include the Opel Movano, Ford Transit, Fiat Ducato and Iveco Daily.

Production plants

The Crafter is built in the Mercedes-Benz Ludwigsfelde and Düsseldorf plants, the same German factories where the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is built.

Daimler as a partner

In the 1990's, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz Commercial Unit produced the first generation Sprinter and the second generation Volkswagen LT in a joint development project.

The superseded second generation Volkswagen LT, and the current Crafter share their automobile platform and bodyshells with their Mercedes-Benz Sprinter counterparts, but the front grille styling, internal combustion engines and transmissions remain Volkswagen Group sourced.


French car designer Laurent Boulay is responsible for the frontal design of the Crafter, which takes cues from the Volkswagen Constellation.


All internal combustion engines are based upon Volkswagen Group's re-engineered 2.5 litre R5 TDI. This turbodiesel is an inline-five cylinder (R5) Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) diesel engine. It displaces 2,459 cubic centimetres (150.1 cu in), and uses the latest common rail fuel system, with piezoelectric actuated injectors for the cylinder-direct fuel injection. It also utilises a diesel particulate filter (DPF), allowing all engine variants to comply with the latest Euro IV European emission standards.


The Crafter is available in three wheelbase options; 3,250 millimetres (128.0 in), 3,665 millimetres (144.3 in) and 4,325 millimetres (170.3 in). It is equipped with front airbags as standard, and side and curtain airbags as options, along with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Load Adapting Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), Anti Slip Regulation (traction control) (ASR), and Electronic Differential Lock (EDL).

The electronic differential lock (EDL) employed by Volkswagen is not - as the name suggests - a differential lock at all. Sensors monitor both roadwheel speeds across a driven axle, and if one is rotating substantially faster than the other (i.e. slipping) the EDL system momentarily brakes it. This effectively transfers the torque to the other driven wheel which is deemed to still have grip.

Payloads & GVW's

The Crafter Chassis and Double Cabs have payloads ranging from 1,472 to 3,026 kilograms (3,245 to 6,671 lb), and come in Gross Vehicle Weights (GVW) of either 3.5 or 5.0 tonnes.

A Volkswagen Crafter


The Crafter has won a number of motor industry awards, including:

2006 What Van? - Overall Van of the Year (UK)

2006 What Van? - Large Van of the Year (UK)

2007 Professional Van and Light Truck Magazine - Large Van of the Year (UK)

2007 Van Fleet World - Best Large Panel Van (UK)

2007 Delivery Magazine - Large Van of the Year (Australia)

2008 Professional Van and Light Truck Magazine - Best Van derived Chassis Cab of the Year (UK)

Source: Wikipedia

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

2006 Volkswagen EcoRacer Concept

Source: ConceptCarz

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Karmann-Ghia TC

Volkswagen TC - coupe body by Karmann-Ghia - manufactured in 1970

You don't have to be a petrol-head to remember the Volkswagen Type 1, affectionately known as the Beetle and arguably the most popular post-war car of its time world wide. Most of you will also remember the also popular and distinctive sports coupe and cabriolet versions based on the Beetle floorpan which immortalized the names Karmann and Ghia, a combination which became practically synonymous to the rear-engined Volkswagen sports models.

Some people may even think this was the model name of these cars, but that was not the case. Like most Volkswagen models at the time it lacked a name, it was simply referred to as the Type 14. Karmann and Ghia were two well respected coach building firms of which the Italian, Ghia, supplied the design and the German, Karmann, produced the bodies. But since Karmann-Ghia sounded so much better than Type 14 the names of these suppliers were promoted from a simple badge somewhere on the car to eye-catching spots on the lid and on the dashboard. And because of that these cars are commonly referred to as Volkswagen Karmann-Ghias or even Volkswagen K-G.
The Type 14 was a success though it didn't have anything near to a sporty performance. In 1962 the Type 14 was also taken into production in Brazil, with Karmann setting up a branch factory near the Volkswagen plant in São Bernardo do Campo named Karmann-Ghia do Brasil. The Type 14 sold reasonably well in Brazil but, like in Europe, there was a demand for a more powerful version, a car that could fulfill the promise of its exterior. In Europe Volkswagen had chosen to introduce the Type 34 Karmann-Ghia coupe, also known as the 1500/1600 or "big" Karmann-Ghia, in 1961 to meet this demand. This car was based on the chassis of the Type 3 Volkswagen, sometimes referred to as the pontoon model, a more upmarket version of the Beetle with a larger engine and different bodywork. The new coupe had a more angular appearance than its smaller brother with a sort of angry looking front end styling which was clearly not everybody's cup of tea and as a consequence it sold far less. In Brazil however a different approach was chosen.

Having learned from the slightly disappointing reception of the Type 34 coupe in Europe and the US, Karmann-Ghia do Brasil looked at Ghia in Turin for a reworked design at the end of the 1960s, preferably one that could match the looks of the popular and far more expensive Porsche 911. At the time Ghia employed Giorgetto Giugiaro, the famous Italian designer who had just presented masterpieces like the DeTomaso Mangusta and the Maserati Ghibli, and he was set to work on the new Brazilian Karmann-Ghia. The result was the Volkswagen Karmann-Ghia TC (Touring Coupe), internally known as the Type 145, which was introduced in 1970.

