Volkswagen ID.4 EV named World Car of the Year 2021

  • The first SUV based on Volkswagen’s modular electric drive kit (MEB) receives the most votes from the 93 international jurors
  • ID.4 won praise for its environmental impact of no direct emissions and affordability
  • This is the fifth World Car of the Year award for Volkswagen

Wolfsburg / New York — The Volkswagen ID.4 has been named “World Car of the Year 2021,” prevailing over strong global competition. The World Car Awards are presented by more than 90 international automotive journalists from 24 countries, who vote on the best innovations on the world market.

“We are particularly pleased about our ID.4 being named World Car of the Year”, says Ralf Brandstätter, CEO of Volkswagen passenger cars. “Not only because it is one of the most important car awards in the world, but also because the jury honored a great idea and a great team. The first ID. model for the key markets of Europe, China and the U.S. carries our electric offensive around the world.”

To be eligible for the World Car of the Year award, vehicles must be manufactured in volumes of at least 10,000 units per year, must be priced below the luxury-car level in their primary markets, and must be on sale in at least two major markets, on at least two continents, between May 1, 2020 and May 1, 2021.

“The World Car of the Year award marks a great success for our entire ID. team,” says Thomas Ulbrich, Board Member for Development at the Volkswagen brand. “We have succeeded in developing a car that starts the system change to e-mobility in the world’s most important segment—compact SUVs—and offers excellent everyday usability. We are making innovative electric mobility in the volume market something that can be experienced by everyone.”

The jury praised the environmental friendliness of no direct emissions and technological advances of the ID.4, with its 82 kWh (gross) electric battery, full suite of driver assistance technology and innovative features like over-the-air software update and the ID.Light assistant.

With this win in the 17th edition of the World Car of the Year award, the ID.4 continues the success story of Volkswagen in this contest. Volkswagen plans to deliver around 150,000 ID.4s worldwide this year. Accelerating the e-offensive is a core element of Volkswagen’s ACCELERATE strategy. The company plans to bring at least one new all-electric model to market globally every year.

Because of the COVID 19 pandemic, the award ceremony of the World Car Awards took place digitally this year. It can be viewed again on YouTube.com/worldcartv.

All Volkswagen winners at the World Car Awards:
2009: VW Golf (World Car of the Year)
2010: VW Polo (World Car of the Year)
2012: VW up! (World Car of the Year)
2013: VW Golf (World Car of the Year)
2021: ID.4 (World Car of the Year)

About Volkswagen
The Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand is present in more than 150 markets worldwide and produces vehicles at more than 30 locations in 13 countries. Volkswagen delivered around 5.3 million vehicles in 2020. These include bestsellers such as the Golf, Tiguan, Jetta or Passat as well as the fully electric successful models ID.3 and ID.4. Around 184,000 people currently work at Volkswagen worldwide. In addition, there are more than 10,000 trading companies and service partners with 86,000 employees. With its ACCELERATE strategy, Volkswagen is consistently advancing its further development into a software-oriented mobility provider.

VW”, “Volkswagen”, all model names and the Volkswagen logo are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Volkswagen Arteon named a 2021 TOP SAFETY PICK by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Herndon, VA — Volkswagen of America, Inc. announced today that the 2021 Arteon was named a 2021 TOP SAFETY PICK by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) when equipped with LED headlights and the Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) w/ dynamic cornering lights, which are standard on the SEL R-Line and SEL Premium R-Line trims (not available on the base SE trim).

To qualify for a 2021 TOP SAFETY PICK award, vehicles must have good ratings in each of the Institute’s six crashworthiness evaluations. They must also have good or acceptable headlights and available front crash prevention that earns advanced or superior ratings in both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations. The 2021 Arteon earns good ratings in the six crashworthiness evaluations. The Front Assist system—standard on all Arteon models—receives a superior rating for vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention and an advanced rating for vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention.

Volkswagen’s Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Monitoring (Front Assist) is intended to warn drivers of potential frontal collisions (Forward Collision Warning) with vehicles and pedestrians, and in some cases provide automatic braking assistance (Autonomous Emergency Braking). Within physical system limits, Forward Collision Warning warns the driver of potential critical front-end collision situations, both acoustically and visually by a warning symbol in the instrument cluster if the car is traveling above 18 mph. Furthermore, an automatic jolt of the brakes can warn the driver of the danger. If the driver fails to brake, Autonomous Emergency Braking is activated to help slow the vehicle.  If the car is traveling below 18 mph and the system detects a potential front-end collision, Autonomous Emergency Braking activates without a prior acoustic and visual warning. If the brake pedal is applied but the driver brakes too lightly, the brake pressure is increased by the system (Braking Support).

