Riding the waves at Big SoCal Euro

In the late-summer sun of San Diego, California, Volkswagen owners of all generations—cars and people—gathered to celebrate the people’s car brand. Spanning almost as far as the eye can see, across San Diego Count Credit Union Stadium, Volkswagen and other European cars gathered as part of Big SoCal Euro. One of the biggest get-togethers of air-cooled and water-cooled VW vehicles in California, Big SoCal Euro marks 2018 as its seventh year, and the event’s growth is a testament to its quality. Volkswagen vehicles from all over California, Arizona, Nevada and even Mexico made the trek to Big SoCal Euro with a shared goal in mind: relax and check out the cars on display, see old friends and maybe even meet some new people. The Volkswagen 2018 Enthusiast Fleet was on display again at Big SoCal Euro, showcasing some of the brand’s newest and most exciting models, such as the Arteon R-Line and Jetta R-Line. Beside the fleet resided a local variety of enthusiast-owned Jettas, spanning the first generation model, the Mk1, through to the all-new 2019 Jetta. Tanner Foust, Volkswagen’s brand ambassador and revered race car driver, hosted a meet-n-greet in the VW booth, where he met fans and enthusiasts and signed autographs throughout the day. His freshly-completed 2019 Golf R, fitted with fifteen52’s newest Stage RSR 3-piece forged wheel and Oettinger’s aero parts was his ride of choice for the weekend and also on display in the VIP section. Friends from near and far all agreed that Big SoCal Euro was bigger and better than ever before, and the smiles, barbecues and freshly polished cars proved it. of

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The Legendary Rabbit Name Makes a 2019 Comeback

It was fast. It was nimble. It was fun. And it had attitude. GTI loyalty runs deep No surprise to owners who return generation after generation: The GTI won the IHS Markit Automotive Loyalty award in the sport car category based on an analysis of approximately 17.5 million new vehicle registrations during the 2017 model year. The original 1983 Mk1 Volkswagen Rabbit GTI sported red plaid seats, snowflake wheels, and a golf ball shift knob. It helped create a brand new category of sports car, the hot hatch. Now, the Rabbit is back for 2019 as a special edition model— the GTI Rabbit Edition is the first GTI to pay tribute to the Rabbit heritage since the 2003 20th Anniversary vehicle. Here’s why we should all be excited. Enthusiasm builds The GTI has always been notable for its blending of sportiness and practicality. Take the Mk1 GTI: It featured a unique combination of sports-car performance, signature stylistic accents, and an iconic shape that won a cult following when it first hit U.S. shores in 1983. For the next three decades, VW rolled out generation after generation of eagerly awaited, limited-production GTI editions for enthusiasts. Many featured special performance equipment and unique body and interior highlights, including distinctive hues such as Jazz Blue, Magma Orange, and Ginster Yellow. And a few hold a unique place in the legendary Rabbit line. The Mk4 GTI 20th Anniversary, for example, was the first GTI since the Mk1 to sport a “retro Rabbit” badge, although it didn’t carry the Rabbit name itself. Rabbit redux In 2019, the Rabbit makes a return, paying homage to the dedication of countless enthusiasts and past generations while celebrating the unique heritage of the VW GTI in the US. It will be available in Urano Grey — a stand-out, non-metallic color —as well as Deep Black Metallic and Pure White. It features a LED lighting package, a new-for-GTI “Vmax” spoiler accent on the rear roofline, and road-hugging 18-inch “Pretoria” alloy wheels painted gloss black. The U.S. version of the 2019 GTI Rabbit Edition — a limited run of just 3,000 — also includes a special gift from VW (but you’ll have to buy one to find out what it is). Bucket-style, race-inspired Top Sport driver and passenger seats inside the cabin come in heritage Clark Plaid cloth upholstery along with red tags embroidered with the VW Rabbit logo and red-trimmed floormats. Additionally, the Rabbit Edition includes standard Driver Assistance features such as Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert, Front Assist with Pedestrian Monitor, and Autonomous Emergency Braking.1 The experience behind the wheel (and on the road) of the 2019 GTI Rabbit edition is just as exceptional: Powered by 228 hp, a VAQ mechanical torque-sensing limited slip differential helps to direct all that to the ground. And high-performance Golf R ventilated disc brakes offer plenty of smooth, well-modulated stopping power. The 2019 GTI Rabbit Edition: It’s been a long time coming. And well worth the wait.

