Volkswagen Newsroom

#TBT: The Country Buggy from down under

June 10, 2021
The Country Buggy

In nature, there’s a phenomenon known as “convergent evolution” – the way different creatures in different places evolve the same traits to solve common problems. It also describes what happened in the early 1960s when people worldwide realized the Volkswagen Beetle could transform into an off-roader with only slight modifications.

In the United States, that process led to vehicles like the Meyers Manx. In Europe, Volkswagen itself adopted the basic Beetle chassis and parts into the Type 181, or as it was later known in the United States, “The Thing.” And, at almost the exact same time, Volkswagen in Australia had a similar thought about how a Beetle-based vehicle could tackle that country’s beach scene. The result: the Country Buggy.

Conceived first as a potential military vehicle, the Country Buggy was designed and engineered in Australia using Type 1 and Type 2 Volkswagen components. Designed with short overhangs to increase its approach and departure angles off-road, the Country Buggy’s exhausts fed through its bumper to raise ground clearance. Power from the stock Beetle flat-four cylinder engine went to the rear wheels via portal axles from the early Type 2 buses. In keeping with its utilitarian approach, the Buggy had no doors, only high side sills that could be closed off with vinyl curtains, and a folding windshield and either hard or soft-top roof. The bodywork was flat-stamped steel, with Beetle headlamps pushed into the fenders.

The Country Buggy

Though the project had promised when it began for Volkswagen Australia in the early 1960s, by the time the first Country Buggy models left the factory in 1968, conditions warranting its build had changed. The final model wasn’t suited for military applications, and with the Type 181 launching globally, few customers in Australia saw the appeal. After a brief run of just 1,952 vehicles, Country Buggy production ended in Australia.

And yet, it lived on. Partially assembled Country Buggy kits later shipped to the Philippines, where they were generally well received. When the Type 181 went into production, the chassis was sold in the Philippines with locally built Country Buggy bodies. And in 1972, Volkswagen invested with other firms in local production in the Philippines of a lightly modified Country Buggy called “Sakbayan” – a Filipino portmanteau that translates to “people’s car,” which remained in production for several years.

Today, Country Buggy and Sakbayan fans have preserved their vehicles as collector’s items. The Country Buggy was a rare model from a specific era, but thanks to those who cherish them, they will never go completely extinct.

The latest Volkswagen 2021 Enthusiast Fleet vision: A green 2021 Arteon ‘Big Sur’ concept

June 8, 2021
A green 2021 Arteon ‘Big Sur’ concept. Disclaimer: Concept vehicle shown. Not available for sale. Specifications may change.

Volkswagen unveiled its latest addition to the 2021 Enthusiast Fleet family — a striking, green-wrapped 2021 Arteon named after the scenic coastal area, Big Sur. Inspired by the unforgettable stretch of California coastline, the team wanted to create a head-turner that would capture the Arteon’s adventurous spirit and aerodynamic sleekness.

Since arriving in 2019, the stylish fastback offers drivers the best of both worlds: the sportiness of a coupe with the space and flexibility of a midsize sedan. To draw attention to the flagship sedan, Volkswagen Enthusiast and Motorsport Marketing Specialist Sean Maynard, Rory Stramer and Gil Plasencia of FMS Automotive, and Jason Whipple at Rotiform designed this concept car.1

“The Arteon is a hidden gem in the Volkswagen line-up,” Plasencia says. “It’s a top-of-the-line sedan that offers the elegance of a sports car, plus it includes all the features Volkswagen drivers have come to know and love—like Lane Assist, Car-Net [and] fantastic braking and handling.”23

The goal was to incorporate an eye-catching forest green wrap throughout the vehicle to showcase the Arteon’s strong and stylish body lines. Paired with gloss-black, 20-inch Rotiform TUF-R cast monoblock wheels and Continental Tire Extreme Contact DWS 06 Plus 245/45 R20 tires, the look is both attractive and aggressive.

“We wanted the car to stop people in their tracks, and announce, ‘I’m here!’” says Plasencia.

A green 2021 Arteon ‘Big Sur’ concept. Disclaimer: Concept vehicle shown. Not available for sale. Specifications may change.

The California-based teams started out with a 2021 Urano Gray Arteon SEL Premium R-Line and changed the color using a custom vinyl wrap. The bold shade was inspired by an all-green Golf R that Rotiform debuted at SEMA, the world’s leading auto aftermarket exhibition, in 2019.

“It was more of an aesthetic design makeover than a performance upgrade,” Stramer says. “We wanted to keep it in the boundaries of something someone could feasibly achieve and ensure that someone who had the means and interest in achieving this vehicle could.”

The wrap was installed throughout the entire car – including its interior door jambs and side body pieces – so when the doors open, the color change is still visible.

“I’m really proud of the amount of detail and attention we put into it,” Plasencia says. “We took all the doors off the vehicle – the hatch, the hood – and spent a good 50 to 60 hours to ensure it was all perfect. Looking at a distance, it looks like it’s a paint job.”