This model looked much like an Italian impression of a Porsche 911 and was a roomy 2+2 coupe with a modern and comfortable interior. Its appearance was easier on the eyes than that of the Type 34 Karmann-Ghia, though its lines were not undisputed and generally not considered to be Giugiaro's best work. The rear portion of the car seems to be modelled slightly after that of the Volkswagen 411. Underneath it was similar to the Type 14 though actually the platform of the Volkswagen Variant was used rather than that of the Beetle. Main difference was the engine: the Type 145 TC was fitted with the 1584 cc flat-four aircooled boxer unit from the Type 3 instead of the 1192 cc unit of the Type 14. Now the car had 65 hp @ 4600 rpm and a top speed of 137 kph, compared to the lowly 34 hp and 115 kph of the Type 14. This was certainly an improvement though its performance was still rather sedate compared to other coupes in its class.

The Karmann-Ghia TC had its looks and more powerful engine but wasn't as successful as anticipated. It actually had one big flaw: it was terribly prone to rust, or as Brazilians put it, it started to rust at the first raindrop. In particular the grill in front and the vents in the rear let in water which was collected at rust sensitive parts of the construction and also the door rubbers didn't seal adequately. Yet in all 18,119 TC models have been produced during its production run from 1970 till 1976. It was only offered in South America and wasn't exported off the continent.

This fact and its rust problem makes the Karmann-Ghia TC a very rare sight in Europe. The car shown here is a prototype which is part of the factory museum collection of Karmann in Osnabruck, Germany. It's an interesting example of autonomous design and engineering by the South American car industry, which is often overlooked here in Europe.

Source: Internet

Concept Caddy Van

The Volkswagen Caddy Van featuring with a wooden boat deck on the roof of car for sunbathin. Volkswagen is showing this Caddy Topos Sail design concept at the largest recreational vehicle show in D'sseldorf, Germany.

"The Caddy Topos Sail design concept, based on the smallest model in the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle van range, uses design cues from classic yachts and has its multi-functional roof covered with wooden decking surrounded by aluminium roof rails.
The wooden sun deck on the roof is accessed via four matching wooden and aluminium steps in the Caddy's tailgate, and to complete the design theme there are wooden inserts along the side of the vehicle and in the rear bumper."

Source: Internet

Concept T

The Volkswagen Concept T was first seen at the 2004 North American International Auto Show, held in Detroit, Michigan.

The Concept T crossover vehicle displays attributes similar to both sports coupes and off road vehicles, and aimed to fill a gap in the international vehicle market.

The Concept T in its aim to achieve both roles has ended up looking like an expensive dune buggy.

The unusual two tone styling which connects the recessed head lights, tail lights and high level exhausts also gives the visual effect of lifting the body away from the wheels.

The Concept T's impressive upswinging doors are hinged off the A-pillars and swing both outward and upward.
The high mounted rear view mirrors help the driver see over the high, wide rear arches.

The concept T also features an easily removed T-bar roof as well as a removable rear roof section to effectively make it a convertible with a roll bar.

Volkswagen powered the Concept T with a 3.2 L V6 developing 241 bhp, propelling the concept to a respectable 144 mph.

Source: Internet

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Josef Ganz

Josef Ganz, 1946

Dipl.-Ing. Josef Ganz (July 1, 1898 - July 26, 1967) was a German-Hungarian car designer, born in Budapest, Hungary.

Early years

Josef Ganz was born in a Jewish family with a Hungarian mother and a German father in Budapest, the then second-largest city within the Austro-Hungarian Empire, on July 1, 1898. His father, Dr. Hugo Markus Ganz (1862-1922), was from Mainz in Germany and worked as a political and literary writer and journalist for the Frankfurter Zeitung. At an early age, Josef Ganz was fascinated by technology. After moving from Budapest to Vienna, the family moved to Frankfurt am Main in Germany in 1916 and took on German nationality. In July, 1916, Ganz voluntarily enlisted in the German army and fought in the German navy during the First World War. After the war, in 1918, Josef Ganz resumed his mechanical engineering studies. During this period, he became inspired with the idea of building a small car for the price of a motorcycle.

Josef Ganz in the Ardie-Ganz prototype, 1930

Josef Ganz in the Maikäfer prototype, 1931

The Auto design

Josef Ganz made his first auto sketches in 1923, designing an innovative small lightweight car with a mid-mounted engine, independent wheel suspension and an aerodynamic body, but lacked the money to build a prototype. Therefore, he passionately started publishing articles on progressive car design in various magazines and, shortly after his graduation in 1927, he was assigned as the new editor-in-chief of Klein-Motor-Sport. Josef Ganz used this magazine as a platform to criticize heavy, unsafe and old-fashioned cars and promote innovative design. The magazine quickly gained in reputation and influence and, in January 1929, was renamed into the more appropriate title Motor-Kritik.

‘With the ardent conviction of a missionary’, so post-war Volkswagen director Heinrich Nordhoff would later say, ‘Josef Ganz in Motor-Kritik attacked the old and well-established auto companies with biting irony.’ These companies fought against Motor-Kritik with law-suits, slander campaigns and an advertising boycott. However, every new attempt for destruction only increased the publicity for the magazine and Josef Ganz firmly established himself as the leading independent automotive innovator in Germany.

In 1929, Josef Ganz started contacting German motorcycle manufacturers for collaboration to build a autoprototype. This resulted in a first prototype, the Ardie-Ganz, built at Ardie in 1930 and a second one completed at Adler in May 1931, which was nicknamed the Maikäfer (‘May-Beetle’). News about these amazing constructions quickly spread through the industry. Besides at Adler, Josef Ganz was assigned as a consultant engineer at Daimler-Benz and BMW where he was involved in the development of the first models with independent wheel suspension: the highly successful Mercedes-Benz 170 and BMW AM1 (Automobilkonstruktion München 1).

