Volkswagen Newsroom

The Golf SportWagen and Alltrack close a five-decade run of VW wagons in America

July 17, 2019

Volkswagen knows wagon fans well; we’ve been selling wagons in America since 1966. But customers are speaking clearly about their preferences—it’s an SUV world now—and the 2019 model year will mark the end of Volkswagen Golf Alltrack and SportWagen production for the United States.

“As we say goodbye to the Golf wagons, our legacy of ‘long roofs’ is something worth celebrating,” says Megan Closset, Product Manager for the Golf Family at Volkswagen of America. “From the air-cooled Squareback to the midsize Quantum and Passat wagons to today’s SportWagen and Alltrack models, every VW wagon has offered something different and something that stands out from the crowd.”

Cutaway view of the Squareback sedan.

In the era of the original Microbus, Volkswagen of America positioned its popular people hauler as a competitor to the huge, domestic station wagons of the 1960s. The first true wagon as we know them today arrived with the introduction of the Type 3 in America in 1966, which was sold as a “Squareback sedan,” using the same air-cooled, rear-mounted engine with rear-wheel-drive layout as the Beetle. Although small by American standards, the Squareback offered cargo room both behind passengers and under the front hood.

The Type 3 Squareback was followed up by the Type 412 wagon in 1971. While it also used the basic Beetle layout, the 412 offered a more advanced suspension and unibody chassis. Heralded as a break with the classic “Think Small” approach of the Beetle, the Type 412 was sold through 1974.

That year, Volkswagen replaced the 412 with the first generation of its modern midsize sedan and wagon, sold as the Dasher here in America and the Passat elsewhere in the world. Fully embracing the modern water-cooled, front-engine vehicle layout, the Dasher offered a clean design from Giorgio Giugiaro, ample space for its size, and compelling fuel economy in an era of oil embargoes. While its 75 hp seems low by modern standards, the lightweight Dasher (2,100 lbs.) gave it performance that was competitive for its time and price.

The second-generation of the Passat was renamed Quantum when it arrived in the United States in 1981 as a 1982 model. The Quantum wagon variant was a more upscale vehicle than its predecessors, available with an optional 100-hp five-cylinder engine, and advertised as “the roomiest, most elegant Volkswagen ever.” It also was the first Volkswagen wagon to offer Syncro all-wheel drive, from 1986 through 1988.

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In 1987, Volkswagen saw an opening for a more budget-priced wagon, offering a two-door variant of the Fox subcompact. One of the last “shooting brake” style cars sold in America – the name for body styles that combine two-door profiles with wagon-like cargo areas – the Fox wagon was rare in its time and even more so today.

The third generation of the Passat wagon arrived in 1990, keeping with the trend of the previous generations by being one of the largest Volkswagen sold to date. Available as a sedan or wagon, the new-to-America Passat name arrived with a sharp change in Volkswagen design, featuring a smooth, grill-free nose and aerodynamic-tuned profile. Building on the Volkswagen reputation for affordable European engineering, the Passat offered a controlled ride, upscale materials, and new touches like one-touch power windows.

When the all-new Passat arrived in America in 1998, the wagon variant quickly became a favorite among Volkswagen fans, with a variety of available engine choices and optional all-wheel-drive. The range eventually grew to include one of the most unique wagons ever sold in America, the Passat W8, powered by a 270-hp, 4-liter W8 engine paired with all-wheel-drive and an optional six-speed manual transmission. At nearly $40,000, it remains one of the rarest and most expensive Volkswagen wagon sold on these shores.

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Recognizing the customer demand for a compact wagon, Volkswagen unveiled a wagon version of the Jetta at the 2001 Los Angeles Auto Show that went on sale in March that year. Much like the popular Jetta, the wagon offered similar performance and handling with even more space, and quickly proved popular. In 2002, between the new Jetta and Passat, U.S. sales of VW wagons hit a peak of 34,396.