The team executed the modifications in just under a month. Using a Voomeran Lower Valence body kit as a foundation, Plasencia and Stramer designed custom front splitters, side pieces and a spoiler to perfectly fit the vehicle. A coilover suspension was also added to give the vehicle a stronger, lower stance.4


“We brought it down an inch and a half, but it can actually go as far down as two and a half inches,” Plasencia says. “However, because of the car’s body kit, it gives an illusion that the car is actually lower than it is.”

You can catch this one-of-a-kind green machine, along with the rest of the 2021 Volkswagen Enthusiast Fleet, at enthusiast events across the country.

Five beautiful EV-friendly drives for summer

June 1, 2021

With travel rebounding as pandemic restrictions ease, more people are looking forward to a summer road trip – and that includes electric vehicle owners. As the new Volkswagen ID.4 offers an EPA estimated range of 250 miles for the 1st Edition and Pro S trims (and an EPA estimated 260 miles for the ID.4 Pro trim), along with 3 years of unlimited charging at Electrify America DC Fast Charging stations, more of those summer drives can happen on electric power.12

To give EV owners some inspiration, we’ve scouted five scenic routes across the country that offer beautiful views, interesting stops and convenient access to public EV charging for all EV enthusiasts to embrace. Make sure to visit for a full list of EA chargers.

1. Miami to Key West, Florida

Route: The Overseas Highway (Southernmost leg of U.S. 1)

Distance: 113 miles, one-way

Available DC Fast Charging Stations: Miami, Key Largo and Key West.

The Florida Keys has long been a mecca for fisherman, divers and watersport enthusiasts. Only accessible by boat until the early 1900s, industrialist Henry Flagler connected Miami with the southernmost island in the chain, Key West, via his East Coast Railroad in 1912. When the rail line was destroyed in 1935 by a hurricane, the government converted it into U.S. 1, linking the 44 islands of the Keys to the mainland. Mostly overwater, as the name suggests, the road offers travelers stunning ocean views and some of the best sunrises and sunsets anywhere in the world. Not to mention access to underwater coral reefs, marinas where you can charter a boat to fish for Tarpon and other big game, and some of the best food you can find in the southeast.

2. San Francisco to Monterey, California

Route: Pacific Coast Highway to Skyline Boulevard to PCH

Distance: 170-200 miles, round trip

Available DC Fast Charging Stations: Many options in San Francisco, Los Gatos and Monterey

The Pacific Coast Highway, better known as PCH or California Highway 1, is possibly the most legendary road on this list. It hugs most of the California coastline, from San Diego to Fort Bragg, and takes travelers through big cities and tiny coastal towns, ancient redwood forests, major wine regions and provides access to all sorts of marine wildlife and outdoor adventure opportunities. This section of the road features terrific views of the Pacific from San Francisco to Half Moon Bay. From there, it takes a side trip inland for a spirited drive on Skyline Boulevard (U.S. 35), a ridge road running atop the mountains that separate the San Mateo Peninsula from the Pacific Ocean. Skyline Boulevard is filled with curvy, narrow roads and dramatic mountain views. It’s a fun, yet peaceful drive. Then, you take Route 17 back to PCH and continue to your ultimate destination, Monterey.

The 2021 ID.4 Pro S with Gradient Package

3. Boston to Provincetown, Massachusetts

Route: U.S. Route 6/Route 6A

Distance: 118 miles, one-way

Available DC Fast Charging Stations: Boston and Plymouth, with mostly Level 2 public charging on Cape Cod itself

U.S. 6 meanders through Cape Cod’s small villages, dunes, beaches, and marshes, and is a charming drive. Jump off onto 6A and take the trip up a notch. Originally a Native American trade route from the 1700s, Route 6A or the Old King’s Highway follows the same path. Stretching nearly 65 miles, the scenic seaside route runs from Bourne on the Cape Cod Canal to Provincetown at the tip of the peninsula.

4. Los Angeles to Big Bear, California

Route: State Highway 18/Rim of the World

Distance: 117 miles, one-way

Available DC Charging Stations: Many in L.A. and suburbs up to the entrance of the San Bernardino National Forest; none on the mountain, so plan accordingly.

Narrow State Highway 18 winds around the cliffs of the San Bernardino Mountains through small villages on the way to Big Bear Lake. This part of the route is called the Rim of the World because of its breathtaking, panoramic views. Mountains, lakes, and—on a clear day—even the Pacific Ocean can be seen from vantage points along the way.

5. Washington D.C. to Asheville, North Carolina

Route: The Blue Ridge Parkway

Distance: 500 miles, one-way

Available Charging stations: Mostly along Interstate 81 or at campgrounds along the way.

