10 fun facts: Volkswagen
10 trivia facts about Volkswagen
Welcome to my second lens from the '10 Fun Facts' series. If you missed the first one, you can take a look at it here:
And, I must say - Volkswagen's history and tradition is really huge. There are probably hundreds of fun fact about VW's...
So, check out my 10 favourites, and happy reading!
01: The roots...
Do you know the roots of Volkswagen?
Ironically, the idea for the Volkswagen, 'People's car', came from Adolf Hitler. He chose Ferdinand Porsche to engineer a car that could carry 2 adults and 3 children, and that could do 100km/h (62mph). And the idea was, that people could buy it trough an affordable savings scheme. That's how the base for the VW Beetle was born.
The first prototypes were called KdF-Wagen. (German: Kraft durch Freude - "strength through joy")
02: Mass production
Do you know how long did VW produce the legendary Bettle?
The legendary beetle was produced from 1938 up to 2003. That's astonishing 65 years! We all know how fast car manufacturers switch and/or update their models today.
There were 21,529,464 built beetles, of which 15,444,858 in Germany, incl. 330,251 Cabriolets, and about 3,350,000 in Brazil.
03: The Hot Hatch...
Is it a first hot hatch? How did the GTI come to life?
A lot of people think that Golf GTI (Mk I) is the first hot hatch. It's not true. The first hot hatch was the Renault 5 Gordini.
And, the even more exciting thing is, that, the 'Sport Golf', as the engineers called it, was an 'evening and weekends' project, developed in secret outside normal working hours, because Marketing and Management just didn't see that there was a market for it. Boy, were they wrong! :)
Read more about it here:
04. Bus stop...
Do you know how the famous Bus aka. Transporter was born?
After the War in 1944, the Wolfsburg factory where the VW Beetle's were being made had no means of internal transport.
So the people who worked in the experimental department came up with the idea of a flat bed truck utilizing parts from another vehicle - the kubelwagen. Ben Pon came up with the idea of moving the cab forward and covering the flatbed over. The first prototype for the now world famous VW camper was born.
The image shows the first idea - flatbed with the cab mounted in the back.
What other car manufacturers use the Volkswagen base for their cars?
Yes, there's a list of car manufacturers that use VW's base for their cars. They have their own distinctive design, and their own targeted customers...
Here is the list:
- Audi - classy, luxurious
- Seat - emotional, sporty
- Skoda - rational, best buy
Oh, back in the days, you could easily see the similarities between these manufacturers... Nowadays, their design is much more distinctive from one brand to another.
There's one more case of VW twins:
The Volkswagen Touareg and the Porsche Cayenne. Nothing new here... Well, we don't want to forget the Audi Q7. So, I guess, this is a case of VW triplets. :)
A Beetle Camper - Absolutely genius!
TravelingRae gave me the link to this video. Now, how cool is that?!
Volkswagen stuff on Amazon - Posters and other stuff for your garage...
06. The Swan...
Did you know that VW makes the fastest car on Earth?!
Yes it does. But, It's sold under the 'Bugatti' badge.
The Bugatti Veyron, was designed and engineered by Volkswagen. (VW owns Bugatti). And, it's a Swan Song for dr. Ferdinand PiÃ«ch.
The interesting part here, is, that VW's production costs exceed the price of the car. That means, that, VW looses money with each Veyron sold.
07. Records... (!)
Did you know that Volkswagen set seven 24-hour world speed records at the NardÃ² Ring?
Well, it did. With the Volkswagen W12 (aka. Nardo) concept.
The car produced from 420 to 600 horse power, and it was used to test the W12 engine that was, later on, used in the Phaeton and Touareg.
There was a coupe, and a roadster version of the W12 concept. It featured Volkswagen's 4x4 synchro four-wheel-drive system.
Mastermind behind the story, was, once again, dr. Ferdinand Piech.
08. Racing... BIG TIME!
Did you know that VW participates in TRUCK racing?
The first shock is, to find out that Volkswagen makes big trucks, and the other one, is to find out that, VW races with them!
VW is one of the leading truck/bus manufacturers in southern America, and racing their trucks in the Brazilian Formula Truck championship, seems like a good marketing move.
The picture shows VW Constellation PACE truck.
What's with the body panel mix-up at Volkswagen?
It's not an mixup.
In 1995, Volkswagen Europe, launched a series of Polo's with body panels in different colors. Shortly after that, in 1996 - they launched the same series of Golf III. But, this time, in the US and Canada. It's one of the most limited editions of Volkswagens ever.
There's a lot more interesting information about harlequins on RossVW.com - give it a look!
Not all Harlequins have the same color combinations. :) They built single-color cars, and then swapped body panels.
Cool... but, not pretty... but, still - very COOL! :)
10. The Love Bug...
Starring: Herbie the VW Beetle
One of the most popular VW Bug paint schemes, white #53, comes from the movies about Herbie.
Quote from Wikipedia:
Herbie is an anthropomorphic Volkswagen Beetle, a character that is featured in several Disney motion pictures starting with the 1969 feature film The Love Bug. He has a mind of his own and is capable of driving himself, and is a serious contender in auto racing competitions.
Herbie starred in six movies... Here's the list:
- The Love Bug (1969) — Directed by Robert Stevenson
- Herbie Rides Again (1974) — Directed by Robert Stevenson
- Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1977) — Directed by Vincent McEveety
- Herbie Goes Bananas (1980) — Directed by Vincent McEveety
- The Love Bug (1997) made-for-TV movie — Directed by Peyton Reed
- Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005) — Directed by Angela Robinson
Herbie on Amazon - A true VW fan collectibles
Leave me a comment, or, better yet, a suggestion on a new lens topic...
I'll create more '10 fun facts...' automotive lenses, and feel free to let me know what make would you like to see... :)