The Passat wagon was redesigned again in 2005, and sold through 2010 in the United States. The Jetta wagon’s redesign in 2008 to add a new chrome grille, greater interior space and an independent rear suspension made it one of the most popular wagon model Volkswagen has ever sold in the United States.

For 2015, the Jetta wagon was replaced by the modern Golf SportWagen, built off the dynamic MQB chassis, offering improved handling, space and fuel efficiency. Two years later, the Golf Alltrack arrived for wagon fans looking for a more rugged, all-wheel-drive variant.

Volkswagen plans to extend production of the popular Alltrack for the United States through December 2019 to ensure that everyone who wants to experience an affordable, European-designed wagon has the opportunity to do so.

In the coming years, an expanded lineup of SUVs and the future ID. electric vehicle family can bring the opportunity to combine style and space in a variety of ways. As the ID. BUZZ Concept shows, the flexibility of future EV chassis means that there’s always a chance for a favorite body style to make an electric comeback.

Concept vehicles are not available for sale. Specifications may change. Fuel economy will vary and depends on several factors including driving habits and vehicle condition. See www.fueleconomy.gov for details.

The VW Bucket List: Highway 1 Treffen

July 16, 2019

To gather, to meet: In Germany it’s known as treffen, but in the U.S. treffen has a slightly different meaning. Here, it refers to the Highway 1 Treffen, a yearly trek that owners of air-cooled VWs make from the Canadian to the Mexican border on Highway 1. Along the way, those 1,000 or so drivers — some who join for a day, some who make the whole journey — reunite with old friends, meet fellow VW enthusiasts, and generally enjoy all that the coast has to offer.

“We all want to drive our Volkswagens up and down the coast,” says Andre Toselli of Airhead Parts, which created and has sponsored the Treffen for the past 20 years. “This is an opportunity to do it with hundreds of your new best friends.”

Here’s why the Highway 1 Treffen should be on your bucket list:

Anyone can participate, but the actual drive of Treffen is reserved for air-cooled Volkswagens, making the event pure eye candy for lovers of vintage buses, Beetles, and Karmann Ghias. “Some of these cars deserve to be in museums, but the best part is, they’re not,” says Toselli. “People are driving them, they’re enjoying them, and they’re sharing them with other people.”

Part of the draw of the Treffen is the chance to spend time with people who share an enthusiasm for Volkswagen vehicles. “The camaraderie is just amazing,” says Mike Anderson, who has driven his 1961 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible in portions of previous Treffens — and plans to complete the entire drive this year.

Many drivers have owned a series of VW vehicles over the years — and drive other models such as a Jetta or Passat when they’re not cruising in their classic cars.

“Whenever you get a bunch of like-minded people together, you have a lot of fun,” says Tom Summers, who has driven his 1962 bus during portions of multiple Treffens. “If you want to meet people and bring good vibes, there’s nothing better than to be in a VW Beetle or a bus.”

Participants drive about 150 miles a day, winding their way through iconic settings such as the California redwoods. “It’s a beautiful drive,” says Anderson. “You’re next to the ocean, you’re not going fast, the cars are all in a convoy.”

Drivers participate in car shows at several stops and may camp in their buses or stay in the same hotels at night. There are events that drivers in Treffen gather around as well as spontaneous happenings, such as a local parade of vehicles. “You’ve got retired couples, you’ve got young couples with kids in car seats,” says Toselli. “Everyone gets along like they’ve known each other their whole lives.”

 

Jason Chenoweth drove his 1965 Bahama blue Beetle to the Treffen stop in Pacific Grove, California, near his residence. Later, he spotted a drawing of his car at the event on social media. He contacted the artist and bought a print, which now sits on his desk. “It was shocking,” Chenoweth recalls. “I said, ‘Holy cow, that’s my bug!’”

Some Canadian drivers make the trip, and Mexican car clubs drive up to meet the Treffen at the border and join in the fun at the end of the cruise. One year, Toselli says, a man shipped his bus from the Netherlands to participate. Another time, an Australian couple bought a vintage bus in Alaska, drove to the U.S. with their nine-month-old baby, completed the Treffen, and then kept on going until they reached Costa Rica.

