Volkswagen Newsroom

7 ideas for a great summer in the all-new Taos

July 16, 2021

The sun is shining, outdoor activities are returning across the country, and everyone’s eager to start making summer memories once again.

Need another reason to get outside? Volkswagen has introduced the all-new 2022 Taos compact SUV. It offers all the style, roominess, and exciting tech to make this summer—and every season—an unforgettable one.

Here are seven enticing warm-weather events, destinations, and attractions to check out,1 along with seven reasons why the Taos is the ideal vehicle to get you there.

Two orange-and-yellow sea kayaks sit on the shore of an island.

Take a kayak journey to a pristine island.

Jewell Island Kayak Trip

Portland, Maine

Got kayaking experience? Head to Portland Harbor and join Portland Paddle for a two-day excursion by sea kayak to the unspoiled paradise of Jewell Island. Enjoy the 221-acre island’s rugged coastline, extensive network of hiking trails, and ideal camping spots. Multiple trips are scheduled through early September.

Pursuing summer adventures means bringing along friends and gear. You’ll find a surprising amount of roominess and cargo space in the all-new Taos: The second row comfortably seats three; the FWD version offers 27.9 cubic feet of cargo space, increasing to 65.9 cubic feet with the second row folded.

Colorful hot air balloons float into the sky over a field of spectators at a balloon festival.

Watch colorful balloons fill the sky.

Adirondack Balloon Festival

Queensbury, New York

There’s nothing quite like the sight of giant hot air balloons in vivid colors floating across the horizon. On September 24-26, head to New York’s Warren County and experience the magic of ballooning at the annual Adirondack Balloon Festival, a free, nonprofit event benefiting local charitable causes.

Inside the Taos, open the available panoramic sunroof to get a unique perspective on the balloons. Then step outside and admire the vehicle’s clean, modern design, including its bold profile, unique square wheel arches, LED headlights, and available illuminated grille.

A group of people gathered dockside at a bay, posing and smiling for the camera.

Help keep the coast beautiful.

Hillsborough River & Coastal Cleanup

Tampa, Florida

Become a “scientist for a day” at this coastal cleanup hosted by Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful. During the event, which takes place September 18 at locations throughout Florida’s Hillsborough County, volunteers collect debris items and record the data for use in optimizing future cleanup efforts.

Research and science also play key roles in the advanced driver-assistance systems for the Taos. Its available IQ.DRIVE® suite of driver-assistance technology helps monitor blind spots, assists in warning of potential front collisions, and more.2

A hand holds a shrimp cocktail mug adorned with the logo of the Galveston Shrimp Festival.

Celebrate all things shrimp.

Galveston Island Shrimp Festival

Galveston, Texas

Feast on shrimp at this family-friendly event, taking place September 24-25 in Galveston’s Historic Strand District, around an hour’s drive southeast of Houston. Highlights include gumbo cook-offs and tastings, a fried shrimp dinner, live music, the Shrimp Scamper 5K Fun Run, and the Lil Shrimps Parade.

Along with all the great sights you’ll be seeing this summer, you’ll see important vehicle information inside the Taos, thanks to the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit. It replaces the traditional instrument cluster with a modern, high-resolution digital display.

A wooded hillside in the foreground, overlooking the Pacific Ocean in the background.

Hike while gazing at the Pacific.

Point Mugu State Park

Malibu, California

Located around an hour’s drive up the Pacific Coast Highway from Santa Monica, this quiet and secluded park in the Santa Monica Mountains offers more than 70 miles of hiking trails, and five miles of ocean shoreline with rocky bluffs, river canyons, and other natural attractions. After your hike, hit the beach for an ocean swim.

The Taos can help keep you sure-footed on the road, especially with available 4MOTION® all-wheel-drive, which is designed to distribute power between the front and rear wheels as needed to assist with traction and stability.

A woman paddles on a surfboard in the ocean, with an instructor paddling at her left side.

Take surf lessons from the pros.

Richard Schmidt Surf School

Santa Cruz, California

Capture the exhilarating feeling of riding an ocean wave at this long-established surf school run by former pro surfer Richard Schmidt. Set along an idyllic coastline within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the school offers a guarantee that, no matter your abilities, you’ll be able to stand up and ride down the face of a wave in your first lesson.

You can experience exhilaration on the road, too. The 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine in the Taos uses a Variable Turbine Geometry turbocharger and other advanced engineering to produce 158 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, as well as impressive fuel economy.3

A crowd raises its arms and cheers during an outdoor live music performance.

Dance to leading-edge sounds.

North Coast Music Festival

Bridgeview, Illinois

Move to scintillating live performances in electronic music, including techno, house, trance, and bass, at this Labor Day weekend festival, which this year takes place at a newly renovated stadium site just southwest of Chicago. Explore art installations, food vendors, and more.