The first company to build a car according to the many patents of Josef Ganz was the Standard Fahrzeugfabrik, which introduced its Standard Superior model at the IAMA (Internationale Auto- und Motorradausstellung) in Berlin in February 1933. Here the new Chancellor Adolf Hitler expressed great interest in its revolutionary design and low selling price of 1,590 Reichsmark. Under the new anti-Semitic government, however, Josef Ganz was an easy target for his old enemies.

Ironically, while German car manufacturers one by one took over the progressive ideas that had been published in Motor-Kritik since the 1920s, Josef Ganz himself was arrested by the Gestapo in May 1933 based on falsified charges of blackmail of the automotive industry. He was eventually released, but his career was systematically destroyed and his life endangered. This led to his escape from Germany in June 1934 – the very month Adolf Hitler assigned Ferdinand Porsche to realize the prophecy of Josef Ganz: designing a mass-producible auto for a consumer price of 1,000 Reichsmark.

After a short period in Liechtenstein, Josef Ganz settled in Switzerland where with government support he started a Swiss auto project, while back in Germany production of the Standard Superior as well as the Bungartz Butz according to his design was stopped. The first prototypes of the Swiss auto were constructed in 1937 and 1938 and plans were formed for mass-production inside a new factory. After the start of World War II , however, Josef Ganz was again under serious threat from the Gestapo and corrupt Swiss government officials who tried to claim the Swiss auto project as their own. After the war, a small number of Swiss auto were built by the Rapid car company, while Josef Ganz in a desperate attempt for justice took his Swiss enemies to court.

Numb from five years of highly complex court battles, Josef Ganz left Switzerland in 1949and settled in France. Here he worked on a new small car, but could no longer compete with the Volkswagen – his own vision – which was now conquering the world in its hundreds of thousands. In 1951 Josef Ganz decided to leave the old world behind and boarded an ocean liner to Australia. For some years he worked there for General Motors – Holden, but became almost bedridden after a series of heart attacks in the early 1960s. Despite some attempts to restore his name, it was too little too late. Josef Ganz died in obscurity in Australia in 1967, his legacy known and admired by all but his name forgotten.

Source: Wikipedia

Standard Superior

Standard Superior was an automobile marque, used from 1933-1935 by Standard Fahrzeugfabrik of Germany, founded by Wilhelm Gutbrod. These small cars were designed according to the patents by Josef Ganz and featured rear-mounted two-stroke engines.

After World War II, the same company made Gutbrod cars and introduced the model Gutbrod Superior.

First model of the Standard Superior, as introduced at the IAMA in Berlin in 1933

Standard Superior, 1934 model

Brochure for the Standard Superior, 1934


In the first half of 1932, Wilhelm Gutbrod, the President of the Standard Fahrzeugfabrik, came into contact with German engineer Josef Ganz. Ganz had been working on a small Volkswagen car design since the early 1920s and had so far built two prototypes, one for Ardie in 1930 and one for Adler in 1931, called the Maikäfer (May Beetle). After a demonstration with the Maikäfer by Ganz, Gutbrod was most interested to build a small car according to this design. The Standard Fahrzeugfabrik then purchased a license from Ganz to develop and build a small car according to his design. The prototype of this new model, which was to be called Standard Superior, was finished in 1932. It featured a tubular chassis, a mid-mounted engine, and independent wheel suspension with swing-axles at the rear.


The first production model of the Standard Superior was introduced at the IAMA (Internationale Automobil- und Motorradausstellung) in Berlin in February 1933. Because of some criticism to the body design, not in the least by Josef Ganz in Motor-Kritik, it was followed in April 1933 by a slightly altered model.

In November 1933 the Standard Fahrzeugfabrik introduced yet another new and improved model for 1934, which was slightly longer with one additional window on each side and had a small seat for children or as luggage space in the back. This car was advertised as the German Volkswagen.

The Volkswagen Beetle connection

With the Ardie-Ganz, Adler Maikäfer and Standard Superior cars, as well as his progressive writings and promotion of the concept of a Volkswagen in Motor-Kritik magazine since the 1920s, Josef Ganz is claimed by some to be the inspiration behind the Volkswagen Beetle. These cars had all the then novel features of the later Volkswagen Beetle, such as the tubular chassis, rear-mounted engine and independent wheel suspension with swing axles.

According to the report, as a Jew, Ganz was deprived of his patent rights, which were later illegally passed to Tatra, whose management had impeccable Gestapo connections. Ganz himself, after an odyssey of escaping through numerous European countries, had landed in Australia. The name Volkswagen was stolen by Adolf Hitler and Hermann Göring who saw Ganz's VW prototype at an exhibition.

New investigation

While the Volkswagen Beetle was produced in its millions after World War Two, the name of Josef Ganz was largely forgotten. In 2004, Dutch journalist Paul Schilperoord started researching the life and work of Josef Ganz. He has unearthed many new facts and is currently working on a new book and documentary.

Source: Wikipedia

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Rumormill: Skoda to get own model based on VW eUp!

Ever since Volkswagen first started rolling out concept versions of its New Small Family (NSF) mini-cars, the automaker has said it would build variants for a number of the brands in the group. The Czech-based Škoda brand is an obvious candidate for one of the small cars as it's generally considered a lower cost outlet in the family hierarchy.