In addition to Front Assist, other driver assistance features offered on the 2021 Arteon include: standard Blind Spot Monitor (Side Assist) and Rear Traffic Alert, and available Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Lane Keeping System (Lane Assist), Park Distance Control; High Beam Control (Light Assist); and Overhead View Camera (Area View).

The Arteon provides a combination of both passive and active safety systems, including eight airbags as standard (front, side, and knee airbags for front passengers and side curtain airbags for outboard seating positions), and a number of standard electronic safety systems, such as an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Volkswagen’s Automatic Post-Collision Braking System.

The 2021 Volkswagen Arteon is available in three trims: SE, SEL R-Line, and SEL Premium R-Line. The refreshed Arteon features a refined front end with sharpened design elements, and a redesigned cockpit with upgraded décor and technology.  Volkswagen Digital Cockpit is now standard, as is the all-new MIB3 infotainment system with updated navigation and wireless App-Connect. Updates to R-Line® models include an illuminated light bar in the front grille, and translucent décor with 30-color ambient lighting inside, as well as wireless charging, and enhanced driver assistance technology. Three new colors are added for model year 2021—Kings Red Metallic, Oryx White Pearl, and Lapiz Blue Metallic, with the latter two being exclusive to R-Line models.

MSRP for the 2021 Arteon starts at $36,995 for the Arteon SE with front-wheel drive. Prices for Arteon 4Motion® all-wheel drive models starts at $43,395 for the SEL R-Line 4Motion. Destination for all Arteon models is $1,195.

IIHS launched its front crash prevention rating program in 2013 to help consumers sort through the maze of available technologies and zero in on the systems it determines to be most effective. For more information on IIHS, visit www.iihs.org. All IIHS ratings are available at http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings.

About Volkswagen
Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is an operating unit of Volkswagen Group of America and a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, with headquarters in Herndon, Virginia. Volkswagen’s operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Volkswagen Group is one of the world’s largest producers of passenger cars and Europe’s largest automaker. Volkswagen sells the Arteon, Atlas, Atlas Cross Sport, Golf, Golf GTI, ID.4, Jetta, Jetta GLI, Passat, and Tiguan vehicles through more than 600 independent U.S. dealers. Visit Volkswagen online at http://www.vw.com or media.vw.com to learn more.

“4Motion”, “R-Line”, “VW”, “Volkswagen”, all model names and the Volkswagen logo are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

This information and any vehicle specifications are preliminary and subject to change.

Features and technical data apply to models offered in the USA. They may differ in other countries.

Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) w/ dynamic cornering headlights standard on SEL R-line and SEL Premium R-Line models. Not available on other 2021 Arteon trims. 2021 IIHS “Top Safety Pick” is based on “good” ratings in six crashworthiness tests plus no less than an “acceptable” rating for available headlights, and no less than an “advanced” rating for both front crash prevention tests. For vehicle test details visit http://www.iihs.org.

All prices provided are the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price and exclude destination, taxes, title, other options and dealer charges. Dealer sets actual price.

Airbags are supplemental restraints only and will not deploy under all crash circumstances. Always use safety belts and seat children only in the rear, using restraint systems appropriate for their size and age.

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

Meet two of the first Volkswagen ID.4 EV owners: a solar-powered grandmother and a baseball superfan

Alice Dibben, her daughter, Helen Dibben, and Alice’s 2-year-old pup, Lucky, pose in front of Alice’s new glacier white ID.4.

Alice Dibben has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to technology. A former cryptanalyst at the National Security Agency, she mastered early modern computing systems to help collect and decipher complex codes. At age 80, she installed 120 solar panels on the roof of her barn in Pasadena, Md., to help reduce her carbon footprint.

And now, the 91-year-old grandmother and horse breeder has kept her innovation streak going by embracing electric driving with the Volkswagen ID.4 EV.

“When you’re working with yearlings, you’re always thinking of the future,” Alice says.

Alice, along with Joshua Neiderhiser of York, Pa., were two of the first U.S. customers to take home Volkswagen’s first long-range electric SUV. As of today, Volkswagen has delivered the ID.4 to its network of more than 600 dealers nationwide.

Alice enrolled in the ID.4 early registration program in 2020 after her daughter, Helen Dibben, spotted an ad for the electric car in Antwerpen Volkswagen’s newsletter. Putting in a reservation for the vehicle was an easy call for Alice, who has been a Volkswagen loyalist her entire life. The Dibben family’s fleet has included a split-screen Beetle, several Jettas and Volkswagen Rabbit models, but the ID.4 will be the family’s first EV.

“Since the early 1960s, there has been a Volkswagen in our family,” Helen says. Today, “we feel an obligation to try and use as much renewable energy as possible and do our part to transition away from using so much gasoline.”