Fans of music and tech will find a host of innovations in the Taos. It offers Volkswagen Car-Net® Remote Access4 at no additional cost, along with standard features such as touchscreen infotainment and Volkswagen App-Connect.5 Available features include wireless charging for compatible devices and an 8-inch touch screen with voice control, which can link to an available BeatsAudio® sound system.

Get ready for new adventures in every season: Learn more about the all-new Volkswagen Taos.

1 Event/attraction descriptions are based on information provided by third parties and are accurate as of the date of publication. Volkswagen is not responsible for event cancellations or ticket availability. Always follow all health and safety protocols established by event organizers and/or local authorities.

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

3 28 city/36 highway mpg (2022 Taos 1.5L, 8-speed automatic transmission). EPA estimates. Your mileage will vary and depends on several factors, including your driving habits and vehicle condition.

4 Available on most MY20 and newer 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, such as Roadside Call Assist, 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 www.vw.com/carnet.

5 Always pay careful attention to the road, and do not drive while distracted. Not all features available on all operating systems. Standard text and data usage rates apply. App-Connect features require compatible device, operating system, and mobile apps. See mobile device and app providers for terms and privacy.

Join Carli Lloyd in championing girls’ and women’s sports

July 16, 2021

As a two-time FIFA World Cup champion, two-time FIFA Player of the Year, and star forward for the U.S. Women’s National Team, Carli Lloyd has achieved just about everything there is to achieve on the soccer field.

She’s been able to live out her dream—and she’s passionate about giving girls and women the resources and support they need to pursue theirs. That’s why Carli backs the mission of the nonprofit Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF), founded in 1974 by tennis icon Billie Jean King. The Foundation’s mission is to ensure that every girl and woman has the opportunity to unlock her potential through the power of sports participation and physical activity.

In her role as one of the soccer-playing brand ambassadors for Team VW, Carli last year selected WSF to receive a contribution from Volkswagen of America. This contribution will help WSF further expand its reach and effectiveness at the grassroots level, through community programs and funding for travel and training, as well as advocacy for gender equity in sports.

“We are honored to be the designated charity of the amazing and unstoppable Carli Lloyd, and grateful to Team VW for their support,” says Deborah Antoine, CEO of WSF.

The partnership: WSF and Carli Lloyd

Carli Lloyd has long been involved in WSF initiatives, most recently #WeKeepPlaying, in which elite athletes shared stories of personal resilience for the benefit of younger athletes who might be struggling mentally and emotionally during the COVID-19 pandemic. She is also a past recipient of the Foundation’s prestigious Sportswoman of the Year Award, given at its annual Salute to Women in Sports event.

Carli says that she was “blessed to be able to have opportunities from an early age to pursue my dream,” adding that she supports the Women’s Sports Foundation in order to “make these opportunities available to young girls and women so they too can be successful.”

According to WSF CEO Deborah Antoine, giving girls access to these opportunities right now is critical, in light of the challenges of the past year. “Returning to sports programs is vital,” she explains. “Our research has shown that sports provide tremendous lifelong benefits—physical health, mental health, mastery of skills, discipline, higher grades, confidence, leadership; the list goes on.”

Making a difference in young lives: Girls in the Game

One of the Foundation’s grant recipients, via the Sports 4 Life program founded with espnW, is a Chicago-based nonprofit called Girls in the Game, which currently serves girls in Chicago, Baltimore, and North Texas. Its mission is to help every girl find her voice, discover her strength, and lead with confidence through fun and active sports and programs.

Girls in the Game programming includes game days and clinics with sports and fitness activities and workshops on health, leadership, and life skills; after-school programs offering a safe space where girls can be themselves; and programs for teen girls featuring the full range of game day and clinic activities, plus training to become workshop coaches for younger girls.

Twenty-one-year-old Amira, a track competitor from Chicago, was once one of those teen coaches. Her story demonstrates how WSF and its grant recipients are having a profound impact on young lives.

“Running track … has allowed me to understand what it means to be an athlete, including the development of work ethic, determination, and leadership,” she says. “My purpose in running is to be a trailblazer for young girls; I came to this realization while serving as a teen coach at Girls in the Game.”

What does Carli Lloyd want her fans to know about the importance of championing this cause? “I love how WSF is taking charge and providing girls the support and resources to be able to stay active and live healthy lifestyles,” she says. “Last year was tough for a lot of people. We need organizations like WSF to continue to provide resources for those in need.”

Join Volkswagen and Carli Lloyd. Find out how you can get involved and support the Women’s Sports Foundation.

Summer21_Carly_Lloyd_Support_CTA

Volkswagen takes the quantum computing revolution from the lab to the factory

July 15, 2021
Volkswagen was the first automaker to demonstrate a practical application of quantum computing for route and traffic management.