The Škoda is expected to carry the Joyster badge and will reportedly launch in 2012-13 with conventional powertrains. A pair of three-cylinder engines displacing one liter for the gas version and 1.2-liters for the diesel will be the available to begin with, and after Volkswagen launches the battery-powered eUp! in 2013, the same hardware will be added to the Škoda.

Source: Green Autoblog

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

1959 Volkswagon Bus

Check out this website for more pictures of this VW Bus.

Source: Hot Rods Custom Stuff

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Can Automatic Car Washes Damage Your Car?

Automatic/drive-through car washes are more popular than ever because they save time and hassle.

But are automatic car washes safe for your car? In fact, in many instances, they are the "safest" course of action for many car owners who want to keep their car clean.

In fact, automatic car washes can be safer for your car's finish than washing your car yourself because do-it-yourselfers sometimes don't use enough water to safely remove dirt; or they wash the car in direct sunlight -- which can burn spots in the paint. Or they use the wrong type of soap -- such as dishwashing detergent, which removes protective wax and leaves a chalky residue on the finish. Or any one of several common mistakes can end up doing more harm than good.

Cars by the numbers:

3 Most Popular Muscle Cars6 Cheap Cars with Great Gas Mileage10 Fastest Sports CarsKeeping your car clean and the finish looking good can also mean higher resale value when it comes time to get a new car. All else being equal, a car with faded paint and a dingy overall look sells for 10-20 percent less than an otherwise identical vehicle that just looks nicer.

So how often should you have your vehicle washed? That depends on how quickly it gets dirty -- and how dirty it gets. For some cars, once a month or so is sufficient -- especially if the car is lightly used and kept in a garage. But some cars will need a bath more often -- especially those that are parked outdoors where they're exposed to bird droppings, tree sap and so on, or driven in areas with very long/severe winters, where the roads are salted when it snows.

Here are a few important things to keep in mind when it comes to automatic car washes:

Be sure it's "brushless" -- Some older car washes still use abrasive brushes (instead of cloth), which can leave small scratches in a car's finish. On older cars with so-called "single stage" paint jobs, light scratches could usually be buffed out; but all modern cars use a "base/clear" system with a thin, transparent layer of clear coat on top of the underlying color coat to provide the shine. Once the thin clear coat is damaged, often the only way to restore the shine is to repaint the damaged area.

Another safe bet is "touchless" car washes that use only high-pressure water jets and detergents to clean the car -- without physically touching it at all. There is virtually no chance of your vehicle suffering any cosmetic damage this way. Some areas have "self-service" coin-operated hand washes, which are great for spraying away heavy dirt buildup. You'll usually need to bring your own bucket, wash cloth/sponge and dry towels, though.

Watch out for the after-wash wipe-down -- Most drive-through washes use a strong jet of heated air to force excess water off after the car goes through the wash. Many full-service car washes will then have you drive the car (or drive it for you, in some cases) away from the wash area to be hand-wiped by attendants. This is usually OK -- provided the attendants are using fresh, clean (and soft) towels to do so. Be alert on busy days, when lots of other cars have gone ahead of you. If you see the attendants using obviously dirty old rags to wipe the car down, you should say "thanks, but no thanks" -- and drive away wet. Dirt and other abrasives in the rags can scratch the finish just like sandpaper. Simply driving away from the wash and letting air flow over the car to dry any remaining water won't hurt anything -- and is the best guarantee of a no-damage experience. Any lingering streaks can easily be cleaned up at home yourself using readily available spray cleaners designed for just this purpose. (Honda Pro Spray Cleaner & Polish is excellent for this; it also provides UV protection and easily and safely cleans off bugs, tar and road grime, etc. without water.)

Hold off on the extras -- A "works" car wash can cost twice as much as the basic wash, but you may not be getting twice the wash for your money. Undercarriage rustproofing, for example, is of dubious value. Effective rustproofing is applied to brand-new metal, in order to seal it from contact with external corrosives such as road salt. Most new cars are extensively rustproofed at the factory during the assembly process; further "treatment" is superfluous -- and a money-waster.

On the other hand, if the wash offers an undercarriage bath, it may be worth the additional cost. Jets of water sprayed directly underneath the car can break loose accumulated crud that would be difficult (and unpleasant) to try to remove yourself using a garden hose. It's also important that underbody drainage holes not be obstructed by mud and other buildup; accumulated moisture can accelerate rust or (in the case of the air conditioning system) lead to the formation of mold in the system. The undercarriage bath should help keep those drain holes clear.

Do, however, think twice about spray-on wax. This typically adds at least a couple bucks to the cost of the wash and while it doesn't hurt anything, it's no substitute for hand-applied polish/wax. Spray-on "wax" may provide a short-term gloss enhancement, but doesn't protect against UV sun damage the way hand-applied wax does. Ditto the cost of having an attendant spray Armor All (or a similar protectant) on your tires to make them shiny. The cost for this extra can be equivalent to the cost of buying an entire bottle of the stuff on your own.

Wheel and tire cleaning is an exception; the heavy-duty cleaners used by the car wash do a great job of removing baked-on brake dust, etc., that can otherwise be a real chore to clean on your own, using over-the-counter cleaners, a hand brush and a hose. It's especially important to keep aluminum alloy wheels clean; brake dust can eventually permanently stain them if it's not regularly cleaned away.


