Volkswagen Newsroom

How a photographer draws inspiration from the Arteon

August 21, 2018

Just after college, Douglas Sonders traded his classic convertible sports car for some professional-level digital camera equipment gear to document a tour with a rock band. It’s a gamble that’s still paying off today.

From his days on a tour bus, Sonders’ award-winning career as a photographer and filmmaker now spans everything from celebrity magazine-cover portraits to industrial applications for virtual reality. But it was a new challenge to take a Volkswagen Arteon, the striking new flagship that goes on sale late this year, and apply his creativity. The results: a dramatic and beautiful photo series unveiled recently at the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles.

European model vehicle shown. Specifications may change.

“I’ve never had a car company just toss me the keys to a pre-production car and give me carte blanche,” says Sonders. “The Volkswagen Arteon has a beautiful modern edge, from the shoulder lines to the grille, and I wanted to do it justice.”

Working with models Shelby Bay and Krislian Rodriguez, along with a Phase One XF IQ3 100MP camera, Sonders crafted a series of images with the Arteon as a central feature. The look was designed to evoke the early techno era of the 1980s and some of its influences in modern life, with sharp-angled slices of color and clothing playing off the Arteon’s curves. (The LED-lit room was also an inspiration for a certain moody superhero’s lab.)

“I loved this space, and thought the symmetry and drama of the ceiling with the dark background worked well,” Sonders said. “It’s important to capture a car’s essence. I develop an emotional attachment to my cars, and they each have a personality in their designs.”

The photos didn’t just hang statically. Visitors to the unveiling were able to try out an interactive augmented reality experience through an app Sonders and his company, eXpanded eXistence, developed. Each photograph would trigger a pre-programmed interactive 3D visuals that would emanate from a given print.

“All of it eventually ties back to how we look at the world. I love the idea of exploring different platforms and technologies to give viewers a unique perspective towards a concept. I loved being able to incorporate my love for photography, film, and augmented reality into one campaign,” he says.


Cruising the coast in air-cooled style for Treffen 2018

August 17, 2018

If you were lucky enough to be driving along the West Coast last month, you might have seen a few more classic Volkswagens than usual, and a couple that you might not have recognized. That was the 2018 edition of the Highway 1 Treffen, the annual 1,700-odd-mile cruise from Canada to Mexico along some of the most beautiful roads in America.

This year, dozens of VW Buses, Beetles, Karmann Ghias, Type 412s and other models from Volkswagen’s air-cooled era took part in the caravan. The Volkswagen Type 3 wasn’t as beloved as the Beetle in the period between 1966 and 1973 when it was sold in the United States, but the surviving wagons and hatchbacks have a devoted following today. The ride even included a few cars that were never officially sold here, including a Volkswagen Type 147 – a two-door panel van sold in Europe mainly as a postal delivery truck and nicknamed the Fridolin.

You can check out our photos below, then set your calendar to check out Treffen when it returns in 2019.


Winning streak continues with a 1-2 finish for VW Andretti Rallycross team

August 6, 2018

Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross proved the class of the field as the Americas Rallycross Championship (ARX) made its maiden visit to Canada and the Trois-Rivières circuit last weekend. Championship leader Scott Speed scored a clean sweep, leading every session on the way to the second back-to-back ARX victory. Close behind Speed in the Final was his teammate, Tanner Foust, who bounced back from a big accident on Saturday afternoon to claim a third consecutive podium finish.

“I’m really proud to get the win this weekend, particularly on a track like this,” said Speed after the checkered flag. “This type of rally-style racing on thick gravel and with constantly changing conditions was totally foreign to me a few years ago, so I’m happy to see the results of my study and the team’s hard work pay off with a dialed-in Beetle and a great result in the race.”

Speed led from the outset on the tight Trois-Rivières track, winning his two qualifying rounds on Saturday. Despite the reigning champion’s early success, the closeness of competitors’ lap times prompted Speed and the Volkswagen Andretti engineers and mechanics to make changes to the No. 41 Oberto Circle K Beetle Rallycross overnight.