And, after a short test drive of the car at the dealership, Alice was sold.  “This car makes me feel young again,” she says.

Helen, who assists her mother with daily driving, echoed her sentiments. “It is really easy to drive, has great handling and is extremely roomy inside,” she says. “Most importantly, it is very easy for mom to get in and out. The multi-adjustable seats allow her to travel in comfort.”

Not far away in York, Pa., Joshua Neiderhiser was test driving his own brand-new ID.4. The 43-year-old lawyer and stepdad had researched electric cars for months, hoping to find the perfect EV for his tall frame and 5.8-mile work commute.

Joshua Neiderhiser and his wife, Kristi Neiderhiser, pose in front of their new mythos black ID.4.

“The progressive, tree-hugging hippie in me wanted to get into an electric vehicle as soon as possible,” Joshua says.

He had test-driven other electric cars but was always left wanting.

“There was just no zing on the inside of their cabins,” Joshua said. “But not the ID.4.”

In early March, he got a video text from York Volkswagen that his car had arrived on the lot and was ready for pick-up. Similar to Alice, it only took one spin of the vehicle to help convince him it was the right fit – literally.

“I am 6’3” and 250 pounds, so I needed something that had space and was comfortable, and this absolutely was it,” Joshua says. “In every other car I’ve driven I’ve had to push the seat back to fit my long legs. In this one, I put it back and I was actually too far from the driving wheel, which was a welcome surprise.”

Other features of the ID.4 that jumped out to him right away were the fine lines of the vehicle, its acceleration and efficiency.

“It felt like I was driving a sportscar,” Joshua says.

His 11-year-old stepson is particularly fond of the car’s colorful ID. Light feature and Batmobile appearance. “He’s all about the bells and the whistles,” jokes Joshua’s wife, Kristi Neiderhiser.

His family plans to take the new car on the road this summer to take in America’s favorite pastime if games resume with crowds as expected.

“We had it planned for last year, but the pandemic canceled our plans, so this year we are hoping to catch all 13 baseball teams in the state in one summer,” Joshua says.

The York season-ticket holder is already eagerly mapping out his epic road trip, plotting stops at available charging stations in Pittsburgh, Erie and Philadelphia.

“Driving this car,” Joshua says, “is an absolute dream.”

Volkswagen marks milestone in electrification with the U.S. arrival of the ID.4 EV

The ID.4 arrives at dealerships across America.

This month marks a major milestone in Volkswagen’s story: the arrival of the ID.4, the company’s first long-range electric SUV in dealers across America. Just as electric vehicles will transform the way we drive, Volkswagen has refreshed the way it sells vehicles to embrace a more sustainable future.

From before it leaves the factory to when a new ID.4 owner quietly drives away, Volkswagen has changed, updated or reinvented the steps to the typical vehicle purchase and delivery process. As Volkswagen drives toward making its global business carbon neutral by 2050, and assembling EVs in America, it needed to create a robust process for shipping and selling EVs through a network of more than 600 dealers.

“The launch of the ID.4 represents a huge inflection point for the Volkswagen brand, and its foray into becoming a major player in the electric vehicle space,” said Taylor Olson, EV sales strategy and dealer development lead for Volkswagen of America. “The ID.4 is the right car at the right time and is being sold by a dealer network that has really embraced the shift to electrification.”

Compared to a traditional vehicle, an electric vehicle requires several different steps along its journey from factory to dealer. EVs require special handling when in transit from the factory to dealerships, including maintaining a sufficient state of charge to complete the journey.

The ID.4 arrives at dealerships across America.

Preparation for the arrival of the ID.4 in the U.S. started more than two years ago. Over that time, many Volkswagen dealers have installed Level 2 charging stations and appropriate vehicle lifts to unload the products into showrooms and service bays. Others have worked to stage their showrooms around the ID.4, giving consumers room to see the inner workings of a long-range electric vehicle.

Volkswagen and its dealers recognize that EVs come with a learning curve, requiring some new approaches to driving, charging and maintaining the vehicle. Many ID.4 customers may have never experienced an EV before, making the interaction between the dealer and the customer critical, especially when discussing topics like charging and range. Preparing customers by letting them experience the thrill of driving an EV themselves and providing them the right educational tools creates a recipe for success and a positive customer experience.

“I honestly see the ID.4 as a grand slam of a product. Not just in terms of the product itself, but the timing and for the people that it will reach,” said Cal Angus, EV specialist at Colonial Volkswagen in Westborough, Mass.