For those who want a longer EV road trip, the Blue Ridge Parkway beckons. Built as part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal to put Americans back to work following the Great Depression of the 1930s, the 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway connects the Shenandoah National Park of Virginia with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park of North Carolina. It’s a panoramic drive for all seasons, with a bounty of forest canopy in summer. The stretch is also a bird watchers’ paradise, with over 50 species found along the highway alone. However, nature lovers of all types will be awed by the overlooks, like Cumberland Knob (MP217), and stretches of roadway, such as the spectacular seven-mile-long Linn Cove Viaduct (Mile Post 304). If the sound of fiddle, banjo and guitar music tickles your fancy, then a stop at the Blue Ridge Music Center (MP 213) is a must. This one will require some planning ahead; just as there are no gas stations directly on the parkway, EV chargers also require brief detours.

The 2021 ID.4 Pro S with Gradient Package

Four first-time EV owners share why they made the switch to the ID.4 EV

May 27, 2021
Customer Erick Freligh with his ID.4.

What makes someone choose to purchase an electric vehicle for the first time? We spoke with four new owners of the all-electric Volkswagen ID.4 about what motivated them to make the switch and embrace an electric future.

Erick Freligh, a 50-year business systems analyst in Bothell, Washington, was considering what new Volkswagen to purchase next—in the past, he has owned a 1967 Beetle, 1986 Golf and 2012 CC—when an ad for the ID.4 popped up on his screen. He was instantly intrigued.

“I joined the web announcement on launch day, threw down my deposit for a reservation and decided I would find out what an EV meant by the time it was ready for purchase,” Freligh says, excitedly. “I wanted to get in early on it, because I have a long history with Volkswagen, and the ID.4 looked like it was a serious game changer for the brand.”

After securing his spot, he doubled down on the research and quickly discovered how perfect an EV fit with his needs and lifestyle.

“I tend to keep cars for a long time. I make a serious commitment to them,” Freligh says. “So, seeing the current economic, political and social environment, by the time I was ready for a new car I realized an EV would be the right choice.”

And while Erick isn’t giving up on his affinity for vintage Volkswagens anytime soon, he admits he has become accustomed to EVs–especially the quiet cabin of the ID.4. “I was just blown away,” he says. “I can easily have a conversation with someone else in the passenger’s seat.”

Customer P.K. Shiu poses with his ID.4.

P.K. Shiu, a fintech professional in Lexington, Massachusetts, echoed Freligh’s sentiments. After doing mountains of research and years of wanting to switch to an EV, this was the first car he felt suited both his and his family’s needs. A dad of two, the ID.4 enables him to zip them around town and run family errands easily and efficiently.

“The EV experience is so different, but in a good way,” Shiu says. “It’s been really fun. I’ve basically been looking for excuses to go out and drive the car. Like, ‘Sure honey, I’ll get the milk!’”

For Lisa Dvorak, a 65-year-old retired police officer based out of San Marcos, Texas, the SUV component of the ID.4 was a key factor in her purchasing decision. A hybrid owner for several decades, she wanted more space than a traditional passenger car but wanted the positive environmental impact an electric car offers by producing no direct emissions, so she started poking around the internet for an alternative.

“Once I heard about the ID.4, I was relentless about making a reservation,” Dvorak says. “I stayed for an hour on the site, refreshing my browser until I finally got in and got it.”

The car’s affordable price point, potential Federal tax credit of up to $7,500 and the fact it produces no direct emissions were especially appealing to her.1 “When you look at it all together, you think, ‘This is very doable,’” she says.

Customer Lisa Dvorak poses with her ID.4.

A former Beetle owner, she loves the car’s embedded applications—like Car-Net and Apple CarPlay® for her compatible devices—and a roomy interior for both everyday activities and road trips.2 “I do a lot of gardening and hauling of mulch, blocks and plants, and I go camping a lot, which requires a lot of gear, and it all fits,” she says.

Dvorak also believes making environmentally conscious decisions, like purchasing an EV with zero direct emissions, could add up in the long run. “We have to get away from such a dependence on petroleum and fossil fuels, and we do that by taking small steps culturally,” she says.

She, and other owners, also pointed out how EVs escaped the recent fuel shortages on the East Coast, and how the ID.4 can provide as much as $3,500 in estimated fuel cost savings over 5 years compared to the average gas vehicle.3 Several of the interviewees have been stopped around town by fellow drivers who are curious or impressed by their wheels.

“I’ve had at least five people walk up to me, including a car salesman, and ask, ‘What is that?’” says Dvorak.

Customer Sam Barak and his wife pose with their new ID.4.

Similarly, for Sam Barak, the time was right for an EV: it was an affordable and fuel savings option for his growing family, suited his more than 100-mile daily work commute and allowed him to experience new technology firsthand.

For the new dad, Atlas owner and early tech adapter, the ID.4 just made sense. “I’m always the first to get the latest cell phone, smartwatch, 3D printer, etc.,” Barak, a 28-year-old engineer in Longwood, Florida, said.