 

It can be a challenge to keep a cavalcade of decades-old vehicles humming along for 1,700 miles, but usually a VW auto mechanic travels with the group to help with repairs. Either way, the Treffen is filled with people whose chief hobby is fixing up classic Volkswagen vehicles.

“If something happens, you have all the help in the world,” says Anderson.

“Things break, but we have parts available,” says Summers. “That’s all part of the adventure.”

Although the air-cooled VW is the primary focus of the Treffen gathering, anyone is welcome — the curious, the locals, the car fans. There’s no admission charge, no ticket necessary, so just follow the crowd and get ready to amp up your knowledge of all things VW.

 

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A new era for Volkswagen innovation in America begins with the Type 20 Concept

July 11, 2019
Concept vehicle shown. Not available for sale. Modifying vehicles can adversely affect warranty coverage & compliance with required safety and other standards

Some two decades ago, the Volkswagen Group opened a three-person office in Silicon Valley, looking to tap the region’s burgeoning tech scene for new transportation breakthroughs. Today, that office includes more than 180 engineers, designers, researchers and social scientists – the largest such office outside Germany.

Earlier this month, Volkswagen announced a new name and increased responsibility for the site: the Innovation and Engineering Center California. And to demonstrate how it will blend the best of Volkswagen’s heritage as the company embraces an electric future, the center revealed a stunning electric-powered test vehicle called the Type 20 Concept.

“The future of the Volkswagen Group will be defined by our success in developing new technology that is designed to meet our customers’ needs,” said Scott Keogh, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. “As we roll out the next generation of electric and autonomous vehicles, innovation will increasingly define who we are.”

The former Electronics and Research Laboratory has a long history of applying advanced technology to vehicles. In 2005, the lab’s “Stanley” robotic research vehicle won the DARPA Grand Challenge, navigating 132 miles of desert without a human driver or intervention. Other tech developed at the center, like predictive navigation and speech controls, have been deployed in Volkswagen Group models around the world.

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The Type 20 Concept ties the past and future together. Built by a team of 25 in less than six months from the bones of a 1962 Type 2 11-window Microbus, the Type 20 has been converted to run on a 120-hp electric motor, powered by a 10-kW battery pack – both sized to fit in the tight confines of the original bus powertrain.

While it retains most of the styling cues of the original Type 2, the designers and engineers wanted to make it a rolling advertisement for the future of automotive technology.

“When we first envisioned this project, we wanted to build something that would make a young kid want to become an automotive engineer or an automotive designer when they grow up,” said Erik Glaser, principal product designer at the IECC. “It’s the perfect representation of what we do here – it’s part German, it’s part Californian, and it puts technology first, but with a really emotional story behind it.”

The first sign of the Type 20’s real character comes from the alien-looking wheels and rearview-mirror supports. Both pieces, along with the steering wheel and seat supports in the interior, were created using “generative design” – a computing process that mimics evolution to create natural-seeming shapes that maximize strength while minimizing weight.

The headlights and VW logo aren’t just lit by LEDs. They’re part of a futuristic digital assistant powered by an intelligent speech agent built from existing Volkswagen Group technology. Microphones and cameras inside and outside the Type 20 can use facial recognition and natural-language commands to let users access the vehicle, and respond with light.

Inside, the Type 20 features a full custom interior and a Looking Glass II holographic display integrated into the dashboard, generating 3D images without the need for specialized glasses.

“The bus was put together as a way to celebrate our 20 year existence as a lab,” said Nathaniel Coser, senior staff engineer. “It’s a combination of our heritage and our future.”

Volkswagen collaborates with DonorsChoose.org to support classrooms across America

July 9, 2019

Chances are if you have a child in public school in the United States, that school has received support from DonorsChoose.org.

From its start in 2000 by a Bronx teacher, the crowdsourced giving network has raised more than $830 million for some 500,000 teachers. Four out of five public schools nationwide have had at least one DonorsChoose.org project, and educators have turned to the network to help fund everything from classroom decorations to clothes for needy students – helping some 34 million students in all.