To support the expanded role of sales teams at dealerships, Volkswagen offers comprehensive training to become certified in EV – covering both the ID.4 specifically, as well as information on charging stations and networks. Volkswagen dealers also have designated EV Specialists, ready to support customers with any specific ID.4 or EV questions.

“VW of America has been extremely helpful putting the tools together,” said Steven Kappler, sales associate for Lindsay Volkswagen of Dulles in Sterling, Va. “It is great to have a go to place to check on information for not only my own knowledge, but for current reservation holders, prospective buyers, people in service, all to get the word out there.”

For most consumers, purchasing an at-home Level 2 charging option will be part of the experience. To prepare the sales teams, the curriculum covers topics from how to charge a car to what types of incentives may be available from federal, state, or local organizations. At the end, customers should feel confident in all aspects of EV ownership, and ready to enjoy their ID.4 for years to come.

“I have been doing this for 22 years and this is one of the most exciting launches we’ve had since the Touareg,” said Bridget Stennis, Fleet Sales Manager and Master Certified for EV sales, Volkswagen Santa Monica.

Volkswagen ID.4 EV named to Autotrader list of 10 Best Car Interiors under $50,000 for 2021

  • Modern interior design pairs with high-tech features, like a smart infotainment system, using voice and touch

Herndon, VA — Volkswagen of America, Inc. is pleased to announce that the all-new ID.4 EV was named to Autotrader’s list of 10 Best Car Interiors Under $50,000 for 2021. Volkswagen’s first fully-electric SUV features a modern, airy interior design with meticulous attention to detail, configurable storage spaces and a plethora of high-tech features. ID.4 is available for reservation now with a starting MSRP of $39,995 for the Pro model before a potential Federal tax credit of up to $7,500. It begins arriving to dealers nationwide this month.

“The ID.4 is the most important vehicle for the brand since the legendary Beetle and shares its purpose-built vision—in this case, the people’s electric car,” said Scott Keogh, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “An award right out of the gate is a sign we’re on the right track.”

“The Volkswagen ID.4 is an all-new, all-electric compact crossover that we’ve been patiently waiting for, and now that it has finally arrived, we’re impressed with its smooth and peppy electric drivetrain and its high-tech interior,” said the editors at Autotrader. “It’s very tech-focused, centered on a responsive infotainment system that is truly smartphone-like. Most of the controls are touch-sensitive in lieu of traditional buttons and knobs, which is risky, but it works well in this Volkswagen.”

The interior of ID.4 mirrors the futuristic look of the exterior, with functionality almost completely controlled by touch or voice control—there are very few actual buttons. The ID.Cockpit digital display in front of the driver replaces the traditional instrument cluster, and is attached to the steering column, so that it’s always positioned ideally in the line of sight. It is operated with touch-sensitive controls on the leather-wrapped multifunction heated steering wheel which provide haptic feedback. Up to three tiles show the most important information, with the display for battery status and range underneath.

A 10-inch Discover Pro touch infotainment display is located in the middle of the dash panel, angled slightly towards the driver. This screen can be configured to driver preference, and manages the standard navigation system, all telematics, entertainment, driver-assistance systems and vehicle settings; it is upgraded to a 12-inch Discover Pro Max infotainment display on Pro S models. Sliders for volume and temperature adjustment are located on the inclined surface below the display.

“Hello ID.” natural voice control is standard in the ID.4. The car follows the instructions spoken by the driver and passengers and is capable of understanding many commands from everyday language, such as “Hello ID., I’m cold” to turn up the heat.

The ID.4 also comes with the ID. Light system—a light strip that runs below the windshield and provides the driver with intuitive support. It uses various light pulses to signal statuses such as readiness to drive, turn instructions from the navigation system, brake prompts from driver-assistance systems, and incoming phone calls. When using voice commands, it signals that it is listening, similar to voice-activation on mobile phones or virtual assistants. When the ID.4 is plugged in to charge, the ID. Light indicates the current level of charge.

To complete the high-tech package, ID.4 offers standard wireless mobile charging for compatible devices, wireless App-Connect, and Volkswagen Car-Net® with in-car Wi-Fi capability when you subscribe to a data plan. App-Connect smartphone integration for compatible devices offers users the ability to run select smartphone apps directly on the vehicle’s display through Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™ and MirrorLink®. 

The ID.4 offers a range of comfort and convenience features found throughout the rest of the brand’s lineup. Standard features include advanced KESSY® keyless access with proximity unlocking, rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and dual-zone Climatronic® climate control. To manage cold temperatures, the ID.4 features a standard heated steering wheel, heated front seats, heated side mirrors and washer nozzles, and, on all-wheel-drive models, a heated windshield. Pro models feature six-way adjustable seats with power recline and front seat armrests on the inner side, while Pro S models add 12-way power seats, with massaging lumbar and memory.

