Posted by John O’Brien
Posts Tagged "Volkswagen"
We saw the new Beetle for the first time in Shanghai. Here in Frankfurt, VW is introducing the performance variant Beetle R. It’s worth a mention here because it banishes the flaccid, badly packaged memories of the first generation ‘New’ Beetle.
There’s a real muscularity and masculinity here that the previous car always lacked. The extended arches and lower air intakes really suit the new Beetle. Combine this with the stance, proportions and colour way treatment, and the Beetle R’s a car that does a convincing impression of a modern day hotrod. It’s a far more fitting ancestor to the original car and the culture it created, than the first generation New Beetle ever was.
Posted by Joe Simpson
In the fast-paced world of new car launches, the Volkswagen Up is already cooling down, such is the length of time since it were first off the press. VW obviously isn’t ignorant to this fact as it wheeled out five concept versions of its perky A-segment.
It’s interesting to see elements of the car have been designed to be changed for each version (particularly bumper and grille inserts) as well as VW’s quite blatant desire to create an iconic sub-brand:
While the others are variations on the standard car’s bodyshell to a lesser or greater extent, the Buggy is a complete rebody, with a two-seat, open (both up top and to the sides), as well as lower body cladding and a raised ride height. Its format is strongly reminiscent of some of VW’s earlier buggy-esque concepts, albeit on a smaller scale. Lovely detailing abounds with delicate hood latches, infotainment controls weatherproofed behind a rubber membrane and a combination of rear rollover hoop and deck ribs that evoke that other pocket-sized plaything, the Fiat X 1/9.
Fun – if rather cliched – take on the beach car concept. Dripping with nautical references – oiled wood, chrome, netting and white leather – it’s the equivalent of a wheeled deck shoe. Removing the sides of the car whilst retaining the C-pillar has resulted in an awkward side profile that resembles a child’s push-along toy. Details such as the built-in shower head remind us it’s not to be taken too seriously.
Serves the dual purpose of previewing the 5-door Up and the possibility of a slightly more rugged-looking version along the lines of the existing Cross Polo and Cross Golf. Considering popularity of the Fiat Panda 4×4, this seems like a dead cert for production.
Wearing flush wheels and blanked-off grilles the e-Up is, as you may have guessed, the electric version of the Up. Like the others here, specific color and trim have a major effect on the perception of the car – in this case the light blue hue and pale interior upholstery asre instantly recognizable as belonging to the Bluemotion family.
Along with posh, scary, and, err, eco, comes sporty. Rather predictable trapezoidal grille gives a little more facial aggression, while a rear diffuser and wide-set double exhaust and a set of larger rims complete the visual masculization. Inside, tartan upholstery is a neat nod to performance VWs of the past.
Posted by Owen Ready
Last night, the VW Group played host to its now (in)famous preview night. For those who’ve never been each brand in turn puts on a staggeringly expensive-looking show featuring its latest offering. And as the VW Group swallows more brands, naturally there is even more to see. And more people there to see them.
The headlines from last night were that Lamborghini has declared to build 20 Sesto Elementos; Seat and Skoda both previewed their C-segment sedan concepts (IBL and MissionL respectively); Audi showed its A2 concept; Porsche had the new 991-series 911 alongside every proceeding variant; and VW’s lovely little Up showed its (productionized) face for the first time.
And the buzz word was, predictably ‘mobility’, but the VW Nils and Audi Urban Concept won’t be unveiled until today. Stay tuned for more.