If those numbers seem huge, it’s because teachers have been funneling their own cash into school projects for decades. Studies show the average public school teacher spends $479 of their own money on school supplies each year, and those in low-income schools spend up to 40 percent more than the average.

To build and promote on these efforts to help children thrive at school, Volkswagen is donating a total of $1 million to DonorsChoose.org to help teachers by funding classroom projects across America. Volkswagen dealers will soon receive DonorsChoose.org donation cards pre-loaded with funds from Volkswagen to share with customers during the “Drive Bigger” Summer Event. Customers who receive a donation card will be able to visit the web site and select a classroom project that they want Volkswagen to support.

Public school teachers across America call on DonorsChoose.org to help supply their classrooms.

“We are absolutely thrilled about this partnership,” says Vashti Barran, Partnerships Manager at DonorsChoose.org. “We love that dealers can engage with new customers by giving them a DonorsChoose.org donation card that they can use to support a classroom project that inspires them. This campaign truly reflects Volkswagen’s commitment to the ‘Drive Bigger’ initiative and we’re honored to be a part of it.”

As part of its $1 million donation, beyond funding donation cards distributed by dealers, Volkswagen will also make an overall corporate donation to the giving program, and will match its employee contributions from $25 to $2,500.

This partnership closely follows Volkswagen’s recent announcement for the new brand direction, built on responsibility, innovation and helping work toward the greater good. Last year, donors gave $159 million to teachers’ requests for supplies through the DonorsChoose.org.  Once a project is fully funded, the requested items are purchased and shipped directly to the school.

“Education in our public schools is a fundamental foundation for every student in this country, and DonorsChoose.org is able to support thousands of teachers and students each year,” says Jim Zabel, Vice President of Marketing for Volkswagen of America. “The Drive Bigger Event will allow us to turn our words into action.  We think our role as a car company can be much bigger than just bringing students to and from school.  With a focus to support teachers and classroom projects across America, we hope to encourage our Volkswagen dealers and customers to drive something bigger than ourselves.”

Donation cards are pre-loaded with funds from Volkswagen and are available while funds last.  Donation cards must be used by the expiration date printed on the card, and are not available for cash.

As the Beetle ends, a look at its impact on design and Volkswagen’s future

July 5, 2019
(L-R): Tamara Warren, co-host at Cheddar News Network and founder of Le Car; Volkswagen Head of Design Klaus Bischoff; Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman, professor at Pratt Institute and founder of Interwoven Design; and Paul Galloway, MoMA’s Department of Architecture and Design Curator.

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) holds over 200,000 works of art in its collection from around the world that represent the best modern and contemporary art. One of these is a 1959 Volkswagen Beetle, acquired as an example of iconic industrial design and cultural impact.  With approximately 21 million Beetle units built, it was one of the best-selling vehicles globally of the 20th century.

With the Beetle’s third generation coming to an end, Volkswagen convened a panel of design experts at MoMA in early June to explore what made the Beetle such a breakthrough, and what lessons it holds for the next revolution in transportation – electric, zero-tailpipe emission mobility.

Led by Tamara Warren, co-host at Cheddar News Network and founder of Le Car, the panel included Volkswagen Head of Design Klaus Bischoff; Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman, professor at Pratt Institute and founder of Interwoven Design; and Paul Galloway, the Collection Specialist in MoMA’s Department of Architecture and Design.

The panelists pose with a Beetle from MoMa’s collection.

“When the Beetle first arrived here in the U.S., it was a total contradiction to all of the cars on the road at the time,” said Bischoff. “But people fell in love with it. It was like a family member that lived in the garage. It was because of the shape of the car, the design of it, the simplicity.”

The group discussed the cultural significance of the Beetle, transformations in automotive design and the future of auto design. Pailes-Friedman fondly recalled the bud vase in her second generation Beetle, where she always displayed fresh flowers.