The team’s work paid off on Sunday, benefiting Speed to the tune of three more round wins, before ultimate victory in the Final. Speed’s sweep of the weekend was the first such accomplishment in ARX history.

Foust’s path to the podium was more complicated than Speed’s while moving up through the field from his third-place starting position on Lap 1, Foust was forced into the wall by a competitor, causing significant damage to his No. 34 Rockstar Energy Drink Beetle Rallycross. Unable to restart the red-flagged race, Foust’s team set about the task of rebuilding his car for Sunday.

“It’s been a tough weekend for the Rockstar Energy Drink guys, but they’ve done an incredible job not only to put this car back together but make it competitive in a quick, overnight rebuild,” said Foust. “I’m hoping for some better luck in the next events, because I know we’ve got the speed to grab another win as payback.”

The overnight rebuild was successful, and Foust returned to the track with a vengeance, easily winning his third qualifying heat.

Foust returned stronger than ever, rising from a second-row starting position in the first Semifinal to finish second behind Speed. He duplicated the same move in the Final with a dynamite start and was the first driver to challenge his teammate, chasing the championship-leader to the checkered flag.

With their 1-2 sweep at Trois-Rivières, the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross drivers extended their lead in the championship table, making it a virtual certainty that the inaugural ARX title will go to one of the two Beetle Rallycross drivers. Before the final round of the inaugural running of the Americas Rallycross Championship at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) at the end of September, Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross will make an exhibition appearance at the Nitro World Games at the Utah Motorsports Campus, September 22-23.

The ARX highlight broadcast show of the Trois-Rivières round will air on CBS Sports Wednesday, August 8th at 7:00 PM (ET).

Taking the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack to new heights

August 1, 2018
Modifying vehicles can adversely affect reliability, warranty coverage, & compliance with safety and other standards.

Jason Mariani always knew he wanted to own a wagon; it was just a matter of time and choosing the right vehicle to meet his needs. When he found the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack, he knew he discovered much more than he was looking for.

The Golf Alltrack arrived in the U.S. in 2016 and has been gaining momentum among adventure-seekers, outdoor enthusiasts and families since. Mariani knew the Alltrack was the perfect car for his lifestyle because he could fit both his growing family and bicycles – ideal for the avid cyclist and new father.

“I wanted a sporty, fun car that also worked for my ‘dad’ responsibilities,” he explained.

That would have been enough for many owners. Not for Mariani, who’s since embarked on personalizing his Golf Alltrack into one eye-catching wagon. When Mariani first purchased his Alltrack, he wanted to see what other owners were doing to customize their vehicles. Starting in a popular VW owners forum, Jason landed on the Alltrack Owners Facebook page created by a community of Alltrack owners. Since joining as a member where he observed conversations and learned tips and tricks from other owners, he has watched the group more than triple in size and he has taken on the role of page moderator.

Today, the group has three moderators representing three regions: West Coast, Midwest and East coast. Members are from across the country and use their vehicles for a variety of purposes, ranging from shuttling kids, to going on adventures off the paved road with their all-wheel-drive capability.

The Alltrack Owners page also offered inspiration for Mariani as he made the Alltrack his own.1 Other owners gave ideas for headlights, taillights, accessories and more to make his car fit his lifestyle and interests. Additionally, he’s had the opportunity to meet other owners when he’s traveled around the country.

“This group is one of the most unique communities I have been a part of,” said Mariani. “Everyone is incredibly welcoming and they are always willing to lend a hand, offer advice or share their personal experiences of working on their cars.”

Recently, Mariani packed his Alltrack with his family and cycling gear, drove from New Jersey to Boston, Massachusetts for a 100-mile charity race. Late this summer, he plans to meet up with other Alltrack owners at Waterfest, an annual Northeast gathering of Volkswagen enthusiasts from all over the country.