Barak is particularly fond of the “sleek and futuristic exterior,” “instant torque” and comfortable front seats, which feature built-in, four-way massage lumbar and memory in the ID.4. “I’m 6’3”, so having a car that I fit comfortably in was really important to me,” he says.

It can be hard to go back once you go electric. “Now, every time I get into a non-EV, it just feels wrong,” Barak says.

Volkswagen showcases vintage electric Type 2 transporter at Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance

May 26, 2021
The all-new ID.4 EV and Elektrotransporter on display at Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

Volkswagen showcased a 1979 Elektrotransporter that was used in a pilot study by the Tennessee Valley Authority at the annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance to reflect the show’s dual electric vehicle themes—EVs from the dawn of motoring and EVs of the present and future.

Now in its third decade, the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance has inspired automakers from around the world to bring their rare rides and gather with like-minded car enthusiasts on the fairways of Amelia Island, Florida. And while the Elektrotransporter was not a traditionally elegant vehicle, it provides a rare glimpse into the electric innovation that has been happening behind the scenes at Volkswagen for the past six decades—lining up perfectly with the “It’s Electric” historic class and the “Taking Charge” parade of current and future electric vehicles at this year’s show.

Spectators observe a variety of Volkswagen models at the auto show.

The Volkswagen Elektrotransporter has a unique story. During the global oil crisis of the early 1970s, many automakers were inspired to look for alternatives to gasoline power. In response, Volkswagen produced a number of electric vehicles based on the Microbus, Transporter, and Golf to explore the feasibility of electric propulsion and charging. In 1978, the Electric Power Research Institute and the Tennessee Valley Authority teamed up to buy 10 electric Type 2s—five Buses and five Transporters—to test how EVs performed under daily use in work fleet conditions.

The electric bus held 24 lead-acid batteries with 72 cells under a raised floor, with a rating of 25.9 kWh. The electric motor was bolted directly to the existing bus’s transmission, which was locked in second gear, and drove the vehicle’s rear wheels. The bus produced only 23 hp, giving it a claimed top speed of just 48 mph, but did offer an early version of regenerative braking that’s now standard across all modern EVs.1 When NASA—yes, that NASA—they only managed to get it up to 44 mph with an observed range of 35 miles.

The ID.4 EV and the Elektrotransporter represent a long history of EV innovation.

In a neat historical twist of fate, the buses were based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where Volkswagen is expected to produce the ID.4 electric vehicle for North American markets. In total, the 10 vehicles were driven a total of about 54,000 miles over an 18-month test period. At the end of testing, it was concluded that with developing technology electric vehicles would be able to satisfy a wide range of conventional vehicle applications in the near future. Volkswagen of America recently acquired one of these Elektrotransporters for its historic fleet and plans to return it to running condition.

From the Elektrotransporter to the new ID.4, Volkswagen continues to innovate and invest in EVs to bring consumers the best on the road. By 2023, Volkswagen Group hopes to build one million electric cars and plans to have eight all-new electric and hybrid vehicles in showrooms worldwide by the end of 2021.

The ID.4 EV participated in an electric vehicle parade opening Sunday’s events.

Introducing the Taos Basecamp Concept, a peek at a future accessories package

May 19, 2021
The Taos Basecamp Concept. Disclaimer: Concept vehicle shown. Not available for sale. Specifications may change. Only drive and park where it is permitted and always stay on provided roads and paths. See owner’s manual for important information regarding off-pavement use.

Inspired by the positive response from the 2019 Atlas Basecamp Concept and the Basecamp accessories line offered for Atlas models, Volkswagen has created a one-of-a-kind concept build that highlights the adaptability and adventurous style of the new Taos compact SUV.

The Taos Basecamp Concept was conceived by the Volkswagen Design Team in Oxnard, California, and incorporates bold fender flares, all-terrain wheels and tires, and a new color scheme. Contrasting silver rocker cladding ties into the front and rear skid plates to complement the rugged appearance that is reminiscent of the previous Atlas Basecamp concept vehicle.

“The Taos is a great compact SUV from the start,” says Reto Brun, Director of the Volkswagen Design Center California. “Following the design strategy we established with the 2019 Atlas Basecamp Concept, the Taos Basecamp Concept is refinished in Waimea blue paint with gloss black trim elements and a matte black hood and roof. Orange accents in the Basecamp badges, mirror caps and side decals were incorporated to punctuate the Basecamp design identity.”

The Taos Basecamp Concept. Disclaimer: Concept vehicle shown. Not available for sale. Specifications may change. Only drive and park where it is permitted and always stay on provided roads and paths. See owner’s manual for important information regarding off-pavement use.

The modifications for the Taos Basecamp Concept were designed for those who want to travel off the beaten road. Upgrades include a raised suspension from H&R Special Springs LP, custom Traverse MX wheels by fifteen52 wrapped in 225/65R17 Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail tires, and a custom Thule Canyon XT roof basket with integrated off-road LED lighting from Baja Designs.1 Its interior has been modified with a custom cargo divider supplied by Polytec Group to allow the driver the ability to store away their key sporting accessories, including ropes and carabiners.