From artificial intelligence to cloud computing and beyond, Volkswagen Group of America has one of the most aggressive portfolios of technology developments in the automotive sector. That also includes research and development in quantum computing, a space where Volkswagen has worked alongside key innovators to bring cutting-edge innovation into real-world use.

Quantum computing uses the imprecise nature of quantum mechanics – the physics of how individual atoms and subatomic particles interact. Where every piece of data in a traditional computer is ultimately expressed as a binary “one” or “zero,” quantum computing relies on particles called “qubits” that can be one, zero, or both. Depending on how many qubits its chip can manage, a quantum machine can leverage tremendous computing power to solve specific tasks.

Researchers believe quantum computers could tackle challenges that even the most powerful traditional computers struggle. While quantum computers are still highly experimental, a global race to develop new machines has started, and companies have begun finding ways to apply them to real-world challenges. In the automotive industry, Volkswagen Group has led the way, launching a dedicated team for quantum computing research in 2016.

“We see great potential for quantum computing across our entire business,” said Florian Neukart, Director, Volkswagen Group Data:Lab. “Many challenges in the automotive industry can benefit from the inherent power quantum computing can generate.”

Researchers believe quantum computing has the potential to open new areas of exploration
Copyright © D-Wave Systems Inc.

One issue Neukart is adamant about is that Volkswagen’s research team does not want to stay in the academic realm. “We’re not interested in doing research for research’s sake. We want to bring this technology into the real world,” he said.

For almost five years now, Volkswagen experts have been researching to find new ways to apply quantum computing to everyday challenges, said David Von Dollen, lead data scientist for Volkswagen Group of America. About 10 people work with quantum computing at Volkswagen in the U.S and Germany. Since 2017, Volkswagen has been teaming up with Canadian quantum computing firm D-Wave, and later joined with Google’s quantum computing unit for research.

“We are focused on output, on trying things, on bringing applications into use,” Von Dollen said.

One major field is mobility: In 2019, the Volkswagen team worked with D-Wave to demonstrate the first-live traffic-routing system to rely on quantum computing. The test used buses in Lisbon, Portugal, to predict traffic volumes and route trips to minimize wait times for passengers and travel times for the buses, avoiding traffic jams and making the traffic flow as efficient as possible. And the team has many more ideas and ongoing projects, Von Dollen added.

“Coming from an enterprise point of view, we always check the same questions,” Neukart added. “Where in our company could quantum computing help to solve a problem? Would a quantum application really be more efficient than a classical algorithm here? And if yes, how could this be done?”

One example has been in a key part of the automotive factory – the paint shop. Every vehicle body entering the paint shop requires one of two types of primer, depending on the final vehicle color. Changing over between primer types slows down production and raises costs, but on a complex assembly line, that cost was necessary to keep vehicles moving.

Traditionally, a paint shop might average a small number of vehicles of one primer type before needing to stop the line and switch. Using a new algorithm powered by quantum computing, designed to maximize the paint shop efficiency without slowing assembly overall, the shops could now run significantly more vehicles in a row. That system could soon go online at Volkswagen factories in Germany, and eventually worldwide.

“Challenges like these may sound simple, but in some cases would require near-supercomputer levels of power to solve with traditional hardware,” explained Von Dollen.

Using the D-Wave quantum computer, Volkswagen is researching the potential for quantum computing to find new insights. Copyright © D-Wave Systems Inc.

The Volkswagen team has also applied quantum computing to vehicle pricing to help strike the right balance for customer demand. Further afield, they see the potential for other uses, such as developing new materials or figuring out where new electric vehicle charging stations should be located to maximize their usefulness.

“Everything we learn now can give us an advantage in the future,” Neukart said. “Some challenges and questions in fields like material science may only be solvable through quantum computing. In other areas, we can take a problem that might require a week of classical computing power and finish it in a day or less.”

Neukart said Volkswagen has a unique place in quantum computing as both researcher and end-user in the automotive world, but that given the technology’s complexity and potential, it was a key reason why Volkswagen has been able to find real-world uses for it.

“We want to be leading in showing real-world applications in the mobility space,” added Von Dollen “and I think we’re really pushing the field forward.”

#TBT: The Beetle successors that never were

July 8, 2021

The Volkswagen Beetle is an icon. Over the years, it has symbolized many different things to many different people, from a classic example of German ingenuity to the calling card for a counterculture movement to a reminder that the simplest of things can sometimes be the best. Above all, it set the standard by which all other small, economy cars are judged.

From the beginning of the modern Volkswagen, the Beetle was a boom car for affordable transportation in Europe and elsewhere, and by 1952 it was sold in 46 countries. Eventually, it would be built in 14 countries around the globe. More than 21.5 million were sold before the final, modern-generation Beetle rolled off the assembly line in 2019.