“The beauty of the Alltrack community is we’ve got everybody,” says Mariani. “We’ve got moms who use this car for soccer duties, or those who turn the car sportier, and others who lookto take it off paved roads. Within the community, everyone is respectful, supportive and it’s great to see the versatility of the vehicle.”

Inside one man’s unique collection of 114 Golfs

July 24, 2018

Josef Juza may not own the world’s largest private collection of Volkswagen Golfs – but with 114 examples, many of them rare and odd, it’s hard to imagine a more passionate fan.

Juza, a chimney sweep from Austria, began his collection as part of his job, driving a second-generation, European-spec VW Caddy pickup for work. From there the collection began to grow; a normal Golf for the family, a Cabrio for summer, a GTI for driving fun and even a Golf Country for wintertime, or as Juza calls it, “the right Golf for every occasion.”

“When I sat in a Golf for the first time I just had the feeling that this car had been built for me alone,” Juza says. “The seat position, driving fun, everyday usability — it was all exactly as I like it.”

Then, at a car show in the mid-1990s, Juza picked up his first Mk1 Golf with a dovetail spoiler. That sparked the collection that now fills a warehouse outside Vienna. How it grew so fast will sound familiar to anyone who’s ever been tempted by shopping online: “I only had to have a quick look on the Internet and I soon found another great vehicle that cost practically nothing,” Juza says. “The transport was often more expensive than the price of the vehicle.”

Today, several of what Juza calls his “Golf Pack” stands out as rare and desirable examples. Start with one of the oldest, a 1974 pre-production Golf fitted with a forward-sliding door. There’s not one but two early all-electric Golfs, known as CitySTROMer I and II, which used gel-electrolyte batteries. Juza has one of only 71 Golf G60 Limited models, which were hand-built by Volkswagen Motorsport and produced 207 hp from a supercharged four-cylinder engine, and a slightly less-rare 1989 Rallye Golf, the 181-hp race-bred model.


From there, things can take a turn for the weird. Juza owns two of the three stairway cars built off VW Pickups that were used by the Bremen airport, and several campers. And then there’s a first-generation GTI that was customized by a German tuner for a Middle Eastern sheikh with wood inserts, topgrain leather and that most important of mid-80s luxury items, a carphone.

“These are all mementoes for me of a certain time,” Juza says. “Back then you were the king of the disco with a Golf like this.”

If taking care of 114 vehicles sounds like a challenge for one man, it is. Juza plans to open his collection to the public as a sort of Golf museum next spring, with more space for display. And when asked which five he would take above all others, Juza has an answer that offers a bit more perspective on his attachment:

“I think I would close down the entire collection,” he says. “I would prefer to do without all of them than have to choose just a few.”

Celebrating ten years of Volkswagen in Chattanooga

July 19, 2018


Ten years ago this week, Volkswagen made it official: It wanted to build one of the world’s most advanced automotive assembly factories in the hills outside Chattanooga, Tenn.

And since then a series of successful milestones – from the 700,000th Passat to the new expansion for the growing Atlas line – has shown how VW and Chattanooga have built a partnership for the future.

Since its launch, the initial investment of approximately $1 billion in Chattanooga, and the commitment to hire 2,000 team members has grown to more than $2.3 billion, resulting in 3,500 jobs and the assembly of nearly 800,000 vehicles.

“Volkswagen Chattanooga’s success is important to the overall strategy of the Volkswagen Group,” said Antonio Pinto, president and CEO of Volkswagen Chattanooga. “Reaching this milestone has only been possible through the contributions of each of our 3,500 team members and through the collaboration with the City of Chattanooga, Hamilton County and the State of Tennessee. We look forward to many more years filled with growth and progress.”

From award-winning vehicles to standout education programs to sustainability efforts, Volkswagen Chattanooga’s presence goes well-beyond the walls of the world’s first LEED Platinum certified automotive factory.