ID.4 features plenty of storage options and ways to make using them easy. Running between the front seats is a long, spacious center console, which is modular in design and can be reconfigured with adaptable inserts. All models feature spacious stowage areas in the doors, and each door has a bottle holder. Pro S models feature cell phone pockets in the backs of the front seats for rear seat passengers as well as a center armrest with two more cupholders, for a total of eight pre-configured beverage holders. All ID.4 models feature a below-floor storage compartment in the cargo hold, where owners can store the household charging cord and other small items. Pro S models add three cargo-area features: an adjustable trunk floor, a power tailgate with Easy Open & Close, and a ski pass-through.

The upscale interior is further highlighted by ambient lighting and an optional panoramic fixed-glass roof. All ID.4 models include ten-color ambient lighting, and Pro S and 1st Edition models feature a stunning 30-color ambient lighting system with pre-set “moods”, as well as a slider bar in the infotainment system to customize. Pro S models offer a fixed-glass roof, which stretches across almost the entire surface of the roof, letting light in and reinforcing the feeling of spaciousness. An electric sunshade helps prevent the interior from heating up on sunny days, and can be controlled via a touch slider above the driver or through the infotainment screen.

To learn more about the 2021 Best Car Interiors Under $50,000 list from Autotrader, including photos, detailed vehicle information and available inventory, visit https://www.autotrader.com/best-cars/best-interiors-under-50000.

About Volkswagen
Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is an operating unit of Volkswagen Group of America and a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, with headquarters in Herndon, Virginia. Volkswagen’s operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Volkswagen Group is one of the world’s largest producers of passenger cars and Europe’s largest automaker. Volkswagen sells the Arteon, Atlas, Atlas Cross Sport, Golf, Golf GTI, ID.4, Jetta, Jetta GLI, Passat, and Tiguan vehicles through more than 600 independent U.S. dealers. Visit Volkswagen online at http://www.vw.com or media.vw.com to learn more.

About Autotrader
Autotrader is the most recognized third-party car listings brand, with the most engaged audience of in-market car shoppers. As the foremost authority on automotive consumer insights and expert in online and mobile marketing, Autotrader makes the car shopping experience easy and fun for today’s empowered car shopper looking to find or sell the perfect new, used or Certified Pre-Owned car. Using technology, shopper insights and local market guidance, Autotrader’s comprehensive marketing and retailing solutions allow consumers to build their deal online, and guide dealers to personalized digital marketing strategies that grow brand, drive traffic and connect the online and in-store shopping experience. Autotrader is a Cox Automotive™ brand. Cox Automotive is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises. For more information, please visit http://press.autotrader.com.

“Car-Net”, “Climatronic”, “KESSY”, “VW”, “Volkswagen”, all model names and the Volkswagen logo are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG. “CarPlay” is a registered trademark of Apple Inc. “MirrorLink” is a registered trademark of the Car Connectivity Consortium LLC.  “Android Auto” is a trademark of Google LLC All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

This information and any vehicle specifications are preliminary and subject to change.

Features and technical data apply to models offered in the USA. They may differ in other countries.

All prices provided are the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price and exclude destination, taxes, title, other options and dealer charges. Dealer sets actual price.

The anticipated tax credit shown above is for informational purposes only. The ID.4 has not yet been certified as credit eligible by the IRS. This information does not constitute tax or legal advice. Any available credits apply only on the original purchase of a qualifying vehicle and are not available in a lease transaction. All persons considering use of available tax credits should consult a tax advisor to determine eligibility based on their specific tax situation. Tax credits are subject to various limitations not within Volkswagen’s control and are subject to change without notice.

Not all App-Connect features are 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.

When downloading apps, standard message and data rates apply.

Car-Net is 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 may 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 http://www.vw.com/carnet.

The Car-Net Hotspot feature is intended for passenger use only. 4G LTE coverage is not available in all areas. See materials provided for terms, privacy, data security details. Requires trial or paid Wi-Fi plan from third-party wireless provider.

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

When using KESSY keyless access, do not leave vehicle unattended. See Owner’s Manual for further details and important warnings about the keyless access feature.

The Volkswagen 2021 Enthusiast Fleet kicks off with the Blue Lagoon Jetta GLI concept

Volkswagen unveiled its first of several enthusiast concept vehicles for 2021 – a Jetta GLI that revives the spirit of the rare Mk4 Blue Lagoon GLI.

The Jetta GLI has been a sportier iteration of the Jetta since 1984, offering performance that approached that of the Golf GTI with all the cargo-hauling benefits of a sedan. In 2002, Volkswagen released the GTI 337, a special edition vehicle with only 1,500 models produced. Outfitted with 18-inch BBS RC wheels, RECARO seats and a Votex body kit, the unique car struck a chord and served as the inspiration for the next generation GLI.

