Posted by John O’Brien
Posts Tagged "VW"
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
The Mission L is Skoda’s newest concept, and one that follows closely on the heels of Geneva’s Vision D in both design and philosophy. The new Skoda logo features prominently on the hood of the car, anchoring a very smoothed-over interpretation of the now familiar “new look” DRG. The crisp angles and carved volumes border on the simplistic, but overall create a feeling of elegance and subtlety that should be a strong seller, but risks very much losing Skoda’s core market of families looking for practical, easy, and affordable transportation.
The interior is classic VW group, with high-gloss white accents on the IP accenting a beige version of VW’s famous soft-touch interior, and very refined and subtly textured seats rounding out the design.
Although the first impression of this car is one of borderline blandness, the Audi-referencing feature lines and taught surfaces say that this look is Skoda’s fight to push upmarket, and the interior materials and colors put the car squarely in VW territory. How those two “budget premium” brands will live together in the future is not completely clear.
Posted by Drew Meehan
Of everything I’ve seen today, the VW Nils concept is the show-stopper so far. The Nils feels real and remarkably complete. One could believe it almost to be not too far away from production ready. It has full suspension, for instance. There are some lovely details, but the best thing about it is that it gives an aesthetic to efficiency. It looks efficient, almost glider-like in its appearance. And in our view, that’s a very good thing.
Posted by Joe Simpson