Yet the longevity of the Beetle was far from assured. Starting in the early 1950s, Volkswagen considered more than 70 potential replacements and off-shoots of the Beetle – but found that the original offered a unique mix of values that couldn’t be easily replicated. It wasn’t until the Golf hatchback launched in 1974 that the true successor for the Beetle arrived. Here’s a look at some of the would-be heirs to the Beetle that never made it into production.

 

1955/56 EA47-12

Number 12 of 15 prototypes produced between 1953 and the end of 1956, the EA-47-12 was VW’s first attempt at creating a modern successor to the Beetle. It was the first of many Beetle replacements designed by Italian automobile designer Ghia, which is probably why it looks like the quirky Karmann Ghia. The car was powered by a 1192cc four-cylinder boxer air-cooled engine with a power output of 30 horsepower. In addition, it boasted a transverse link front axle, torsion bar rear suspension, and fully synchronized gearbox—unique technology for the time. Top speed was 50 mph.

1955 EA48

Volkswagen began toying with the idea of developing a car positioned below the Beetle in terms of size, performance, and price in 1953. The result was the boxy EA48. Some call it the first “City Car,” an accolade bestowed upon the British Motor Corporation (BMC) Mini because the EA48 never went into production. The EA48 was also the first prototype designed in-house without any input from Porsche. None of the components from the Beetle were carried over to the EA48; instead, engineers decided to start from scratch. The front-wheel-drive vehicle featured unibody construction, a front-mounted 0.7-liter air-cooled, flat-twin 18 bhp engine, and a McPherson-type front suspension. It had a top speed of 60 mph.

1960 EA97

Reportedly the EA97 project was abandoned while workers were prepping its assembly line, and after 200 pilot cars had been assembled by hand. The development of this rear-engine two-door vehicle began in 1957. It featured a more pontoon-shaped body and a 1.1-liter engine. What was the problem? “It was positioned too close to the Beetle and the Type 3,” according to the AutoMuseum Volkswagen website.

1961 Type 3 Cabriolet

The Type 3 released in 1961 gave motorists a more upmarket alternative to the Beetle. This elegant Cabriolet prototype was built for people who wanted a convertible. The folding convertible top featured a glass rear window. Sadly, it was shelved out of fear the model would create internal competition with the Karmann Ghia convertible.

1963 EA128

The EA128 was Volkswagen’s vision for a large luxury car. The four-door vehicle was marketed as a six-passenger vehicle (albeit a tight fit) and was powered by a 2.0 liter air-cooled horizontally opposed engine borrowed from the Porsche 911, which also debuted in 1963.

1966 EA142

While developing the Type 4, which made its debut in 1968, Volkswagen experimented with various body styles, including this elegant EA 142. The rear engine hatchback sported the same 1.7-liter engine that would appear in the production version of the Type 4.

1969 EA276

This was the inspiration for the original Golf, which was sold as the Rabbit in the U.S. The front-wheel-drive hatchback was boxier than many of the other Beetle replacements. Though this car is outfitted with the same air-cooled flat-four-cylinder engine as the Beetle, VW changed to a four-cylinder, water-cooled inline engine before releasing the Rabbit in 1974.

1969 EA266

One of the more innovative replacement candidates was the EA266. It was developed with assistance from Porsche and a team led by Ferdinand Piëch, the grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, who would later become Chairman of the Volkswagen group in 1993. The mid-engine hatchback features a water-cooled four-cylinder 1.6-liter engine mounted under the rear seat in a longitudinal configuration with the transaxle directly behind it to save space. Despite the sporty design and Porsche DNA, the EA266 fell short of the assembly line – destined for the museum floor instead.

Volkswagen’s roots in Silicon Valley sprout the tech-driven future of transportation

July 6, 2021

For more than two decades, Volkswagen Group of America has been researching the future of transportation in Silicon Valley. Volkswagen launched what’s formerly known as the Electronics Research Laboratory to tap into Silicon Valley’s innovation and spirit, and made it among the first automotive manufacturers to establish a cross-functional team in the region.

Starting with three employees in 1998, the unit now known as the Innovation and Engineering Center California (IECC) has contributed dozens of innovations to Volkswagen vehicles all around the globe and more than 250 patent applications.

Today, the IECC is Volkswagen’s major West Coast innovation hub and has four main goals: research innovations in mobility, apply artificial intelligence and digital solutions to business challenges, develop key technology for autonomous systems, and find ways to improve sustainability through new materials and decarbonization.