“Many are venturing into the great outdoors and require vehicles with the innovations to accommodate their active lifestyles,” says Robert Gal, Senior Manager of Performance and Accessories at Volkswagen of America.

It also features several elements of the future Taos Basecamp production styling package. These enhancements include aggressive front and rear fender flares with integrated splashguards, lower door skid plates, and a one-of-a-kind Basecamp badge designed to be displayed on the car’s front grille. The badge and other styling package components were manufactured and provided by Air Design.

The Volkswagen team plans to debut the Taos Basecamp Concept in Helen, Georgia, from May 20 to May 23. The Taos Basecamp concept will serve as the first Volkswagen to debut the latest Gentex HomeLink Bluetooth® enabled frameless mirror with integrated compass.


Five things to do while charging your ID.4 EV

May 14, 2021
Owners of the all-new 2021 VW ID.4 electric SUV receive three years of unlimited charging at Electrify America DC fast-charging stations at no additional cost to the vehicle’s purchase price. Disclaimer: 3 years of unlimited charging on MY21 ID.4 vehicles begins upon the vehicle purchase. Non-transferable. Not available for commercial use, such as ridesharing. Requires Electrify America account, app, enrollment in ID.4 Charging Plan, acceptance of Plan Disclosure, and $10 deposit to pre-fund Idle Fees. User is responsible for Idle Fees, which apply 10 minutes after charge session stops or vehicle reaches full charge. Unused Idle Fee deposit will be refunded when the account is closed. In the event of suspected fraud or abuse or other unforeseen events, Volkswagen of America may discontinue or modify the offer in its sole discretion. Frequent and consecutive charging can permanently decrease battery capacity, which may not be covered by your vehicle’s warranty.

Across the United States, public fast-charging stations are rapidly appearing at shopping malls, grocery stores and gas stations – making it easier, quicker and more convenient than ever to charge your electric vehicle on the go.

Electrify America is the nation’s largest open DC fast-charging network with more than 600 charging stations and more than 2,600 individual DC fast chargers, including the completion of two cross-country and two coastal routes in 2020, and growing. The network plans to have 800 charging stations, about 3,500 DC fast chargers in development by December 2021.

Some EV owners choose to install a Level 2 wallbox charger at home for convenience or easy overnight charging, but weekend road trips or long, scenic drives may require a refresh at a public charging station.1 So, whether you are a new EV owner or considering buying one in the future, here are five ideas on how to pass the time while charging your ID.4 EV.

  • Rest and relax: Recharge yourself at the same time as your vehicle with a quick self-care break. In the ID.4, drivers and front-seat passengers can retract the sunshade of the available panoramic fixed glass roof and use the available six-way adjustable seats with power recline to get comfortable.
  • Move yourself: You can use the time to stretch your legs and go on a walk around the neighborhood. However, remember to be mindful of EV charger etiquette and remember to not let your EV take up the charger once you’ve completed powering up.
  • Enjoy in-car entertainment: Take advantage of the Car-Net Wi-Fi Hotspot stream your favorite movie or television show on up to four compatible devices.2 Don’t worry about getting distracted – the Electrify America app will send you a notification once your vehicle has reached your desired charging level.3
  • Indulge in a massage: A premier available feature of the ID.4 are its front seats with built-in, four-way massage lumbar and memory. After several hours of driving, a massage might just what you need to get back in action. Take it a step further by activating the 30-color ambient lighting option for a fun and full sensory experience.
  • Stop and shop: Most Electrify America charging stations are conveniently located at gas stations, grocery stores, outlet centers, hotels, and large retailers, among other locations. While you wait for your vehicle to charge, step inside to buy groceries, grab a cup of coffee, shop for clothes or stock up on household goods. If you’re not in the mood to shop, keep it simple and treat yourself to your favorite snacks while you wait.
The Electrify America app.

#TBT: Volkswagen Golf GTI W12-650, the ultimate hot hatch concept car

May 13, 2021

Over the past 40 years, the Volkswagen Golf GTI has become the standard of hot hatchbacks worldwide for its balance of performance and affordability. Yet one of the most memorable concepts ever to emerge from Volkswagen with the Golf GTI name pushed the performance side of that balance to the extreme.

The Golf GTI W12-650 was introduced in 2007 when Volkswagen designers needed a showstopping concept car to debut at Wörthersee. The VW-backed festival is one of the largest events for Volkswagen enthusiasts, with more than 100,000 visitors in attendance annually. Fans and locals gather along Lake Worthersee in Austria to bond over various Volkswagen vehicles, often with a special display of Golf GTI concepts.