Watch the video celebrating ten years of Volkswagen in Chattanooga below.


VW Andretti Rallycross dominates at Americas Rallycross Championship in Austin

July 16, 2018

Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross is on a winning streak, extending its Championship lead with first and third-place finishes this weekend at the second Americas Rallycross Championship (ARX) race at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas. Scott Speed claimed his first victory of the year ahead of his VW teammate, Tanner Foust, who earned a hard-fought third-place finish on Saturday afternoon.

“Getting the win this weekend is a great accomplishment for the Volkswagen Andretti team,” said Speed. “The track conditions changed throughout the day and I enjoyed the challenge of trying to find where the grip was. It is great to back at COTA, and to be racing rallycross in America.”

Speed dominated the event from the outset, winning his first three qualifying heats. In the fourth and final qualifying round, contact with another competitor knocked the No. 41 Oberto Circle K Beetle Rallycross to the back of the field. The resulting fourth-place finish was the only blemish on Speed’s winning day, and the reigning champion bounced back to secure his first victory of the season.

Tanner Foust shadowed Speed for most of the day; securing second place finishes from difficult outside grid positions in the first three qualifying rounds. In the fourth qualifying heat, Foust took advantage of his teammate’s troubles to earn a win, setting up a first-place starting position in his semifinal. Victory for the No. 34 Rockstar Energy Drink Beetle Rallycross in semifinal 2 granted the championship leader a second-place grid position for the final. Forced to take the longer Joker on the first lap of the race put Foust at the rear of the field, but the rallycross and drifting veteran raced hard to work his way forward, finishing in a gritty third position at the checkered flag.

“There was a lot of decision making in the first 100 feet of the track, and the only hope was that as many vehicles as possible would follow me into the Joker,” explained Foust after the race. “Our strategy did not work in the end, and I had to work hard to get the third-place finish for the team. It was great to see all the new fans that came out in this Texas heat and I’m looking forward to coming back in September.”

The results of the weekend place the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross drivers at the top of the championship standings — Scott Speed holds a one-point lead over teammate Foust. Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross will return to action next month north of the border in Trois-Rivières, Quebec, August 4-5.

The ARX highlight broadcast show of the COTA round will air on CBS Sports Wednesday, July 18 at 8:00 PM (ET).


Volkswagen’s Car-Net gives owners additional peace of mind with three new features

July 13, 2018

Volkswagen Car-Net® Security & Service1 has always been there for you.  From sending destinations directly to your compatible navigation system, obtaining Vehicle Health Reports, Remote Vehicle Access, Guardian Alerts,2 or safety features like Automatic Crash Notification (ACN),3 Emergency Call,3 and Roadside Assistance,4 it’s a great way to help you stay connected when you are on the move. And now, the VW Car-Net app has added three new valuable Security and Service features that only strengthens the relationship between you and your VW.

The first new feature is Curfew Alert,2 great for parents with teen drivers. Simply turn on the Curfew alert and you will be notified anytime your vehicle is driven – giving you added peace of mind knowing if your teenage driver is taking the car without permission. Next is Valet Alert,2 which provides you added confidence when valeting your vehicle. Once the alert is turned on, you will be notified if your Car-Net equipped VW moves more than 0.2 miles from your location. Both alerts can be sent by text, email or both, and easily turned on or turned off in the Vehicle Options menu in the Car-Net app.

The third new feature, Parking Information powered by Parkopedia, can help make your lives easier by providing off-street parking information.5 You can find available parking locations either near you or a point of interest. Once you click on a specific location, the address, hours of operation and pricing will populate. Users can also send the location to their car’s navigation system, if so equipped, by tapping the “Send to My VW” button.