And the group weighed how the simplicity of the Beetle and accessibility could be translated into the world of electric vehicles, such as the future ID. Crozz.

“We are now entering a new era of mobility, so we have to recreate mobility again,” Bischoff explained. “We are doing so with the ID. Family, so our aim is not only to deliver mobility, but zero tailpipe emission mobility.”

How pitcher Daniel Norris lives a Volkswagen #vanlife every offseason

June 26, 2019

Professional baseball pitcher Daniel Norris says music inspired him to live on the road.

Growing up in Johnson City, Tenn., Norris was captivated by singer Jack Johnson’s songs about quirky camping adventures in a VW bus. The music left such a strong impression that Norris, at 18 years old, purchased his own 1978 VW Westfalia microbus with money earned from his first professional baseball signing bonus.

“One of [Johnson’s] songs talks about him and his wife in London, and they had an old VW,” said Norris, now 26. “That inspired me at an early age to form my own rendition of that lifestyle.”

Even after years of steady employment in professional baseball—first with the Toronto Blue Jays, and moving to the Detroit Tigers in 2015—Norris swears by van life. The pitcher still makes time outside of his busy baseball schedule to camp out of his van, nicknamed “Shaggy,” for weeks or even months at a time in the offseason.

“I really just enjoy the solitude of it,” he said. “It replenishes me before a big season.”

For Norris, it’s a ritual of his own; the athlete grabs his surfboard, the bare essentials, and hits the road. He’ll sleep on beaches, in Walmart parking lots or deep in the wilderness. The minimalist lifestyle might clash with affluent stereotypes about professional athletes, but Norris says his trips keep him centered while juggling a lucrative career and major league stardom.

“I wanted to hone in on staying true to who I was,” he explained. “Now that I have more, I want to have less.”

Norris first met Shaggy by connecting with an owner two hours from his home. The car was not originally for sale, though Norris couldn’t help but try to buy it anyway. He loved its soft cream-colored coat and was particularly impressed by its drive-ready condition with minimal rust.

“Everything was original, which I really dug about it,” he recalled. “It was a no-brainer.”

Norris made a persuasive offer and renovated his new car into the travel-ready home he dreamed of. From Tennessee, he drove Shaggy to Florida for spring training. Instead of taking a hotel room with the rest of his teammates, he’d find suitable accommodations around town—that is, those that tolerated his scrappy lifestyle.

“I would get kicked off the beach quite a few times,” he said. “One time, I decided to park at the Blue Jays’ complex. Probably, at like 11:30 or 12:00 that night, I get a knock on the window, and it’s the cops.” Luckily, the encounter ended amicably.

“There were five cops, and they all started laughing when they realized who I was. Asking me questions like, ‘Why do you do this?’” he said. “It was kind of funny.”

Some of the typical options for VW Campers over the decades.

For years, Norris and Shaggy were nearly inseparable in the offseason. To the amusement of his teammates, Norris insisted on driving Shaggy down for his seasonal Florida trips. But even though the decades-old car endured year after year of cross-country marathon drives, Norris knew Shaggy would soon reach its limits.

Shaggy broke down three times during a 2015 trip from Tennessee to Oregon. The second time, Norris blew the third cylinder in Kansas. He found a mechanic in Denver who could fix it, but to get there Norris had to drive his beloved car for eight hours at 35 mph. Shaggy lasted one more day before it failed again.

“It was pretty gnarly,” he remembered fondly. “I’m very fortunate for those experiences. I think they’ve helped mold me as a person.”

As he’s tacked on more miles, Norris has gotten handier, too. He handles quick fixes with duct tape and zip ties while learning more about Shaggy’s long-term upkeep.

“I like the idea of fixing it myself,” he said. “My dad’s the hardest worker I’ve ever met, so he’s inspired me to relish those opportunities.”