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200 MPH and more: Breaking a speed record with a modified 2019 Volkswagen Jetta

All it takes to modify  a sedan to be able to push past 200 mph is to acknowledge its limits – and then find a way to break them without breaking the car itself.1 That’s where Tom Habrzyk’s talents come to life. “The power levels required to set records are very high,” explains Habrzyk, chief executive officer of THR Manufacturing, “so to get to those power levels from the drivetrain, we have to basically overcome some of the failure points that would inhibit us from safely reaching high speeds.” That’s part of the challenge Habrzyk considers each time he tunes a vehicle to perform record-breaking land speed runs across Bonneville’s slippery salt flats. This year, he and his California-based manufacturing team joined forces with Volkswagen to push a modified 2019 Jetta to 210.16 miles per hour and smash its class record at the Utah Salt Flats Racing Association’s World of Speed event. The Jetta that was prepped for Utah over the course of a seven-month build, was transformed from compact car to 600-horsepower racer. The engine began as an EA888 2-liter turbocharged and direct injection four-cylinder engine. Even though Habrzyk swapped out many internal parts, including pistons, turbocharger and exhaust, the block and crankshaft remained stock. Considering Habrzyk’s no stranger to LSR Volkswagens, other modifications allude to past Bonneville successes.2 His third collaboration with Volkswagen, Habrzyk equipped the Jetta with a similar drivetrain he used to power the LSR Beetle at the 2016 World of Speed. The car earned notoriety as the world’s fastest Beetle for reaching 205.122 mph over a flying mile; this was a well-deserved win for Habrzyk and his team, who recall a tough challenge in overcoming the car’s aerodynamic disadvantages. In contrast, the Jetta has its own quirks. “The Jetta has an aerodynamic advantage over what we’ve done in the past,” says Habrzyk, “though because the rigidity of the factory chassis is so good, we ran into issues drilling holes for mounting certain things in some of the floor panels because they turned out to be high-strength hot-formed steel.” “So we had to use different techniques to attach things in those areas, or even avoid those areas,” he adds, laughing. “It was kind of a new experience for us.” Powering the car is half the battle. To help ensure a car is ready for the salt of the ancient lakebed, Habrzyk lowers its suspension and adds ballast for greater stability that minimizes the need for steering correction on the salt flats. “The consistency of the surface at Bonneville is similar to freshly compacted snow almost at its melting point,” says Habrzyk, “so it’s not as solid as most people would think.” That makes safety a paramount concern. Habrzyk assures each car he works on follows safety regulations put forth by the Southern California Timing Association, which oversees Bonneville’s annual Speed Week and other related events. To do this, the Jetta is outfitted with a roll cage, racing seat and harness, as well as parachutes that help bring the car to a stop. of 2 THR Manufacturing typically takes on a new car build project like the Jetta once a year. While Habrzyk has experience building drift, drag race and road race cars throughout his 12-year career, his more recent LSR projects run at Bonneville. Between the delicate salt track, design hurdles unique to each car and perhaps a penchant for pushing the limit, Habrzyk always welcomes the challenge. “If anybody could do it, everybody would do it, and it wouldn’t be challenging,” he says. “It would just be boring, which it’s not by any means.” On race day, Habrzyk’s not in the driver’s seat; rather, you’ll find him chasing down his creation in a separate vehicle along the side of the race track, all the while listening for a radio announcer to confirm whether the car reached its goal. The Jetta may have just rolled off the salt flats, but Habrzyk’s already hunting for future projects. Namely he wants to tackle electric vehicles for the first time, which currently do not have their own class at Bonneville. “Anything new that’s out there that’s powering something with wheels is always in your head,” he says. “I’m interested in going fast with it.”