Make sure your car's OK before you leave -- While many car washes will have a disclaimer posted that they are "not responsible for any damages that may occur" as a result of running your car through their wash, that doesn't mean you should automatically absolve them of any damage their equipment or personnel may have caused. If you notice something, ask to see the manager and point it out to him; whether "legally liable" or not, he may offer to fix the problem in the interest of customer relations. And even if he does not, you can still pursue the matter with a higher-up (such as the company headquarters, if the wash is a franchise, as many associated with big-name gas stations often are). If you have a cell phone with a camera, use it to take a photo of the damage in order to support your claim. And it ought to go without saying that you should never leave your purse or other valuables in the car if you use a wash where an attendant will have access to the vehicle's interior.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

An Ecological VW Kombi

The Solar Power is the latest model in a line of vehicles for camping and adventure that is based on the cheerful VW Kombi. The first version, the Verdier Caravan, was created in 1998. As time went by the concept evolved and was distinguised with various awards. The current version has, as a strong suit, energetic self-sufficiency, a key characteristic for what this vehicle aims at.

Once the car is in a stationary position, the group of intelligent solar panels search for the optimal position, thanks to the information provided by a GPS system to the on-board computer. The vehicle then shows all its versatility. The ceiling is expanded into a canvas structure where there is a sleeping compartiment for two, with access through a folding staircase; at the same time, it projects two awnings that cover the adjacent lateral areas; in its interior, the seats give way to a bed for two; in one of the doors it's possible to set up a stove and a small table; in the back there is a small compartment that lodges additional furniture (tables and chairs).

As if this wasn't enough, the Verdier is also beautiful, a true Kombi...

Read more: Click Here

VW Convertible

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Why To Not Be Talking And Driving?

Sometimes only a picture can get our attention!
Her last call was from a new cell phone...
Do you see the motorcycle?

Now do you see it?

The Honda crotch rocket rider was traveling at approximately 85 mph. The VW driver was talking on a cell phone when she pulled out from a side street, apparently not seeing the motorcycle. The riders reaction time was not sufficient enough to avoid this accident. The car had two passengers and the bike rider was found INSIDE the car with them.

The Volkswagen actually flipped over from the force of impact and landed 20 feet from where the collision took place.

All three involved (two in the car and the bike rider) were killed instantly. This graphic demonstration was placed at the Motorcycle Fair by the Police and Road Safety Department..

Pass this on to car drivers or soon to be new drivers, or new motorcycle owners

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Save a life…

Please do not talk on Cell phones and Text while trying to drive.

The life you save may be your own...or mine.

Source: Internet

Thursday, April 22, 2010

New Phaeton Revealed At Beijing Motor Show

Volkswagen has unveiled the revised Phaeton at the Beijing Motor Show.

Featuring a new look and technologies, the updated Phaeton builds on what is already one of the most advanced and thoroughly engineered cars on the road today.

Built in a state of the art transparent factory in Dresden, the new Phaeton features a new face, comprising a pair of bi-xenon headlight units complete with LED running lights and a new grille featuring two pronounced horizontal bars to lend the car a more imposing stance. Elsewhere, new front wings and a reprofiled bonnet are joined by a revised front bumper, complete with chrome strips and a set of LED foglights.

At the rear, a set of light units fitted with intricate lenses sit above a redesigned bumper. Finally, new alloys wheels complete the changes to the outside of the car. Inside, a new steering wheel and a colour electronic display ahead of the driver are joined by fresh trim finishes and, for the first time on a Volkswagen, the option of Google Maps on the RNS810 satellite navigation system. Feeding power and information between these and other vehicle systems are over 2,000 separate cables measuring 3.2 km connecting to 60 control units.

The air conditioning system on the Phaeton remains one of the most advanced in the world. As well as featuring a humidity monitoring function to avoid the vehicle misting up in all conditions, the Phaeton W12’s 4Zone climate control system is designed to be capable of maintaining a steady interior temperature of 22 degrees Celsius while the vehicle is at a constant speed of 186 mph in an ambient temperature of 50 degrees. While this situation is unlikely to be encountered by the majority of motorists, the climate control systems, aerodynamics, brakes , suspension, steering system and even wipers have been designed to cope with speeds far exceeding the norm of 0-155 mph.

The new Phaeton retains a very high level of standard equipment including 4MOTION all-wheel drive, Continuous Damping Control (CDC) adjustable air suspension, leather trim, satellite navigation, 18-way adjustable electric seats, a laminated finish to all glass areas and a total of eight airbags. Two wheelbase options will be offered (120 mm differentiating the two) and a choice of two engines – a 3.0-litre V6 TDI diesel developing 240 PS and a 6.0-litre W12 petrol engine producing 450 PS. The new Phaeton goes on sale this August with prices and specifications set to be announced nearer this time.

Source: AutoSpies

Volkswagen Milano Taxie

Volkswagen took to the stage at the annual Hanover Trade Show in Germany with a fleet-oriented EV taxi concept car dubbed the Milano Taxi. Decked out in Italian-inspired green and black paint with a red and white stripe, the Milano Taxi offers a maximum speed of 74 mph and an impressive 186 mile range, which could make it a viable alternative to gas and diesel-powered taxis.

The small, purpose-built taxi is powered by a 113-horsepower electric motor hooked up to an underside-mounted5 kW lithium-ion battery. VW says that 80 percent of the battery can be juiced up with just an hour charge, making it easy to keep the Milano going throughout the day on longer drives.

Its outside is vaguely inspired by the Samba van, VW says, and it features intricate integrated LED running lamps and retro-style whitewall tires.