Two months before Worthersee that year, Volkswagen designers began work on a concept that would combine elements from across the Volkswagen Group. To make it happen, the team started off with the simple body of the Mk5 GTI and kept the original production car’s doors, hood and lights. Next, they incorporated the twin-turbo W12 engine from a Bentley Continental GT that was good for 641 hp; as 12 cylinders physically can’t fit up front, where the four-cylinder turbo engine of the Golf GTI goes, they put the engine right behind the driver, creating a mid-engine GTI.1 To handle all that power, the concept borrowed the rear axle and brakes from a Lamborghini Gallardo, the front brakes from an Audi RS 4, and the gearbox of a Volkswagen Phaeton.

The body of the Mk5 was widened by 6.3 inches, the suspension was lowered by nearly three inches and the car was fitted for massive tires, measuring 12 inches wide in the rear and nine inches in the front. In addition to a reworked chassis, the finishing touches to the design included reshaped rear windows, a futuristic rear bumper and an expanded air intake section at the front.

The interior design for the concept car also reflected its racecar-like attributes. Outfitted in black Alcantara leather, the Golf GTI W12-650 had transparent switch guards for central functions, no door liners and even a fire extinguisher in the glove compartment.

Endowed with a W12 engine, the concept car had as much power as today’s Lamborghini Urus. With all that muscle and rear-wheel power, the concept car wasn’t the easiest to handle but it was certainly fun to drive. Comparable to a racecar, the Golf GTI W12-650 accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in less than four seconds and achieved a top track speed of 201 mph.2 Maybe one day there’ll be a faster Golf GTI on the shores of Lake Worthersee – but there will likely never be one quite as wild.


Getting your first electric vehicle: What to know

May 11, 2021

With the launch of the all-new Volkswagen ID.4 electric vehicle, there’s never been a better time to go electric. The ID.4 makes a definitive statement that an EV can deliver all the style, comfort, convenience, and value you’ve come to expect from gas-powered cars. It also proves that EVs can be fun to own and drive.

If you’re unfamiliar with what it’s like to own an EV, here’s some important information to get you started.

At-home charging is easy and convenient.

The Volkswagen ID.4 includes a Level 1 charging cable1. Simply plug it into a standard 120V household outlet in your garage, connect the other end to the port at the right rear of the vehicle, and just like that, you’re charging.

Now imagine charging your ID.4 at a Level 2 wall box charger in your garage for 7 and a half hours to 11 and a half hours overnight2, and returning the next morning to find it fully charged with an EPA-estimated 250 miles of range.3 For this kind of fast charging, you can opt to get the new HomeStation Level 2 Home Charger with app control from Electrify Home. In its 40 amp configuration, it can charge 6.8 times faster than a standard Level 1 charger.

At-home charging is billed in the same way as any other electric usage. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, residential kilowatt-hour rates are, on average, much less expensive than the per-gallon cost of gas. Plus, in some parts of the U.S., EV owners can take advantage of utility discounts for nighttime or off-peak charging after enrollment in the utility program.

Charging on the go is fast and widely available.

If at-home charging isn’t an option for you, or you regularly travel long distances, know that all ID.4 owners receive three years of unlimited public DC fast charging through Electrify America at no additional cost.4

Electrify America has built a convenient and reliable network of DC fast charging stations nationwide, located along major highways and cross-country routes, to help get you where you want to go.

An Electrify America public DC fast charger can get the battery in the ID.4 from 5 percent to 80 percent charge in about 38 minutes.5 Keep in mind that, with an EPA-estimated range of 250 miles3 in the ID.4, the average driver can complete a regular commute several times before needing to charge.6

The cost savings really start to add up.

Owning an EV can translate to long-term savings, given that oil changes and trips to the gas station will be things of the past. The Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV can provide as much as $3,500 in estimated fuel cost savings over five years compared to the average gas-powered vehicle.7

Under current U.S. law, purchasers of certain electric vehicles may qualify for a federal income tax credit of up to $7,500.8

Finally, owning the ID.4 brings additional value with perks such as five years of Volkswagen Car-Net® Remote Access EV9 at no additional cost. This includes three years10 of access to Car-Net Plus Nav EV11 and the voice-activated Car-Net Plus Speech EV,12 which allows you to control system functions in the ID.4 by simply saying, “Hello ID.”

Driving an EV is a breeze… and a lot of fun.

Starting the Volkswagen ID.4 is an entirely different experience than that of a gas-powered vehicle: With the key fob in your pocket, all you need to do is sit in the driver’s seat and the ID.4 wakes up. Even starting in cold weather is no problem: Technology in the ID.4 helps to optimize heating efficiency while minimizing cold-temperature impact on the vehicle.

One difference between EVs and gas-powered cars is that the simple act of braking actually adds energy to the battery. Every time you use the brake, or even take your foot off the accelerator, an EV stores excess energy for later use, which makes for more efficient operation.