“We’re proud of the technology and engineering accomplishments our Silicon Valley team continues to lead and build for Volkswagen,” said Dr. Wolfgang Demmelbauer-Ebner, executive vice president and chief engineering officer at Volkswagen Group of America. “For more than 20 years, the IECC has been a key driver behind our efforts to combine our automotive expertise and creative spirit, allowing us to continuously deliver first-to-market innovations and a leading user experience for our customers across the U.S. and around the globe.”

Home to some 200 scientists, engineers, designers and other specialists, the IECC has two branches: Innovation Center California (ICC) and Engineering Center California (ECC). The ICC plays a key role in building technology for Volkswagen worldwide, working with other innovation centers from Volkswagen Group in Germany and Asia, drawing on connections with startups, U.S. universities and research labs to identify new technologies.

“Our goal is to drive the transformation of Volkswagen into a tech-driven car company,” said Marcus Brand, vice president at the ICC. “Being in Silicon Valley provides us with a huge opportunity to drive innovations into millions of vehicles.”

To do so requires solving key questions about how technology and innovation can address some of the toughest challenges in the automotive business. For example, the teams in Belmont have been researching how artificial intelligence could help the advancement of autonomous driving, improve battery health or to create new materials for even more sustainable mobility products.

Experts at ICC also have developed virtual and augmented reality tools that are now being used by Volkswagen designers and factory engineers. Their research work will also help power the massive data processing and machine learning required to make autonomous vehicles a reality.

“Our job is to look over the horizon and ask what technologies emerging in America – and, ultimately, globally – do we need to embrace and apply for Volkswagen in a transportation context,” said Brand. “We then strengthen our technical competencies here.”

The ECC’s role continues to grow as well. Its experts help turn innovations into useable products for U.S. and eventually global customers, from driver’s assistance features that use machine vision to apps that help connect owners to their vehicle’s functions. The work will touch virtually every vehicle the Volkswagen Group of America sells in the North American Region, including EVs like the new Volkswagen ID.4 SUV and future EV models across the portfolio.

“In Belmont, we have always been close to the heartbeat of American customers. And we can bring this to the global level. Our drive to build the digitalization of the vehicles and all their related services are the biggest change we’ve ever been a part of,” said Jochen Jencquel, vice president at ECC. “We’re collaborating with thousands of Volkswagen developers globally to bring Volkswagen’s new vision of software inside the vehicle to life.”

For example, the expert teams in Belmont are designing next-generation interior concepts for autonomous-capable electric vehicles at Volkswagen, taking into consideration how the interior controls and human-machine interface will need to change when a vehicle has more self-driving functions.

Chuhee Lee, vice president of technology and strategy at the IECC, was one of the first employees brought on. Still there today, Lee says the IECC with its huge scope of both branches, offers a unique career opportunity for developers, researchers and others.

“The scale of what we can do at Volkswagen, especially at Volkswagen Group with nearly 10 million vehicles sold around the world in a single year, is enormous,” said Lee. “Everybody at the IECC wants to contribute and make a real-world impact, and we can offer that.”

Taking your first all-electric road trip: What to know

July 6, 2021

Prep the playlist, load up the cooler, and say goodbye to gas stops: It’s time for a road trip.

If you’re new to electric vehicles and wondering what it’s like to take the Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV on an extended journey, you’ll discover that the ID.4 is designed to keep everyone in your crew comfortable and entertained, while easily hauling your gear. It also has the range to let you spontaneously seek out new discoveries,1 all while making zero stops at gas pumps.

Here’s what to expect when you roll out on your first all-electric road trip in the ID.4.

Utilize the cargo space

One tricky part of planning a road trip is knowing how much luggage and gear to pack. That’s less of a worry with the ID.4. Go ahead and bring the road trip essentials for all of your travel companions: The ID.4 offers 30.3 cubic feet of cargo volume. Fold down the rear seats and you’ll more than double that volume to 64.2 cubic feet.

For even more space, add a Volkswagen cargo organizer such as the sleek Cargo Box Carrier.2 It attaches to a roof base rack, sold separately, and provides an additional storage volume of 13 cubic feet.

Hit the road with confidence

With the ID.4 Pro, you’ll have an EPA-estimated range of 260 miles—enough to get you from, say, New York City to Boston, or from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe, on a single charge.1

ID.4 owners receive three years of unlimited charging at Electrify America public DC fast chargers, at no additional cost.3 Electrify America offers a rapidly growing network of locations along major highways and routes nationwide.

Charging while on the go is simple. Download the Electrify America app and create an account, then use the app to locate Electrify America DC fast chargers along your route.4 These chargers can get the ID.4 battery from 5 percent to 80 percent charge in about 38 minutes.5 In short order, you’ll be back on the road in search of the best ice cream in the state.