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Now Trending: VW in the News

What’s New: The VW Lineup The calendar year might not flip to 2019 for a few more months, but it’s time to usher out the old and ring in the new line of Volkswagen vehicles. Here’s what’s happening at your local dealership and always at vw.com: The Atlas will offer two new colors. Terra Metallic, a hue that evokes brilliant fall foliage and rich leather, replaces Titanium Beige (and is also available on the Passat). Pacific Blue replaces Kurkuma Yellow. Available for the Tiguan, the R-Line “Black” package changes the color of a number of features — including the wheels, chrome bumpers, mirror caps, and roof rails — to black. The 2019 Passat base model now comes with standard Blind Spot Detection and Front Assist.1 In the Golf family, the GTI Rabbit edition — with special Rabbit seat tags and 18-inch “Pretoria” alloy wheels that are painted gloss black — is limited to just 3,000 units. Say goodbye to the Beetle: This is the final year that the current generation of the legendary VW will be sold, and the iconic car is being offered in both “Final Edition SE” and “Final Edition SEL” trims. The former comes with 17-inch Knoxville wheels, “Rhombus” cloth seats, and aluminum pedals and scuff plates. The latter comes with 18-inch disc wheels with white accents, diamond-stitched leather, and the Fender® Premium Audio System. Design is the name of the game for the all-new Arteon. It offers a sleek fastback design, an upscale interior, and innovative technology. The newest VW flagship is anticipated to make its U.S. debut in early 2019. Get a sneak peek. Last but not least: There’s a whole slew of new VW parts and accessories to check out — for your current or new VW. A few we love: the Bumperdillo and Muddy Buddy 3D Floor Liner program. VW Is Everywhere Need a new spot (outside of your local dealer) to soak up all that’s new from VW? Sneak a peek behind the scenes and under the hood at auto shows or on a factory tour. VW is scheduled to make a splash at the following auto shows: 2018 Texas Auto Show: September 28-October 21 Miami International Auto Show: October 5-13 Seattle International Auto Show: November 9-12 San Francisco Chronicle Auto Show: November 21-25 Arizona International Auto Show: November 22-25 LA Auto Show: press only November 28-29; open to the general public November 30–December 9 San Diego International Auto Show: December 27-30 2019 North American International Auto Show in Detroit: press only January 14–15; open to the general public January 19–27 New England International Auto Show: January 17-21 Houston Auto Show: January 23-27 St. Louis Auto Show: January 24-27 Portland International Auto Show: January 24-27 Philadelphia Auto Show: February 2-10 Chicago Auto Show: press only February 7-8; open to the general public February 9–18 Cleveland Auto Show: February 22-March 3 Greater Milwaukee International Car & Truck Show: February 23-March 3 Twin Cities Auto Show: March 9-17 Atlanta International Auto Show: March 20-24 DFW Auto Show: March 27-31 Denver Auto Show: March 27-31 Washington Auto Show: April 2-14 New York Auto Show: press only April 17–18; open to the general public April 19–28 Get a glimpse of the auto show experience here. Visitors Welcome After a major expansion, the Volkswagen Chattanooga factory in Tennessee resumed visitor tours last year. Guided tours of the nearly 2-million-square-foot facility include awe-worthy glimpses into how the updated Passat and the seven-seat Atlas SUV are assembled from start to finish. To schedule a free tour, email tours@vw.com. Learn more about how the VW Chattanooga factory celebrated 10 years. How to Defy Gravity There’s an adrenaline rush for the athletes (and the audience) in nearly every minute of Face of Winter, the 69th feature film from Warren Miller Entertainment (presented by Volkswagen). The winter action-sports movie — filmed in locations including British Columbia, Alaska, Iceland, New Zealand, and Chile — features footage of extreme winter athletes carving and shredding down some of the most challenging filming environments on earth. This is the second year that Volkswagen has presented a Warren Miller feature film. Last year’s installment, Line of Descent, spotlighted JT Holmes — a Hollywood stunt coordinator, backcountry freestyle skier, and classic VW Beetle driver— and his favorite sport: “speedriding.” “To be chosen to ski in a Warren Miller film was a dream come true,” says Holmes, who first appeared in a 1995 Miller film as a teenager. “Every element of my life and career traces back to my decisiveness as a young teen to become a pro skier. That decisiveness is credited to Warren Miller.” This year’s film pays tribute to Warren Miller, the founder of the production company and a pioneer in action-sports cinematography, who died earlier this year at the age of 93. Face of Winter premieres worldwide in Portland, Oregon, on October 12, 2018.  Foust Makes a Special Delivery Tanner Foust may roar around the racetrack in a Beetle Rallycross car equipped with a 2.0-liter, 560-horsepower, turbocharged engine, but cameras recently caught Tanner on suburban streets in a Passat GT. After placing a black box in the trunk and buckling in, Foust heads out to make a special delivery on time. Watch the video to the end to find out what special cargo he’s carrying. VW Fan-tastic Think you love your VW? Check out what Volkswagen and several aftermarket companies churned out in the 2018 Enthusiast Fleet. The fleet began with four off-the-factory models: Golf R, Tiguan, Arteon, and Jetta. Each four-wheeled work of art debuted in May at the SOWO Partners’ European Experience in Savannah, Georgia. See them for yourself here. VW Team Wins Big at Rallycross Behind the wheel of a modified Beetle, VW Rallycross driver Scott Speed headed to victory, sweeping wins in the Americas Rallycross Championship (ARX) held in August. An overnight Beetle rebuild to help recover from the qualifying heat final gave VW teammate Tanner Foust the edge to finish second behind Speed. The final round of the inaugural running of the Americas Rallycross Championship at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) will be held at the end of September.  