VW Car-Net Security & Service is available on select models/trims. Please consult your dealer or to learn more. New vehicle owners can subscribe to the Car-Net trial at the dealership at the time of purchase or by pressing the i-Button in the overhead console and speak with a representative. To get information on subscription prices after trial, call (877) 820-2290 or go to

A Volkswagen for Everyone

July 2, 2018

Change might mean just figuring out how the right size VW works better for your life — for example, how a cargo carrier could help you on those summer camping trips. And change might also mean figuring out which upsized VW is better for your life — to add that extra grocery-carrying space or third row for the soccer team. Discover the adaptable add-ons and new models that fit the you of today — and tomorrow.

Upsize: Atlas
A Great Fit for the Extenda-Family

You’ve hit that point in your family life in which the kids much prefer travelling in packs — or pairs— and you prefer carpooling, too. The Atlas lets you all ride like kings and queens, not sardines, with three super-roomy fold-down rows, four USB ports, 17 cupholders, and available Driver Assistance1 features for on-the-road help amid the giggliest car pools. Add a Cargo Box Carrier,2 and packing up for the annual holiday road trip will be a piece of cake.

Right Size: Tiguan
Adapt for Urban Adventure Seekers

You’ve successfully tested the capacity of your Tiguan with all things off-road. That 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with a transport accessory2 is perfect for skis, mountain bikes, or whatever your personal adrenaline rush needs to make its heart content. Your new passion? Exploring your urban environs with vintage furniture scores, multi-couple date nights, and bags and gear for weekend escapes.

VW DriverGear or Accessories:

They can help solve all your driving and storage conundrums (and make you look cool). Even better? The Genuine Volkswagen Accessories Warranty offers coverage for 12 months or 12,000 miles, whichever occurs first.3 To find more ideas and get your favorite items, click here.

Right Size: Alltrack or SportWagen
The Road Less Traveled Is Always Good

You got the Alltrack or SportWagen because you knew it could keep up with your adventurous streak. That doesn’t have to change now that out-of-town soccer tournaments are as likely as backroad escapes. (And you’ll enjoy both thanks to the 4MOTION® all-wheel drive, which comes standard on the Alltrack and is available on the SportWagen. It can send torque to the rear axle just when you need it.) To make sure you can take advantage of non-soccer weekends, add base carrier bars and a bike or kayak holder attachment2 — enjoy the evolution.

Right Size: Passat
More Space for the Family on the Move

The sheer volume of kids’ stuff seems to grow right along with them, leading you to yearn for a little more room. Your Passat has the dedicated space — with more than three feet of rear legroom — for weeklong vacations, holidays at the grandparents, or all those super-size groceries.

Upsize: Jetta
Superior Sound for the Independent Go-Getter

A redesign and a teched-out interior in the all-new 2019 Jetta may force your friends into a serious case of VW envy. And with some of the vehicle’s features, who wouldn’t feel that way? Take the available BeatsAudio™ for example. It’s described as “sound you can feel” for a reason. It may net you the title of DFD (the designated festival driver).

Upsize: Golf or Golf GTI
Because You Just Love to Drive

You know that driving is more than just getting from point A to point B. That’s why the Golf or Golf GTI —  in all its customizable glory — is your urban spirit vehicle. Whether you’re toting the week’s groceries or simply out to enjoy the road, the unmistakable profile of either hatch turns heads. Perfection.

Upsize: Arteon
An Artful Approach for the Style Connoisseur

Do you find inspiration is everywhere, from gallery walls to well-crafted meals? Then add the all-new Arteon — with a classic fastback design as your style statement — to your driveway. It’s like a navigable work of art, with both design and substance (hello, turbocharged engine with an 8-speed automatic transmission) on display. It makes art openings and grocery runs equally sublime. Available this fall.

G-O-A-L: Soccer & VW Take the World Stage

June 28, 2018

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Ide VW of East Rochester
Ide VW of East Rochester
333 North Washington Street
Rochester, NY, 14445 United States
(585) 586-2225
Ide VW of East Rochester 43.120696, -77.486345.