Enrich your journey with the latest tech

The interior of the ID.4 is a comfortable and modern space from which to watch the miles roll past. On the center infotainment display, you can access systems for navigation, entertainment, driver assistance, and more. Say “Hello ID,” and the ID.4 is ready to respond to different commands in everyday language.6 (For example, say, “Hello ID. I’m warm,” and the ID.4 will automatically lower the interior temperature.)

Look below the windshield for visual cues from ID.Light, a responsive light strip that issues different pulses of light for everything from navigational prompts, to incoming phone calls, to the vehicle’s charge status. It’s more fun than a game of “I Spy.”

Place a compatible phone on the wireless charging pad in the center console for charging. And use the wireless App-Connect, standard in the ID.4, to run select smartphone apps directly on the center display through Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, or MirrorLink.7 You can show off your excellent taste in music with a personalized road trip playlist from your favorite streaming service.

Accessorize for the outdoors

Whether you’re looking to tackle a challenging mountain bike trail, paddle your way across a tranquil lake, or head to that secluded campsite, you can outfit your ID.4 with must-have accessories for outdoor pursuits. Add a base rack along with separate attachments for bikes or kayaks.2 And take advantage of the AWD model’s 2,700 lb. towing capacity8 by connecting a small, brake-controlled trailer using a factory-installed towing hitch.

Now you’re geared up for one memorable, all-electric road trip.

Purchase your genuine VW ID.4 Accessories for the road from the VW Parts and Accessories Online Stores official dealer network. Not yet a part of the ID.4 family? Learn more at vw.com/id4.

1 2021 ID.4 Pro EPA estimated total range is 260 miles. Your ability to complete trip as described will vary and depend on several factors including driving and charging habits, accessory use, temperature and topography, battery age, load, and vehicle condition, occupant count and cargo volume. Battery capacity decreases with time and use. See owner’s manual for details. Different vehicle variants, including AWD variants, will have different ranges.

2 Proper installation required. Professional installation may be recommended. See owner’s literature and dealer for details.

3 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.

4 Standard text and data rates may apply.

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

7 Always pay careful attention to the road, and do not drive while distracted. Not all features available on all operating systems. Standard text and data usage rates apply. App-Connect features require compatible device, operating system, and mobile apps. See mobile device and app providers for terms and privacy.

8 Maximum tow rating for braked trailer only when equipped with appropriate third-party trailer brake controller and factory-installed towing hitch. Vehicle load, other accessories, and options may reduce maximum towing capacity. Towing reduces fuel efficiency and range. See vehicle Owner’s Manual for details.

How all-wheel drive goes electric in the Volkswagen ID.4 SUV

June 28, 2021

As long as there have been automobiles, there have been ideas about getting power to the road through all four wheels. As early as 1899, Ferdinand Porsche was experimenting with a gas-electric hybrid vehicle that featured electric motors powering each wheel.

Today, all-wheel-drive or four-wheel drive models make up almost 50 percent of the vehicles sold in America, as drivers prefer the capability of traction in poor weather — even if they only use it rarely. Yet all-wheel drive hasn’t been common among non-luxury electric vehicles, and the need for cold-weather assurance has kept some people who might otherwise embrace EVs from making the switch.

The all-wheel-drive version of the Volkswagen ID.4 SUV could change that. With dual electric motors at the front and rear axles, the ID.4 AWD will offer more power, more performance and more grip than its rear-wheel-drive version – and, with the ID.4 AWD Pro, the lowest starting MSRP of any fully electric all-wheel-drive vehicle  for sale in America today.

The key to the system comes from a new electric motor on the front axle of the ID.4 AWD. The rear-axle motor, a permanent magnet synchronous type, handles most of the driving in everyday conditions, while the front-axle asynchronous motor kicks in only when needed. Together, the two motors have a maximum power output of 295 horsepower1 – enough to get the ID.4 AWD Pro from 0 to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds.2

Unlike gas-powered AWD, there’s no mechanical link between the axles; instead, they are controlled by the vehicle dynamics settings. This Volkswagen technology balances performance, efficiency and driver demands to choose when to engage the full system. Thanks to the speed of electric motors, the system can react to a wheel losing traction within a few hundredths of a second – far faster than a traditional system, and quick enough that drivers may never notice the intervention.

The Vehicle Dynamics Manager also enables an expanded Driving Mode Selection in the ID.4 AWD; beyond the Eco, Comfort, Sport and Custom modes found in the regular ID.4, there’s a new Traction mode that keeps both motors engaged on slippery roads up to speeds of about 12 mph. The system also uses an XDS+ brake differential for torque vectoring – gently engaging the brake on the wheel inside a bend to reduce understeer.