The rear doors swing forward and out of the way for tight and congested areas like those of central Milan. Inside, a two-seat rear bench awaits, while luggage sits in front of the passengers and next to the driver in a space that would typically be occupied by a passenger seat.

An New York cab-style LCD screen affronts the passengers, allowing them to view the route the cab is following, while the driver has a similar screen used for various vehicle functions and navigation.

VW hasn’t indicated any production future for the Milano, although the company says it’s still on track to debut a production EV by 2013.

Source: Motorshout

Monday, April 19, 2010

Spycam: Volkswagen Polo Sedan

Just Smaller than a Jetta: Polo Four Door Begins to Take Shape

Click below to read the complete article.

Source: Motortrend

Thursday, April 8, 2010

New York 2010: Second generation Volkswagen Touareg makes U.S. debut, Hybrid too

2011 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid

Volkswagen has just unveiled its 2011 Touareg for the first time in the States, giving us Americans a chance to see the slimmed down SUV and its hybrid sibling that we first saw at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this month. This second generation Touareg will still have a diesel option, but for those who like to feel even better about themselves while they gently crush wildflowers in the Arctic National Preserve, there's also a hybrid model offered for the first time in a VW SUV.

The hybrid model gets a 3.0-liter, supercharged, direct injection V6 gasoline engine paired with an electric motor and eight-speed automatic transmission that help it to a mileage rating of 21 miles per gallon city and 25 highway. That V6-plus-electric-motor combo also combines for 375 horsepower and 428 lbs.-ft. of torque, allowing a healthy towing capacity of up to 7,700 pounds.

Source: Autoblog

New York 2010: Volkswagen Polo wins 2010 World Car of the Year award

2010 World Car of the Year winner Volkswagen Polo

Awards season is finally winding down with the 2010 World Car of the Year and World Performance Car of the Year being handed out this morning at the 2010 New York Auto Show. After whittling the fields down to three finalists in each category, the panel of 59 international journalists voted one last time to crown the World Car of the Year.

While the Toyota Prius, Volkswagen Polo and Mercedes-Benz E-Class were nominated, it was the Polo that took home the gold for 2010 World Car of the Year.

On the performance vehicle front, the nominees were the Audi R8 V10, Porsche 911 GT3 and Ferrari California, with the Audi winning top honors.

They also handed out a Design award for a group of finalists including the Citroen C3Picasso, Kia Soul and Chevrolet Camaro. That honor went to the Camaro. (U-S-A! U-S-A!)

The Green category saw Volkswagen's line of diesel-powered BlueMotion vehicles beat out the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight hybrids. (Die-sel! Die-sel!)

Source: Autoblog

New York 2010: Volkswagen Mid-Size Sedan to launch with TDI in 2011

Volkswagen New Mid-Size Sedan

During yesterday's North American debut of the 2011 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid at the New York Auto Show, VW's North American CEO, Stefan Jacoby, let slip that the yet-to-be-named Passat replacement – currently known as the "New Mid-Size Sedan" (NMS) – will be available with a diesel in both the U.S. and Canada when it goes on sale in 2011.

Production of the NMS is set to begin within the next year at the automaker's new Chattanooga, Tennessee facility, and it's all but assured that the mill will be the same 2.0-liter diesel four-pot currently outputting 140 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque in the Jetta TDI.

Details on the sedan are scant, but Jacoby reiterated that the NMS will be Volkswagen's most focused push into the mid-size segment, where it is set to do battle with the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. With a launch this important, it's no wonder that the company is still debating names.

Source: Autoblog

Quick Spin: 2010 Volkswagen Polo TSI 1.2 could preview what's to come

2010 Volkswagen Polo TSI 1.2

At last year's Geneva Motor Show, we got our first in-person look at the all-new fifth-generation Volkswagen Polo, the brand's popular B-segment model that slots in below the ever-expanding Golf and Jetta range. While subcompact vehicles like the Polo have been a staple in Europe for decades where fuel prices hover around $8/gallon, in the last few years, Americans have finally started to take a serious look at cars of this size. With the Honda Fit and Mini Cooper well established, the Ford Fiesta and Mazda2 twins on the way and an all-new Chevrolet Aveo coming late in 2010, the market for subcompact runabouts is picking up steam in the States – and VW is taking a long, hard look at adding the Polo to its North American lineup in the next few years.

With that in mind, VW trotted out a fleet of Polos for us to sample on its home turf near Wolfsburg, Germany recently – and while the automaker has yet to make a firm decision about importing the Polo to the U.S., they clearly wanted our feedback. Here's what we told VW of America CEO Stefan Jacoby and his staff.

The new Polo is a handsome little hatchback with a very attractive implementation of Volkswagen's latest design language. The front fascia shares a lot with the new Golf, including the slim, black, horizontal grille above the bumper and the primary air intake and fog-lamp mounts down below. Along the sides, the pronounced wheel arches work nicely with the chiseled character lines just below the windows and along the rocker panels to give the Polo a pleasantly aggressive stance. For such a small car, it looks quite stocky, especially on the 17-inch, five-spoke alloys fitted to our tester.

All of the Polos on hand were powered by one of VW's newest engines: the 1.2-liter TSI four-cylinder. As its TSI designation implies, the 1.2 includes both a turbocharger and direct fuel injection, with a different cylinder head configuration than current TSI mills. Larger displacement versions from this engine familly all feature dual overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder, while the 1.2 uses a single cam and only two valves per cylinder. While this might seem like a step backwards, there's some solid reasoning behind it.