In 2004, Volkswagen introduced the new Mk4 Jetta GLI to the U.S. market. The model was designed to deliver a sporty driving experience and was, in a sense, the sedan version of the GTI—with a similar body kit, wheels and seats. The car was released in the color Blue Lagoon and caught the eye of enthusiasts right away. However, the run of Blue Lagoon was short-lived and eventually replaced with a medium dark shade of blue called Jazz Blue.

The 2004 Jetta GLI is an iconic vehicle for enthusiasts. “The Jetta GLI has been an enthusiast favorite throughout its 37-year history,” said Sean Maynard, Enthusiast and Motorsport Marketing Specialist. “Paying tribute to the Mk4 with this build concept celebrates the passion that goes into these vehicles.”

VW is honoring the rare model by modifying a manual 2021 Jetta GLI Autobahn into the fan favorite for the annual Enthusiast Fleet. Andres Valbuena, former Volkswagen product launch manager lead the team and executed the modifications in just over a month.

The modified 2021 Jetta GLI in Blue Lagoon.

The team started out with a 2021 Deep Black Pearl Jetta GLI and changed the color to the iconic metallic blue shade by using a vinyl wrap. To match the wrap as closely as possible to Blue Lagoon metallic, Valbuena sourced a fuel filler door off a 2004 GLI and combed through several vinyl wrap suppliers’ hues of blue until he found the ORAFOL Midnight Blue Metallic. The vinyl wrap was installed throughout the entire car – including its interior door jambs and side body pieces – so when the doors open, the color change is still visible.

The team worked with Air Design to install exterior side skirts and a rear trunk spoiler, and Fifteen52 to install a Critical Aero Design (CAD) front lower spoiler. AlphaParts also saved the day when some parts were needed ASAP. They installed BBS CH-R 20-inch alloy wheels, wrapped with ContinentalÓ ExtremeContact Sport 235/35Z R20XL 90Y tires. They installed an H&R Springs® Street Performance Coil Over suspension to give the car a sportier stance.

Inside the vehicle, RECARO Ergomed ES leather front seats and a Black Forest Industries weighted golf ball shift knob.

Out of all the modifications, Valbuena’s favorite detail is the color, which, in his opinion, makes the biggest impact. “The color is incredible,” said Valbuena. “The Recaro’s, wheels, and styling changes are amazing, but when you see it outside in the sun that color is something else.”

You can catch the one-of-a-kind model, along with the rest of the 2021 Volkswagen Enthusiast Fleet, at enthusiast events around the country.

You can catch the one-of-a-kind model, along with the rest of the 2021 Volkswagen Enthusiast Fleet, at enthusiast events around the country.

The modified 2021 Jetta GLI in Blue Lagoon.

#TBT: Remembering Bruce Meyers, creator of the Meyers Manx

Bruce Meyers lived the life most people only read about. A surfer, inventor, artist, war hero and racecar driver, Meyers distilled the essence of 1960s Southern California car culture with the invention of his Meyers Manx, a Volkswagen Beetle-based buggy that went where the pavement ended.

Last week, Meyers passed away at the age of 94. A creator of the race which would come to be known as the famed Baja 1000, Bruce was an energizing soul of car culture until the very end, living and celebrating the freedom that off-roading creates. While his firm only built about 7,000 of the original fiberglass-bodied Meyers Manx vehicles, the design became synonymous with the idea of a “dune buggy” and driving to the surf and sand.

“My life has been full of adventures,” Meyers told us in 2017. ““I want people to have an adventure in life.”

Born in Los Angeles, Meyers grew up around beaches, surfing and vehicles; his father a prominent car dealer. When World War II called the nation to duty, Meyers first enlisted in the Merchant Marines, then the Navy. In 1945, he was aboard the aircraft carrier USS Bunker Hill when the ship was hit by two kamikaze bombers. Nearly 400 of the crew perished, but Meyers survived, and swam through the wreckage to rescue his fellow shipmen.

After the war, Meyers returned home and went to art school. He spent much time on a surfboard and learned how to build sail boats using what was, at the time, a new material known as fiberglass. Spending ample time off the beaten path, Meyers noticed many of his fellow Californians using Volkswagen Beetles – minus many of their body panels – to traverse the dunes traditional four-wheel-drive vehicles had trouble navigating.