Now in his eighth year with Shaggy, and fifth season with the Tigers, Norris takes his Westfalia to the shores of South Carolina, a five- to six-hour drive from Tennessee. He’s got the system down—he downsizes more than he used to, and knows to perform maintenance checks before each major drive. Trips have shortened in recent years, though Norris doesn’t plan on abandoning van life anytime soon.

“I plan on having it my whole life,” he said. “It helped me find myself in many ways. It means a lot to me.”

What becoming ‘carbon neutral’ means to Volkswagen – and why it’s the only way forward

June 24, 2019

It’s clear the world is getting warmer. It’s time to stop avoiding the question of what to do about it.

Under its “Drive Bigger” brand direction, Volkswagen of America plans to embrace this challenge as our calling for the years ahead. By building a future designed to help tackle the problem, we plan to drive a big change in American transportation, just as we did with the original Beetle.

As one of the world’s largest automakers, the Volkswagen Group has a global responsibility – one it plans to  embrace by committing to making its vehicles and production carbon-neutral by 2050. That includes Volkswagen vehicles sold in the United States and the factory in Chattanooga, powered by a planned Group-wide investment in electric vehicles worldwide – more than $50 billion over the next four years, with approximately $10 billion from the Volkswagen brand alone.

“We have an obligation to get electrification right,” says Scott Keogh, President and Chief Executive Officer of Volkswagen Group of America. “It is critical for the planet, it is required of our industry and it is the right thing for our company. Volkswagen is uniquely positioned to deliver electric vehicles for millions.”

Earlier this year, the Volkswagen Group committed itself to the goals of the Paris Agreement, the 200-nation agreement that aims to limit global warming to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit by cutting emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants. That’s not an easy task, since most studies show the Earth has already warmed by half that amount over the past several decades. Meeting that target will require a widespread adoption of zero-tailpipe emission electric vehicles, ones that are in reach of not just wealthy buyers.

Reinhard Fischer, Senior Vice President at Volkswagen Group of America and Volkswagen North American Region Strategy, will be in charge of making Volkswagen’s sustainability goals  in America a reality. By 2050, Fischer says Volkswagen’s operations and vehicles in the United States expect to be carbon neutral.

The commitment to carbon neutrality has three key parts. First, reducing carbon dioxide emitted from vehicles and factories. Second, adopting renewable energy sources, whether at the plant level for Volkswagen and its suppliers, or encouraging their use for individual Volkswagen owners. And finally, using carbon offsets to tackle those remaining carbon emissions that can’t be further reduced.

Or as Fischer says: “Our goal is to avoid CO2. If we can’t avoid it, we’ll reduce it, and if that’s not possible, find a way to offset it.”

The Modular Electric Drive chassis (MEB)

The key to affordable electric vehicles is the same as the key to affordable everyday vehicles – using basic architectures that can be shared among millions of vehicles. Much as the Volkswagen MQB platform underpins models from the Golf to the Atlas, the upcoming MEB all-electric chassis is designed with similar flexibility in size and uses. It is expected to go into production in Europe late this year, and come to America first with the ID. CROZZ SUV1 in 2020 and the ID. BUZZ thereafter, with more to follow.

By 2028, the Volkswagen Group expects to have sold approximately 22 million EVs worldwide across all its brands, with about 70 different models available. Some 15 million of those will use the MEB platform.

While there are concerns today about whether building electric vehicles creates more carbon-dioxide emissions than gas or hybrid cars, outside research such as a report from the European Environment Agency suggests that over the lifespan of a vehicle, a battery-electric car typically has the lowest CO2 per mile driven compared to gas or diesel powered counterparts. That’s based on today’s mix of fuel sources for electricity, often a blend of natural gas, coal, nuclear and renewables such as solar and hydropower.

“As the power grid shifts towards CO2-free renewables,” says Fischer, “we believe the benefits of EVs will grow even further.”