The first and most obvious is cost. A single cam, two-valve head is considerably less expensive to build, along with being notably lighter. Both of these elements are important in an engine for an entry-level car. However, there is also a functional reason that could make the two-valve layout advantageous for a direct-injected engine. Four smaller valves take more space in the combustion chamber, and they don't leave much space to locate the spark plug and injector. This usually creates a situation where the spark plug is located in the center and the injector is off to one side. With only two valves, both the plug and the injector can be located closer to the middle, so fuel is distributed more evenly. The pressurized intake air from the turbocharger also helps to offset some of the four-valve configuration's breathing advantage. Overall, this results in a reasonable compromise for a subcompact vehicle and a rather impressive amount of power.

The 1.2-liter TSI churns out 103 horsepower and 129 pound-feet of torque, and while that doesn't sound like much, maximum twist is available between 1,500 and 3,500 rpm, making for excellent around town drivability. By comparison, the 1.5-liter, 16-valve normally aspirated engine in the North American-spec Honda Fit produces 117 hp, while maximum torque – a meager 106 lb-ft – peaks at 4,800 rpm. Mated to either a six-speed manual or new seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, the Polo's demeanor is nearly unmatched by anything in the U.S., and the run to 62 miles per hour takes place in a perfectly adequate 9.7 seconds. Making things even more enticing is the Polo's fuel economy, up from 35.1 mpg (U.S.) to 42.8 mpg compared to the outgoing port-injected 1.6-liter four-cylinder in the previous Polo, with a drop in CO2 emissions to boot (159 g/km versus 129 g/km).

Inside, the Polo provides typical Volkswagen fare – well finished, high quality materials of the sort rarely found in Stateside subcompacts. The design is simple, clean and functional, with everything located exactly where it should be. Large, round gauges for the speedometer and tach flank an information display that keeps tabs on the clock, mileage, range and other useful info-tidbits. The overall design is very similar to the Golf, with a seamless surface across the top of the dashboard. Our tester came equipped with an optional in-dash navigation system, along with a large storage bin below the climate controls and cloth seats that proved comfortable while providing plenty of lateral support.

One aspect where the Polo loses out to the class-leading Honda Fit is interior volume. The Japanese hatch is about five inches longer and 2.5 inches taller than the Volkswagen, although the wheelbase is only about an inch longer. Most of the Fit's extra length is the result of its longer nose (something not found on non-North American variants), yet its extra size can be felt most clearly from the rear seat, where the extra height allows for a more upright position for passengers and room for four adults. The Polo is noticeably more snug, albeit easily on par with the forthcoming Ford Fiesta.

The five-door Polo we sampled was equipped with a DSG transmission but, unlike the Golf TDI, it didn't have paddle shifters. If you're hot to swap your own cogs, slotting the gear selector to the right from Drive allows you to tap-shift the transmission up or down. Around town, the torquey engine proved very responsive and the Polo never felt sluggish or strained, and shifts were quick and smooth whether commanded by the powertrain ECU or the driver.

Going around corners, the Polo's steering was quick and the electro-hydraulic assist had good feedback. Our drive loop south of the Oschersleben track included stretches through several small villages coated in cobblestones, and the Polo's poise and reasonably comfortable ride on such uneven surfaces bodes well for how the V-Dub will behave on pitted U.S. roads.

But will it make the trek?

Officials from Volkswagen of America seem intent on bringing the Polo to the States, but the big question seems to be what bodystyle U.S. consumers will get. While European VW dealers offer three- and five-door hatchback configurations, the thought seems to be that Americans would prefer a sedan. To our eyes, a hatchback and its attendant utility makes a lot more sense than an undersized trunk, but our position might not jibe with mainstream consumer tastes. From where we sit, the smarter choice may be something analogous to the Euro-only Golf Plus, which is a taller version of VW's C-segment hatch. A vertically stretched Polo Plus could match the space of the Fit on its existing footprint, negating our only serious ding with the Polo – a lack of interior space.

However, the more intractable problem is cost. With the euro trading at nearly $1.50, sourcing an inexpensive B-segment car from across The Pond is a non-starter. VWoA CEO Stefan Jacoby told us that the site of the new Chattanooga, TN assembly plant has space to double in size and could ultimately produce up to 500,000 vehicles annually. The Puebla, Mexico plant that builds the Jetta and New Beetle is also being expanded, so if the Polo is offered here, it will almost certainly be built in North America and offered throughout North, Central and South America.

VW will no doubt be closely watching how the all-new Ford Fiesta and Mazda2 fare to help determine its path. And if we were betting gentlemen – and we often are – our money would be on the Polo arriving on U.S. shores within the next three-to-four years. With the exemplary 1.2-liter TSI and an enlarged cabin, the Polo could easily find favor with Stateside consumers currently reassessing what they need in a vehicle, and with more subcompacts arriving each year, VW needs to strike while the iron is hot to solidify its place in a segment that's finally garnering some attention in America.

Source: Autoblog

Monday, April 5, 2010

2011 Volkswagen Touareg

For 2011, Volkswagen's Touareg gets a much-needed freshening along with the sizable weight reduction.

The second-generation Touareg benefits from visual upgrades that bring the SUV in line with the new Volkswagen look embodied by the Golf and Polo. There's nothing radical here, but judging by how little the first-generation Touareg changed over the course of its life, this is a body style to which dealers should become accustomed. Is it an SUV that will age well until the third-generation model arrives?

The 2011 Touareg's grille is similar to that of the Golf and Polo: long and directly connected to the headlights. Those headlights feature LED accents, a detail that supports the high-end place this SUV will have in Volkswagen's lineup.