The Meyers Manx

Only drive and park where it is permitted and always stay on provided roads and paths. See owner’s manual for important information regarding off pavement use

In 1964, Meyers set about to create a better way around the sand. Using the Beetle’s floorplan and running gear, he hand-built a fiberglass tub on top, with chrome surrounded “bug-eye” style headlamps. Rather than cobble together a collection of other vehicles, his vision was to create something that came across as fun and artistic; with a touch of hotrod inspired flare. The result was dubbed “Old Red,” and its look would spark an entire culture of affordable and lightweight Beetle-based buggies.

“It was a phenomenal success,” said Meyers. “Suddenly everybody wanted this happy little car. It’s a visualization of friendship and love.”

A few years later, Meyers and friends decided to take their buggy to Mexico, where motorcyclists had been running long-distance races through the desert terrain. On just a few days preparation, Meyers and a co-driver won the race which would later become the Baja 1000, one of the world’s most popular off-road races.

Though Meyers founded his own buggy building operation, now known as Meyers Manx, his design proved too coveted to control. While nearly 7,000 Manx units were produced, countless copycat versions also flooded the market, ultimately forcing Meyers to close shop. Estimates vary, but sources agree more than 250,000 Meyers-inspired buggies have been built worldwide.

Only in recent years did Meyers re-start production of a new buggy – still built on the Beetle chassis – now with two seats instead of four. The original “Old Red” was added to the National Historic Vehicle Register in 2014, and represents a design cherished by countless fans worldwide.

“I was just a character who lived a lifestyle of breaking traditions,” said Meyers, “and the dune buggy did that.”

Rest in peace, friend. Thank you for being the character you were. We will dearly miss you.

Volkswagen Tiguan named a 2021 TOP SAFETY PICK by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

  • Tiguan is one of 41 vehicles to be named a 2021 TOP SAFETY PICK
  • This is the third year in a row Tiguan receives an award from IIHS

Herndon, VA — Volkswagen of America, Inc. announced today that the 2021 Tiguan was named a 2021 TOP SAFETY PICK by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) when equipped with LED headlights and the Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) w/ dynamic cornering headlights, which are standard on the SEL Premium R-Line trim (not available on other 2021 Tiguan trims).

To qualify for a 2021 TOP SAFETY PICK or TOP SAFETY PICK+ award, vehicles must have good ratings in each of the Institute’s six crashworthiness evaluations. They must also have good or acceptable headlights and available front crash prevention that earns advanced or superior ratings in both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations. The 2021 Tiguan earns good ratings in the six crashworthiness evaluations. The Front Assist system—standard on all Tiguan models—receives a superior rating for vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention and an advanced rating for vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention.

Volkswagen’s Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Monitoring (Front Assist) is intended to warn drivers of potential frontal collisions (Forward Collision Warning) with vehicles and pedestrians, and in some cases provide automatic braking assistance (Autonomous Emergency Braking). Within physical system limits, Forward Collision Warning warns the driver of potential critical front-end collision situations, both acoustically and visually by a warning symbol in the instrument cluster if the car is traveling above 18 mph. Furthermore, an automatic jolt of the brakes can warn the driver of the danger. If the driver fails to brake, Autonomous Emergency Braking is activated to help slow the vehicle.  If the car is traveling below 18 mph and the system detects a potential front-end collision, Autonomous Emergency Braking activates without a prior acoustic and visual warning. If the brake pedal is applied but the driver brakes too lightly, the brake pressure is increased by the system (Braking Support).

In addition to Front Assist, other driver assistance features offered on the 2021 Tiguan include: standard Blind Spot Monitor (Side Assist) and Rear Traffic Alert, and available Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Lane Keeping System (Lane Assist), Park Distance Control; High Beam Control (Light Assist); and Overhead View Camera (Area View).

The Tiguan provides a combination of both passive and active safety systems, including six airbags, and a number of standard electronic safety systems, such as an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Volkswagen’s Automatic Post-Collision Braking System.

Starting at $25,245 MSRP for front-wheel drive models and $26,545 for 4Motion® all-wheel drive models, the 2021 Tiguan is available in in five trims—S, SE, SE R-Line Black, SEL, and SEL Premium R-Line—and is offered with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. For 2021, Tiguan democratizes driver assistance features by making Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) standard on SE models, and adds the next-generation MIB3 infotainment system to all but the base trim.

IIHS launched its front crash prevention rating program in 2013 to help consumers sort through the maze of available technologies and zero in on the systems it determines to be most effective. For more information on IIHS, visit www.iihs.org. All IIHS ratings are available at http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings.

About Volkswagen
Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is an operating unit of Volkswagen Group of America and a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, with headquarters in Herndon, Virginia. Volkswagen’s operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Volkswagen Group is one of the world’s largest producers of passenger cars and Europe’s largest automaker. Volkswagen sells the Arteon, Atlas, Atlas Cross Sport, Golf, Golf GTI, Jetta, Jetta GLI, Passat, and Tiguan vehicles through more than 600 independent U.S. dealers. Visit Volkswagen online at http://www.vw.com or media.vw.com to learn more.