Volkswagen of Chattanooga’s solar park

While EVs are a major piece of the Volkswagen plan, they are not the only part. Fischer’s team will be tasked with reducing carbon output from the production process, at both Volkswagen and its suppliers. Volkswagen of America already has a step in that direction with the Chattanooga plant, home to one of the largest industrial solar fields of a U.S. automaker, which provides roughly 10 percent of the plant’s electricity – more than 12 million kilowatt-hours of energy a year.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen also plans to reduce the carbon output of its traditional gas vehicles, through greater efficiency gains or hybridization.

“Electrification with zero-tailpipe emissions is an important part of our goal, but the other one is not to stand still on the traditional car,” says Fischer. “By 2040, we hope that  about 60 percent of the vehicles we sell in America would be EVs, and that another 10 to 25 percent would be hybrids of some kind.”

 

How soccer and poetry give kids a new way to compete with America SCORES

June 19, 2019
America SCORES players.

Twenty five years ago, an elementary school teacher in Washington, D.C. saw that many of her fifth-graders had nothing to do in the hours after school. She invited them to stay after school and play soccer – and when the weather turned cold, to explore poetry and spoken word performances to keep the group intact.

That combination – along with community service – form the pillars of a fast-growing non-profit now known as America SCORES that serves more than 13,000 students a year, at 311 schools, in twelve cities. Approximately 85% of participants are living at or below the poverty line.

In the fall and spring, students practice and play soccer in leagues, along with exploring creative writing and composing their own poetry that they eventually perform in competitive poetry slams. In the spring season, America SCORES teams also research and perform community service projects.

This week, America SCORES will be introduced in many American homes during the FIFA Women’s World Cup, with some help from Volkswagen. Using its own advertising time, Volkswagen, working alongside with America SCORES, created a 30-second spot for America SCORES that will air during the FIFA Women’s World Cup, alongside Volkswagen’s own “Drive Bigger” campaign.

“We’ve known of the good work America SCORES does for some time,” says Jim Zabel, vice president of marketing for Volkswagen of America. “They have a fantastic story to tell, and by producing this ad, Volkswagen hopes to demonstrate how all of us can drive something bigger than ourselves in our own communities.”

A performance by Charity Blackwell, the director of creative arts and education at DC SCORES.

 

In Washington, the founding chapter, of America SCORES, works with 3,000 low-income boys and girls across the city every year. The DC SCORES program – the only consistent, grade-school public soccer league in the district – has proven so popular that dozens of schools are on a wait list for new sites.

“It’s a mind-body-soul education for the kids,” said Michael Holstein, director of marketing and communications for DC SCORES. “It gives them athletic confidence and helps them speak and write well. They also benefit the community with a year-round effort that transcends all those elements on their own.”

Charity Blackwell, the director of creative arts and education at DC SCORES, says most children come to the program for the soccer, something many couldn’t afford to play otherwise. “But when they get into writing and communicating with each other is when the light bulbs come on,” she says. “Here’s a unique place where they can work together, take their emotions and express themselves in a safe space in the classroom.”

Blackwell also notes that the competition around poetry can be as challenging as the competition on a soccer field. Once they get the basics of poetry, the DC SCORES players receive coaching and feedback from spoken-word artists and compete to reach a city-wide poetry slam where their best efforts will be judged.

“It’s all about mixing public speaking and theater, with their poetry,” says Blackwell. “They’re judged on their written work, their presentation, their hand gestures, and voice projection. Some may start out thinking poetry’s not a sport, but it can get pretty tough.”

“We’ll see kids who are great athletes but shy in public, who will get up on stage and just come alive, or kids who aren’t great at soccer excel in spoken word,” adds Holstein. “It’s a cool experience to see kids be more than they thought they were.”

America SCORES players.

U.S. soccer star Mia Hamm teams up with Volkswagen to inspire young women

June 18, 2019
Mia Hamm with the team.

Mia Hamm – one of the most important and influential female athletes of all time — dropped in and surprised a girls’ soccer team in Palo Alto, Calif. The five-time U.S. Soccer Player of the year, two-time Olympic gold medalist and Soccer Hall of Famer was invited by Volkswagen of America to crash the girls’ practice, train with the squad and offer advice to the next generation of young female soccer players.