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Rescue Me: How One Atlas Owner Gives Good Dogs Forever Homes TEST

 Thanks to a hurricane, Nina Roedeler found her calling. In late 2012, hundreds of animals were lost or displaced after Hurricane Sandy hit the New York metro region. The pets came from flooded shelters or were left behind when their owners had to evacuate. Roedeler, a New York resident, volunteered to foster one of the dogs left traumatized by the storm. She tended the dog it back to health and eventually helped it find a new permanent home. That experience led Roedeler to her role as rescue coordinator for Friends with Four Paws, an Oklahoma-based nonprofit that finds new families for dogs with limited options. Roedeler holds adoption events for about 20 to 30 dogs a month, and coordinates trips around the New York area from foster pet keepers to forever families. Roedeler says she and the adoption team support new owners with advice and answer questions, but would-be owners first need to show they’re ready to provide one essential need: love. “I’m looking for a match for the dog and human alike,” Roedeler says. “We try to match up the needs of the dog with the adopters to ensure a great start into their new life together. But as every dog is different and situations are different, there needs to be chemistry.” Roedeler racks up major miles on the rough roads around the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut region, and needs enough vehicle space to keep her dog passengers comfortable and calm.  Roedeler started out at Friends with Four Paws with a 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan, but upgraded to a 2018 Volkswagen Atlas; she calls it her “mobile storage unit for the rescue and my mobile office.”1 Nearly five years later and with hundreds of dogs in good new homes, Roedeler says it’s hard for her to imagine a better way to bring people and dogs together. “I have a blessed life. It’s my job to make families happy and to make dogs happy,” she says. “Uniting a dog with a family is almost like playing Santa Claus.”