“4Motion”, “VW”, “Volkswagen”, all model names and the Volkswagen logo are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

This information and any vehicle specifications are preliminary and subject to change.

Features and technical data apply to models offered in the USA. They may differ in other countries.

LED headlights and Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) w/ dynamic cornering headlights standard on SEL Premium R-line models. Not available on other 2021 Tiguan trims. 2021 IIHS “Top Safety Pick” is based on “good” ratings in six crashworthiness tests plus no less than an “acceptable” rating for available headlights, and no less than an “advanced” rating for both front crash prevention tests. For vehicle test details visit www.iihs.org.

All prices provided are the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price and exclude destination, taxes, title, other options and dealer charges. Dealer sets actual price.

Airbags are supplemental restraints only and will not deploy under all crash circumstances. Always use safety belts and seat children only in the rear, using restraint systems appropriate for their size and age.

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

Why American drivers prefer monochrome vehicles – and why that might change soon

A variety of Volkswagen models

If you drove down an American street and looked only at the new vehicles, you might be forgiven for thinking you’re in a black-and-white movie.

Last year, U.S. car buyers chose white more often than any other color, followed closely by silver and black, according to experts in automotive paints. That’s been the trend for a decade, part of a longer evolution toward muted shades in automotive exteriors stretching back 70 years. It’s one that Volkswagen experts see as likely to continue – with a glimmer of hope for the color-curious.

“Color is always shifting, and our color perception is always evolving depending on what we see, what we observe, and what we live with,” said Volkswagen Senior Color and Trim Designer Jung Lim “Limmy” Park.

Old films of American highways from 1950 to 1970 captured the spirit of the era with colorful hues of aqua, cherry red, salmon and gold – a common sight on the road at that time. From 1970 to 1990, drivers started to transition towards neutrals and gravitated towards browns, greens and beiges. Today, variations of white, black, gray and silver make up over half of the market, leaving just 21 percent of cars sold in 2020 in the red, green or blue family. Americans reportedly favor the color black for luxury vehicles, and gray has replaced silver for all vehicles due to its perception as a more upscale and modern color.

“Silver used to be way more popular than gray, but it has really flipped,” noted Park. “Gray brings so many variants from cool to warm, dark to light, luxurious shimmering to outdoorsy flat effect. Thus, gray speaks more to the persona that drivers want to communicate.”

At Volkswagen, color design is inspired from a multitude of sources – from nature, food and athletics, to new digital technology and virtual experiences. Determining the color goal at the beginning of a vehicle project allows the color designers to create the perfect color palette for the model’s intended driver. Understanding the desires of the customer goes hand in hand with selecting colors that complement the vehicles’ body style and influencing industry color trends.

Color design “is complicated and a complex theory that depends on the design of the car, type of the car, the size of the car and also types of trends that project on certain demographics and lifestyles,” said Park.

A 2021 Tiguan

While color trends in fashion, interior design and technology are going global, automotive color trends are still highly regional. It’s not just cultural preferences; a red in the United States can look different from a red in Germany due to the surroundings of that region.

“Working in the color world, I learned that Asia Pacific, Europe and North America have very distinct color preferences,” said Park. “For example, Asia Pacific is actually the least colorful [region] … and in Europe, compared to North America, gray has always been more popular than silver, as has been blue.”

“Color preferences really reflect the unique social and cultural trends and even geography [of a region],” Park added.

Volkswagen has continued to experiment with bold colors even as market preferences move towards shades of white and black, from the Kurkuma Yellow of the Atlas and Arteon to the Spektrum program for the Golf R that allowed buyers a choice from 40 vibrant shades.

“The colors found on the original Buses and Beetles are iconic to Volkswagen and continue to be recognized even as the colors are no longer in production,” Park explained. “The bright contemporary yellow on the Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept is a great example how the original color image could be reinterpreted for the high-tech and it is not available in other places but in Volkswagen.”

Market demands for black, white and monochromatic shades in between will continue, Park says, but consumers are showing an increased appetite and interest in returning to bright and bolder colors. The reason? Because so much of our lives are now filtered through screens – from phones to tablets to computers to televisions – a certain segment of drivers will want vehicles that visually pop in real life as they do virtually.

“We are all so impacted by our digital life through the pandemic, and the colors you mainly see are [on] your screen more than actual physical objects.” said Park. “The future is getting colorful, for sure.”

An electric yellow ID. BUZZ concept car. Disclaimer: Concept vehicle shown. Not yet available for sale. Specifications may change.