Hamm, who retired in 2004 as the leading goal scorer – male or female – in the world, played an integral role in popularizing the sport and changing the status of the women’s athletics back in the late-1990s. Her role in the record-setting 1999 Women’s World Cup paved the way for today’s powerhouse team.

For weeks, Volkswagen of America – who is the presenting sponsor of U.S. Soccer – and Palo Alto Soccer Club worked behind the scenes to make the event possible, coordinating with coaches and parents to keep the surprise under wraps for the players.

“We wanted the girls to have the best experience possible,” says the team’s main coach, David Madrigal.

And it worked. The 18 starry-eyed, pony-tailed players exploded in fits of laughter and screams of delight when the soccer legend crashed their team huddle.

Among the crowd was eighth grader Finley Craig. The 14-year-old fan says she was empowered by Hamm’s comments on self-determination, teamwork and goal setting. “She’s one of my role models and not just in soccer, but in life,” says Craig. “She told me ‘don’t let anyone tell you that boys are better than girls’ and to ‘follow my dreams without interruption.’”

Her mom, Jodie Craig, who was standing on the sidelines during the reveal, was also star struck. “Mia was so kind and down to Earth. She’s a great inspiration for these young girls coming up as young women and as young women athletes,” Craig says.

Hamm ran drills with the girls before they headed to a U.S. women’s soccer match against South Africa at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.

Hamm stuck around the field for several hours, running drills, snapping pictures and signing soccer balls for the group before they headed to a U.S. women’s soccer match against South Africa at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. The team was even able to head down to the field and watch the national team perform warm up exercises before the game started. “It was a surreal moment for all of us,” says Madrigal. “I think it sunk in for all of us then that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Weeks later, Madrigal still says the magic of meeting Hamm still hasn’t worn off his players. “I see a fire, an energy, a boost of confidence, really, instilled in them that I haven’t seen before,” says Madrigal. “When somebody like Mia tells you can achieve it, you believe in it.”

Hamm with several of the players in a Volkswagen Atlas.

Watch the Volkswagen ID. R drive the fastest all-electric lap around the Nurburgring

June 11, 2019

Thirty-six years ago, one of the world’s fastest race cars – a Porsche 956 – tore around the 12.9 miles of the Nürburgring Nordschelife race track in a scant 6 minutes, 11.13 seconds. That record stood for more than three decades as an ultimate testament to power, engineering and skill, only falling to an experimental Porsche last year that was custom-built for the task.

Last Monday, that record was surpassed for the second time – by an all-electric car.

The Volkswagen ID. R electric race car that set a record for climbing Pikes Peak last year now owns the record for fastest electric car around the Nürburgring. Driver Romain Dumas made the lap in 6:05.336 minutes beating the previous EV record set in 2017 by 40.564 seconds – and in the process, surpassing every fossil-fuel powered record at the track save one.

“To be a record-holder on the Nordschleife makes me unbelievably proud,” says Dumas. “For me, this is the best and most difficult race track in the world. The ID. R was perfectly prepared for the Nordschleife and it was so much fun to experience the blistering acceleration and rapid cornering speeds.”

With a redesigned aerodynamic package meant to maximize the 670-hp ID.R’s top speed, Dumas averaged 127.36 mph around the course. As you can see from the video below, at that speed the Green Hell becomes a frightening blur of hills and curves.

The ID. R is more than just a fast car. From quick-battery charging and cooling to electrical shielding in high-voltage environments, the technology gleaned from the ID. R may have everyday applications for Volkswagen’s upcoming wave of electric vehicles, such as the ID. CROZZ and ID. BUZZ.

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Rudolph Volkswagen of El Paso
Rudolph Volkswagen of El Paso
5505 S Desert Blvd
El Paso, TX, 79932 US
(915) 845-8500
https://di-uploads-development.dealerinspire.com/rudolphvwofelpaso/uploads/2018/09/RudolphOGImage.png
Rudolph Volkswagen of El Paso 31.8570197, -106.5767303.