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45 Shades of the Golf R

When it comes to choosing the perfect, just-for-you Volkswagen Golf R model, the list of available colors to sort through just got longer. New for the 2019 model year, the VW Spektrum1 offers an unmatched, rainbow-bridging array of 40 order-only, unique exterior colors (plus 5 standard ones at no additional charge) for the VW Golf R. It’s like a choose-your-own-adventure color story where the results come in everything from a riveting shade of Viper Green to a jolt of Oxide Red. Of course, the colors we wear, the colors we like, and the VW shade we choose says a little something about how we want the world to view us. So, how do you even begin to choose? Read on for some inspiration — Spektrum hues matched to your personality. The Extrovert Don’t mind attention? Then the VW Spektrum’s electric hues — Hot Chili Pearl, Viper Green Metallic, Jazz Blue Pearl, Futura Yellow Metallic, Sarantos Turquoise, TNT Orange, Curry Yellow — may be the just-right way for you to stand out, whether you’re driving or parked (even in your own driveway).   The Free Spirit Feel most at home finding your own way, with or without GPS? Take a closer look at the organic-leaning greens and blues in the VW Spektrum (Irish Green, Moss Green Metallic, Reseda Green, Mystic Blue Pearl, Inky Blue Pearl).   The Classic Enthusiast An subtle approach doesn’t have to be all black and white. In fact, it can be a little bit of Mocha Anthracite Metallic, Graphite Metallic, Anthracite Metallic, or Dust Gray, and even a pop of Bordeaux Red Pearl — hues that anyone enamored with clean lines and touches will love.   The Cool and Collected Rarely frazzled: If that’s your vibe, then it’s easy to slide behind the wheel of serenity-inducing hues of Prussian Blue Metallic, Deep Blue Pearl, Dark Violet Pearl, Squirrel Gray, or Ice Blue. Our advice: Breathe easy.   The Refined One Making a statement doesn’t mean making noise. Our VW Spektrum examples? Take a closer look at Oxide Red, Dark Burgundy Pearl, Slate Grey, Violet Touch Pearl, Racing Green, and Azure Blue Pearl — lustrous and subdued at the same time.   The Get Up & Go Getter Can’t contain your energy? Use your Golf R’s hue to convey that electric vibe with eye-catching shades like Ginster Yellow previously seen on the 1997 Driver’s Edition GTI, Magma Orange from the 2007 GTI Fahrenheit Edition, Nogaro Blue Pearl, Copper Orange Metallic, Cliff Green, Hot Chili Pearl, and Mars Red.   The Eclectic Who says that green and pink don’t go together, or that patterns shouldn’t mix with stripes? Not you — and not your VW Spectrum faves either, we’re willing to guess. Let the vibrant Raspberry Red, Caribbean Green, 91 Blue, Traffic Purple, and Techno Blue Pearl take center stage in your version of VW central casting. *Not all Spektrum colors are depicted. The MSRP for VW Spektrum colors is $2,500, and build and delivery time is approximately two to four months from time of factory acceptance of special order. You cannot yet place an actual order, but you can visit a Volkswagen dealership to view real-life paint samples of each VW Spektrum color. Additionally, a builder tool will soon be added to vw.com, allowing users to check out 360-degree views of the Golf R in any of the Volkswagen Spektrum colors.

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With the 2019 Volkswagen Beetle Final Edition, we say #ByeByeBeetle

It’s official: The 2019 Volkswagen Beetle will be the last production year of the iconic Volkswagen Beetle, exactly seven decades after it first came to the United States in 1949. But the Beetle will be getting a year-long sendoff, beginning with special Beetle Final Edition models for 2019 and continuing over the next several months. “The loss of the Beetle after three generations, over nearly seven decades, will evoke a host of emotions from the Beetle’s many devoted fans,” said Hinrich J. Woebcken, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “As we move to being a full-line, family-focused automaker in the U.S. and ramp up our electrification strategy with the MEB platform, there are no immediate plans to replace it. “But as we have seen with the I.D. BUZZ—which is the modern and practical interpretation of the legendary Bus—I would also say, ‘Never say never.’ We’re excited to kick off a year of celebrating one of the true icons of the automotive world, with a series of events that will culminate in the end of production in Puebla in July 2019.” The 2003 Beetle Última Edición The Beetle Final Edition coupe and convertible sports two unique colors that echo the beige and light blue colors chosen for the end of the first-generation Beetle production in 2003. Stonewashed Blue was last seen on the 2016 Beetle Denim, and hearkens to the 1970 Jeans Bug, while Safari Uni is a new variant of the Harvest Beige color last seen on the New Beetle that was built until 2011. For those whose color choices run to more standard options, there are also shades of white, black and grey, while the convertible has an optional brown top. The Final Edition also has unique wheels, either a 17-inch aluminum alloy with a 15-spoke pattern or an 18-inch alloy “disc” design with white trim, similar to the body-color wheels of original-generation Beetles. Among many other touches, all Beetle Final Edition models offer available driver-assistance technology. SE models include standard Blind Spot Monitor Rear Traffic Alert. Final Edition SEL models add standard front and rear Park Distance Control, and like all Beetles, the Final Edition uses the sporty 174-hp 2.0-liter TSI® engine, paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Before next July, Volkswagen will have several additional events to mark the heritage and history of its original model. We’ll share our moments online under the hashtag #byebyeBeetle. “The Beetle is more than a car,” says Woebcken, “it’s what made Volkswagen an integral part of American culture.” of

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