The ID.4 AWD system also provides an increase in towing capacity of 500 pounds to 2,700 lbs. when using a braked trailer.3 In recognition of its appeal in cold-weather states, it also comes standard with an electrically heated windshield – along with other key features of all ID.4 models, including the 82 kWh battery and IQ.DRIVE suite of driver assistance technologies.

Despite the increased power and additional drive motor, the EPA-estimated range of 249 miles for the AWD Pro4 and 240 miles for the AWD Pro S (Statement)5 is quite similar to that of the standard ID.4. The starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $43,675 for the ID.4 AWD Pro is the lowest starting MSRP for a fully electric AWD vehicle in the United States, and the ID.4 AWD Pro S starts at a MSRP of $48,175.6 Both vehicles are eligible for a potential Federal tax credit of up to $7,500,7 and other incentives After more than 120 years of engineering progress, electric driving has finally gotten some traction.

 

From teacher to student: how a Golf GTI started the education of a lifetime

June 22, 2021
Valbuena proposed to his now-wife during a road trip in the 1995 GTI.

If you’ve ever been interested in a career in the automotive industry, Andres Valbuena has something to teach you. What began as just getting an interesting car to drive to work has turned into a life-long passion for the industry and fascinating machines – especially a particular 1995 Volkswagen Golf GTI.

“A car can change your life, as silly as it sounds,” says Valbuena. “They can make a commute more enjoyable or your life better.”

Valbuena started his working career as a teacher in Detroit and bought the Golf GTI as a commuter. After school and on the weekends, he took the GTI to autocross events, and while there met an auto enthusiast who spoke Spanish like him and worked in an auto shop. They formed a friendship, and Valbuena made a deal to work in his new friend’s shop for free to get experience working on cars.

Through his work at the shop, Valbuena met other car enthusiasts and eventually interviewed at Volkswagen of America, landing a job as a technical writer in 2005. He also worked as a product specialist and was a product launch manager for the 2012 Beetle.

“I didn’t even know working for an auto brand as something other than a mechanic was possible,” said Valbuena. “Getting to work on Volkswagen’s emotional brands, especially the GTI, was great.”

Valbuena sold his 1995 GTI in 1999 to make room for his growing car collection; he’s owned more than 120 Volkswagen vehicles. But as time went on, he realized that the 1995 GTI was special. He and his wife had taken a romantic drive in the GTI from Michigan to Asheville, North Carolina, where Valbuena proposed.

“My wife likes to joke that there were more pictures of the GTI from that trip than photos of us,” laughed Valbuena. “The GTI had so many wonderful memories and I regretted selling it when I was younger.”

Valbuena worked on executing the vision behind the 2021 Jetta GLI Enthusiast Fleet concept car. Disclaimer: Modifying vehicles can adversely affect warranty coverage and compliance with required safety and other standards.

Valbuena tapped his network of Volkswagen friends across the country to keep an eye out for the car. In 2014, his friend in North Carolina called Valbuena to let him know that he had potentially found the GTI. After matching the VIN number and a tough eight-month negotiation period, Valbuena was reunited with the car that started it all.

When Valbuena got the car back it was a rusted mess in need of a total restoration. He got to work replacing parts, restoring the original motor and touching up the car’s original paint. While he focused on keeping everything on the car original, he did add some black trim. The restoration process took several years, but after a thorough rebuild, it’s once again Valbuena’s daily driver.

Valbuena values the community that the group of auto enthusiasts provides and credits his career in the auto industry to the kindness and willingness to teach other fans. While Valbuena no longer works for Volkswagen, he works with the team responsible for the Volkswagen enthusiast fleet.

His passion for car restoration and Volkswagen has also become a family affair. Valbuena and his 16-year-old daughter are working to customize a 2012 Beetle as her first car.

“I won’t let her get rid of that Beetle like I did my GTI,” he said. “She will always have a place to store it with me.”

The 2012 Beetle Valbuena and his daughter are modifying. Disclaimer: Modifying vehicles can adversely affect warranty coverage and compliance with required safety and other standards.

Volkswagen performance runs in the family for one father-son duo

June 17, 2021
Matthew Mallard and Scott Mallard (L-R) stand next to their red Volkswagens in Belgrade, Montana. Photo by Charlotte Grandpre.

It’s hard to miss the Mallard men cruising down the highway in their matching tornado red Volkswagen cars. The vibrant vehicles—outfitted in custom license plates that wink at the cars’ German heritage—boldly stand out in a sea of monochromatic colors.

Matthew Mallard says his bright red Jetta GLI is a tribute to his dad, Scott Mallard, who fueled his passion for cars and German engineering from a very early age.

“The first car I got to sit behind the driver’s wheel was my dad’s 1999 Jetta GLS,” Matthew says. The Volkswagen fandom was likewise passed down to Scott from his father, and Matthew’s grandfather, early on. Scott was shuffled around town as a kid in his dad’s red Volkswagen Beetle. To this day, his mother exclusively drives Volkswagen cars—most recently a Volkswagen CC.

