Volkswagen got its start just as World War II was about to begin. The original Volkswagen, the Kdf-Wagen, was conceived by Ferdinand Porsche as an everyman’s automobile. The car pioneered the body we know today as the beetle, with a rear-mounted, air-cooled engine. The only thing that held VW back was the war, and the fact that their primary factory had been heavily bombed. Luckily for VW, the British army was in need of transportation and placed an order for 20,000 units shortly after occupying the factory and the surrounding city.
Through the years, Volkswagen had its share of troubles, some of which they solved through acquisitions, as is the case with Audi. Other issues though, like maintaining profitability in North America, meant changing the product altogether, branding Volkswagen as an entry level luxury vehicle and returning to the initial quality and reliability of their early years. Today, the company stands on the verge of a serious merger between itself and Porsche. The two brands have long collaborated on technological innovation and several models, but this would set a never before seen precedent for VW.
Volkswagen Reviews and Features
March 29, 2012
On a recent trip to San Francisco, we learned how Volkswagen is exploring ways to be both fuel efficient and fun to drive.
Sites worth visiting
The Volkswagen home page sports the cute, clean, green advertising that has brought the company so much success. Unfortunately, the page is short on information. The ‘VW Life’ section attempts to offer a little more insight into the lives of average owners, but does little to connect drivers with their vehicles. The site has your standard retail features, so if you need some customer service, obviously you’ll come here.
Volkswagen at Wikipedia
The Volkswagen page at Wikipedia is a great spot to get a general understanding of this company’s interesting history. The VW story is one of the more unique among automakers, including dictators, wars, and foreign occupation. Who else can say that? The site also has a quick look at current models and some nice pics of classic beetles.
Around the Blogosphere
Volkswagen at Autoblog
While some may not consider the VW/Porsche deal big news, the guys at Auto blog find it, and virtually any other miniscule piece of news, worth reporting. They cover absolutely everything, from major press releases to YouTube videos. This is the one stop shop for auto news on the web, and they make no exception in the case of VW.
German Car Blog
As we hope you can guess from the name, you’ll get more than just Volkswagen news here. Still, this is a great site to keep current on the development scene overseas. Audi, VW, and Porsche are always on the cutting edge of innovation, research you’ll definitely get to see if you get yourself to this site on a daily basis.
This quirky little site is really a portal for user-generated blogs from Volksblog itself. The posts are all concerned with air-cooled VW models, meaning you’ll get to see loads of classic VW pics here. The site is well moderated, so it stays good and clean for access at work. If you’re interested in classic VWs, this is a great spot to catch up with other fans.
Volkswagen Club of America
This club started as a couple of Beetle fans back in the 50’s and has grown to include a full events calendar, a unique monthly publication, and plenty of resources for the VW enthusiast. The page offers information on joining, a look at their event calendar (which is mostly summer events) and a classifieds section. If you want a real brick and mortar type club, check here first.
This is one of those great fansites that you can love to be a part of. The page is clean, with limited advertising and gobs of information. They post news, their own features, and have a classifieds section if you’re looking to get yourself a new ride. The forums aren’t your standard php bulletin board, but they’re easy enough to browse and chock full of the info we love.
My Fast GTI
For the tuners out there, this is the spot to connect with your GTI cronies. As far as model-specific forums go, this is definitely one of the more active we’ve seen. The posters know their stuff, and can share an opinion without coming across like an idiot.
VW May Join the Little Revolution
Just about everyone has a small car ready to go to market in the United States, but will the US consumers respond? That’s the question VW is trying to answer before they bring their Euro-only Polo stateside. The car is smaller than the Golf and has been a serious success overseas.
Volkswagen Unveils Passat CC
Volkswagen has finally unveiled the Mercedes CLS inspired Passat CC. The car features the same sloping roof styling that leads many to call the car a 4-door coupe. The Passat CC sits a step above the regular Passat with luxury features like hands-off parking.
GTI Makes Car and Driver’s Top 10
The 2008 GTI has been named to Car and Driver’s 10 Best car list for the 2008 year. The GTI is a great car that shoots for the heart of driving enthusiasts, and it’s good to see the brand and particularly this model get a little love.