As for the fun part, that comes when you press the accelerator. Because an electric motor delivers power to the wheels instantaneously, you don’t need to rev it to get up to speed. Maximum torque is available even at 0 RPM, which means smooth, seamless acceleration.

The fun continues when turning: The chassis used by the ID.4 places the battery between the car’s axles, giving it a low center of gravity for better handling.

Whether you’re an experienced electric-vehicle owner or looking to own your first one, it’s a great time to build and reserve the all-new Volkswagen ID.4. And take the Volkswagen electric-vehicle quiz to see how an EV fits with your lifestyle.

1 110V charging hardware included with the vehicle. Optional cabinet, installation and wiring costs are extra and will vary. See your participating dealer for details.

2 Based on an 11kW Level 2 charger for 7.5 hours, and a 7.2kW Level 2 charger for 11.5 hours. Charging times will vary and depend on a variety of factors, including ambient temperature, charger type, battery condition and initial state of charge, vehicle condition, and others.

3 2021 ID.4 Pro S and 1st Edition EPA estimated total range is 250 miles. Actual mileage and range will vary and depend on several factors including driving and charging habits, accessory use, temperature and topography, battery age, load, and vehicle condition. Battery capacity decreases with time and use. See owner’s manual for details.

4 3 years of unlimited charging on MY21 ID.4 vehicles begins upon vehicle purchase. Non-transferable. Not available for commercial use, such as ridesharing. Requires Electrify America account, app, enrollment in ID.4 Charging Plan, acceptance of Plan Disclosure, and $10 deposit to pre-fund Idle Fees. User is responsible for Idle Fees, which apply beginning 10 minutes after charge session stops or vehicle reaches full charge. Unused Idle Fee deposit will be refunded when account is closed. In the event of suspected fraud or abuse or other unforeseen events, Volkswagen of America may discontinue or modify the offer in its sole discretion. Frequent and consecutive charging can permanently decrease battery capacity, which may not be covered by your vehicle’s warranty.

5 ID.4 equipped with fast charging capability maximum rate of 125kW. Based on charging at a 125kW or higher charger. Charging times will vary and depend on a variety of factors, including ambient temperature, charger type, battery condition and initial state of charge, vehicle condition, and others. Frequent and consecutive fast charging can permanently decrease battery capacity.

6 Based on Bureau of Transportation Statistics information last updated on May 20th, 2017 regarding median commuting distance to work and starting with a fully charged vehicle. Your commute may vary. The ID.4 Pro S and 1st Edition EPA estimated total range is 250 miles. Actual mileage and range will vary and depend on several factors including driving and charging habits, accessory use, temperature and topography, battery age, load, and vehicle condition. Battery capacity decreases with time and use. See owner’s manual for details.

7 Claim based on driving 15,000 miles per year using U.S. Energy Information Administration ( data available at time of publication for average gasoline and kW-hr projected prices for 2021-2025 and average EPA new vehicle MPG of 27 for MY21 vehicles. Assumes home charging of ID.4. Actual savings, if any, will vary and depend on several factors including location, driving and charging habits, fuel price fluctuations, temperature and topography, accessory use, battery age, load, and vehicle condition.

8 The anticipated Federal income tax credit mentioned above is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute tax or legal advice. Any available credits apply only on the purchase of a qualifying vehicle and are not available in a lease transaction. All persons considering use of available tax credits should consult a tax advisor to determine eligibility based on their specific tax situation. Tax credits are subject to various limitations not within Volkswagen’s control and are subject to change without notice.

9 Available on MY21 ID.4 vehicles. Always pay careful attention to the road and do not drive while distracted. Certain services require trial or paid subscriptions, which may have their own terms and conditions. VW Car-Net requires cellular connectivity, availability of vehicle GPS signal, and acceptance of Terms of Service. Not all services and features are available on all vehicles. Certain Car-Net services may connect out to 3rd party providers that may require additional payment. Standard text and data rates may apply for app and web features. Certain services may collect location and vehicle information. See Terms of Service, Privacy Statement, and other important information at

10 Plus Nav and Plus Speech services offered for 3 years from vehicle in-service date.

11 Requires vehicle to be equipped with MIB3 infotainment system with navigation, acceptance of VW Car-Net Terms of Service, and vehicle cellular and GPS connectivity.

12 Requires vehicle to be equipped with MIB3 infotainment system, acceptance of VW Car-Net Terms of Service, and vehicle cellular and GPS connectivity. Available voice control functions vary based on vehicle equipment.

‘I knew that was the one’: A conversation with Atlas parents

May 11, 2021


The Volkswagen Atlas SUV has earned a reputation as an ideal choice for families., in awarding its 2021 Family Car of the Year honor to Atlas, says that “the Atlas combines space and drivability in a way its rivals have yet to beat.”

Now, with an array of enhancements for model-year 2021, including new wheel and headlight designs, as well as new driver-assistance technology available on certain trim levels, the Atlas has even more family appeal.