The profile view holds few surprises besides new wheel designs. In back, the taillights curve upward slightly, a subtle change makes the rear view a bit more dynamic. Huge exhaust pipes do that too, though not necessarily in a good way.

To be honest, we would be happy spending time in the interior of the 2010 or 2011 Touareg. It's inside where some of the more major visual changes have taken place. A giant navigation display in the dash has forced the separation of the air vents. As in the 2010 Touareg, the new Volkswagen SUV features plenty of wood and silver trim. Completing the interior changes is a more attractive three-spoke steering wheel than the four-spoke unit in the outgoing SUV.

So the tweaks to the Touareg are more evolutionary than revolutionary. Is that a good thing? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Last week, the 2011 Volkswagen Touareg's brother -- the 2011 Porsche Cayenne -- was featured in this space.

Many commented on the improved interior. "Finally the Cayenne looks like it belongs in the Porsche lineup," said Porsche74.

True_enthusiast wasn't so positive: "Better but still ugly."

Source: Motortrend

VW Officially Announces Volkswagen R GmbH Performance Division

If you liked what you saw in Volkswagen's Golf R at last year's Frankfurt Auto Show, you're going to like this news. The German automaker has officially launched a dedicated performance division, dubbed Volkswagen R GmbH, that will specialize in developing sport-oriented models under the R and R Line badges. Volkswagen hopes the move will help it to stake its claim as the world's largest automaker in the not-too-distant future.

"Our vehicles contribute to the emotionalization and growth of Volkswagen brand," said Ulrich Riestenpatt gt. Richter, general manager of Volkswagen R GmbH.

Consider the division similar to BMW's M branch, Mercedes' AMG program, or Fiat's Abarth arm. All fall under the blanket of their parent company, while offering products with added exclusivity and performance relative to the standard models. The current Europe-only Golf R and Scirocco R are the first models to be developed by the over-350-strong workforce, the Golf essentially being a successor to the special-edition R32.

New R Line packages will also emerge from the doors of Volkswagen R GmbH, including the Volkswagen Passat CC R Line, with special emblems, wheels, ground effects, and other touch-ups. A Tiguan R Line has also launched in Europe, alongside similar packages for the Golf, Touareg, and Touran.

Currently, the only product from Volkswagen R that the U.S. will be getting is the Passat CC R Line. Given the cult following previous R32s enjoyed Stateside, we're not ruling out VW bringing the Golf R to our shores, along with a few more R Line variants.

Source: Motortrend

Next Volkswagen Passat Coming To 2010 Paris Show

New reports suggest we may have our first look at the next-generation Volkswagen Passat come September, as the German automaker may launch its revised midsize sedan at the 2010 Paris motor show.

Although the car will be the next generation in the Passat line, don’t expect it to be completely revamped from head to toe. Reports indicate Volkswagen is putting the Passat under the knife in a similar manner to Golf's refresh for 2010 -- the basic architecture of the car will remain untouched, but it will receive substantial styling and powertrain upgrades.

We’d also expect the new Passat to be both agile and frugal, thanks in part to a planned decrease in weight and the use of smaller, efficient engines. Like Hyundai’s new Sonata, VW reportedly has no plans to offer the new Passat with a heavier, thirstier six-cylinder engine. Instead, a slightly upgraded version of VW’s 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four-cylinder engine may be the top engine. Reportedly, the turbo-four offers similar acceleration to the current Passat fitted with the 3.2-liter V-6.

Although Volkswagen is starting to introduce hybrid-electric drive systems, the new Passat won’t receive one -- instead, the automaker is possibly waiting until an all-new model launches in 2015 to install an eco-friendly powertrain.

It’s doubtful we’ll see the new Passat in any guise in the U.S., as the “New Midsize Sedan” (NMS), which should launch in early 2011, will replace the car in North American markets.

Source: Motortrend

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Single Person Car

Volkswagen's $600 car gets 258 mpg -- It looks like Ford, Chrysler and GM missed the boat again!

China launches $600 car that will get 258 mpg

This $600 car is no toy and is ready to be released in China next year.

The single seater aero car totes VW (Volkswagen) branding.

Volkswagen did a lot of very highly protected testing of this car in Germany, but it was not announced until now where the car would make it's first appearance.

The car was introduced at the VW stockholders meeting as the most economical car in the world is presented.

The initial objective of the prototype was to prove that 1 liter of fuel could deliver 100 kilos of travel.

Spartan interior doesn't sacrifice safety

The aero design proved essential to getting the desired result. The body is 3.47 meters long and just 1.25 meters wide, and a little over a meter high. The prototype was made completely of carbon fiber and is not painted to save weight.

The power plant is a one cylinder diesel positioned ahead of the rear axle and combined with an automatic shift controlled by a knob in the interior.

Safety was not compromised as the impact and roll-over protection is comparable to the GT racing cars.

$600 car gets 258 mpg

The Most Economic Car in the World will be on sale next year:

Better than Electric Car-258 miles/gallon: IPO 2010 in Shanghai

This is a single seated car

From conception to production: 3 years and the company is headquartered in Hamburg , Germany ..

Will be selling for 4000 yuan, equivalent to US $600..

Gas tank capacity = 1.7 gallons

Speed = 62/ 74.6 Miles/hour

Fuel efficiency = 258 miles/gallon

Travel distance with a full tank = 404 miles

Volkswagen 258 mpg car on sale in 2010

Source: Internet