He learned how to drive in his dad’s 1971 Volkswagen Squareback at an Air Force Base in Germany and drove his parents’ vintage Beetle throughout high school and college.

“It had about 140,000 miles on it when we sold it,” Scott says. “It was an amazing car.”

In his twenties, he saved up and purchased his “dream car” – a royal red 1983 Rabbit GTI. Since then, he and his wife, Jenny, have acquired a 1994 Jetta GLX, a 1999 Jetta GLS, a 2006 B6 Passat, 1973 Super Beetle and, most recently, a red 2019 Golf R. Scott loves the vibrant color of the Golf R and its pep.

“It’s a lot of fun to drive,” he says. “Even the guys in the showroom [at] the Volkswagen dealership in Bozeman, Montana, said, ‘It’s nice to see a car with color come through.’”

When Matthew needed to purchase a new car in 2020, he knew the perfect person to turn to for advice and inspiration.

“I started looking at the Golf GTI, but since we are planning on having kids, we wanted something with a little bit more cargo space,” says Matthew. “I talked to my dad about it, and we went with a 2019 Jetta GLI.”

“I love it,” he added. “If I can have any excuse to drive my car, I take it.”

In a nod to his grandfather and dad, Matthew picked the same exact shade of red and outfitted the car with a similar custom license plate.

“He’s a cool dad,” Matthew says.

While the two plan to celebrate Father’s Day apart this year, they are already looking forward to future road trips and father-son drives in their Volkswagen vehicles.

Finding the electric voice of the Volkswagen ID.4

June 15, 2021

If you asked a group of random people from anywhere in the world to imagine what a car sounds like, most would provide a similar answer – a combination of a gas-powered engine revving up, the rumble of an exhaust and maybe even the rhythmic clicking of a turn signal.

But electric vehicles are built to be much quieter than their internal combustion engine-having counterparts. In fact, they can be almost silent at low speeds and hard to hear from more than a few feet away. While this quietness appeals to many, distinct external sounds are essential to alert pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers on the road to the car’s presence, as well as to signal to the driver the vehicle is functioning properly.

This posed an opportunity for Volkswagen’s design teams to create a signature soundscape for its  electric vehicle portfolio, starting with the hatchback ID.3 and now for the ID.4 electric SUV.

“Our whole approach to the ID.4 has been to offer a vehicle for our American customers that delivers the future while making it easy to embrace the EV lifestyle,” said Hein Schafer, senior vice president for Product Marketing and Strategy at Volkswagen of America. “The soundscape adds a personality to the ID.4 and demonstrates the care we put into every detail of our current EV models and those to come.”

The team of Volkswagen Designers and acoustic engineers worked closely together to design a unique electrical sound to match the personality of the ID.4 vehicle and provide cues to its drivers.

“You don’t want it so quiet that you can’t tell whether your car is running,” said Jozef Kabaň, head of design for Volkswagen brand. “Because we’re not dependent on mechanical sounds, we can give electric vehicles a voice that we design ourselves.”

The team’s first objective was to craft a starting sound for the all-electric car. When a driver starts the ID.4, they will be greeted with an acoustic sound combined with a light pulse. Kabaň said this elegant and modern sound signals to drivers, “hello, I’m ready to go.”


“The sound of a vehicle massively influences the way people perceive it — whether they find the vehicle impressive, fast, or personable,” said Indra-Lena Kögler, a media and communications designer who has been with Volkswagen for almost 20 years in different roles in creating user experience (UX).

An Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS) was developed to generate additional essential driving sounds. The AVAS in the ID.4 model is audible both inside and outside of the vehicle up to 20 mph; beyond this speed, the vehicle’s rolling resistance makes a prominent driving noise without artificial sounds. Inside the vehicle, different volumes of the sound are clear based on speed and accelerator pedal position.

The team then turned their attention to the car’s turn signal sound. In gas-powered vehicles, the classic ticking must overpower the engine noise, which is why the turn signal is loud and distinct. The Volkswagen designers reinterpreted the turn signal sound on the electric ID.4 vehicles to be more subtle.

Other aspects of the soundscape include digital audio sounds for interior buttons, reversing, and incoming calls. They are the same for all Volkswagen electric vehicles, so people will be able to recognize Volkswagen’s e-mobility push by its sound. Kögler said, it was important that the sound aligns with its character, visual design and features.

“We stay loyal to both the Volkswagen brand and the unique personality of our electrified model range when we design these sounds, just like we would through visual design,” Kabaň added. “Our customers trust their Volkswagens like a friend. You can only achieve that level of emotion through an authentic, coherent sound experience.”

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