Recently Volkswagen Life organized a video call with three Atlas-owning parents—Libby of Zionsville, Ind.; Lon of San Diego, Calif.; and Courtney of Post Falls, Idaho—to find out why they chose the Atlas. Here are some highlights from the conversation.

Tell us a little about yourself.

Libby: I have one daughter—she’s 8 months old—and two large Labrador Retrievers. I have a background in marketing and PR. My husband is back in the office but still works remotely sometimes, and we fight over who gets to drive the Atlas.

Lon: I’ve got two kids going on 4 and 7. I do IT systems administration, and as a hobby I organize a fairly large European car show here in Southern California. My wife commutes to work in the Atlas. At the moment my oldest is homeschooling, so I’m handling the home stuff.

Courtney: I’m married to my husband Will. I have a 13-year-old son and a 4-year-old son, and I’m a stay-at-home mom. My 13-year-old’s in school, but I’m home all day with my 4-year-old. We like to get together with friends and have dinners. And we’re avid campers.

Woman standing next to a man holding an infant in front of a parked Atlas shown in Platinum Gray Metallic

Why did you decide to get an Atlas?

Libby: The day after my daughter was born, we piled 200 lbs. of dog and a baby in a midsize SUV—I won’t say the brand—and realized we had lost our minds. As soon as I test drove the Atlas, I knew that was the one. I knew we wouldn’t have to keep buying a bigger car if we have another kid in the future. It didn’t feel like a big car to me. It was kind of a cool mom car.

Lon: The Volkswagen was top on our list because I have a couple of other Volkswagen [cars]. But I always like to be an informed shopper, so I looked at a bunch of other cars. [The Atlas] checked all the boxes. The third row was by far the most comfortable. It’s one of the best vehicles that we could find that carried our whole family.

Courtney: I had a different SUV—smaller, no third row. And with my two boys, we need that extra room. I did a lot of research online before we test drove [the Atlas], and I bought it right on the spot. When you put the third row down, there’s so much space. It’s a great car; I love the way it drives, the way it feels.

Now that you’ve owned it for a while, what
are some of your favorite things about it?

Libby: We’ve driven to Florida, and if a 16-hour car trip can be enjoyable with a 5-month-old, the Atlas is the way to do it. There’s just so much room.

Lon: Interior volume, interior size is what we got it for. We have two [child safety] seats and you can actually get to the third row with the car seat still there. It’s such a well-balanced car; it just drives very well.

Courtney: It doesn’t feel like I’m driving a huge SUV that’s too big for me to drive. The space is ample and my kids can [fit] easily. My 4-year-old’s car seat fits perfect in there. My oldest, my 13-year-old, loves it. When his friends came over and we were going on a drive, he was bragging to his friends, showing them all the features.

Any experience with the driver-assistance technology in the Atlas?

Libby: Being able to have Adaptive Cruise Control is such a nice luxury because it automatically senses when a car slows down in front of you.

Lon: [With] lane changing, it’s so good to be aware of somebody to the left or right of you. It just works so well.

Courtney: I love the [rear traffic alert]. Never had one of those before. Having that extra feature is amazing.

Man standing in front of an Atlas shown in Pure White, against a backdrop of the horizon

Any examples of when you’ve really loaded
up the cargo area?

Libby: On the road trip to Florida, both times, we took a baby bouncer, a stroller, suitcases, diapers, toys, pretty much everything you can imagine. We actually had room to spare, even in the second row.

Lon: I had to do a [pre-pandemic] car show in central California. I brought a couple of my friends, and I loaded up all the show gear—sound system, tent canopies. We had it fully loaded with stuff and it’s amazing how comfortable [it is].

Courtney: I did some major cleaning of our house and garage, and I had to [go] to our storage unit. I was able to get pretty much everything in one load, with the third row down.

Woman and man near a park standing next to a parked Atlas shown in Pyrite Silver Metallic

What advice would you give to parents who might be considering the Atlas as a family vehicle?

Libby: I would tell them it’s the perfect size.

Lon: I would highly recommend the Atlas. It makes so much sense for anybody that has kids or a family that needs to travel.

Courtney: Buy it! One of my girlfriends in California [has] three little kids and she’s been looking for a new car. I was telling her, I can’t see myself ever growing out of it. Hopefully I convinced her.

Driver Assistance features are not substitutes for attentive driving. See Owner’s Manual for further details and important limitations.

Always ensure your pet is properly secured and kept away from airbag deployment zones, including any side-curtain airbags. See your Owner Manual for additional information.

Always ensure that child restraint system is positioned correctly, is securely attached to vehicle, and does not contact any of the safety belt buckles. See owner’s literature for details.

Do not rely exclusively on Blind Spot Monitor. Always check surrounding traffic and use your turn signal. The feature’s function may be limited and depends on many factors. See Owner’s Manual for details.

Always ensure cargo is properly secured. See Owner’s Manual for details.


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