Number of Cylinders: 4
Warranty: Vehicle does NOT have an existing warranty
Drive Type: 2
Olathe, Kansas, United States
The body is stellar, as straight as an arrow, and the paint finish is literally a show-quality mirror on all sides. Even the underside of the Bus was sprayed in Sealing Wax Red and it is literally prettier than brand new on the top side and underside as well. The interior is equally as gorgeous with great attention to detail in both parts and materials. The engine was fully rebuilt and detailed. This Bus truly has it all, beauty, uniqueness, accuracy, rarity, and significance beyond what you will typically see on the public market.
Volkswagen's product portfolio may be as extensive these days as any other carmaker in the business. But if you still think of the original Beetle as synonymous with the brand, that's probably because a) you're old and b) the Beetle was the company's only product until the mid-50s.
Sixty years ago Wilhelm Karmann (founder of the eponymous coachbuilder) was in Paris for the auto salon and met up with Luigi Segre and his team from Carrozzeria Ghia who showed him what was essentially a "Beetle in a sports coat." A month later they showed it to Volkswagen chief Heinrich Nordhoff who, setting aside his conservative tastes, approved it for production. And so the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia was born, giving the German marque a second product line. It still used Beetle mechanicals and was built at the same Karmann factory in Onsabrück that was already assembling the Beetle Cabriolet.
It took another couple of years to put the design into production, but from 1955 to 1974, Volkswagen and Karmann built 362,601 coupes and 80,881 of the subsequent convertible that arrived in 1957. Today the Onsabrück factory is part of the VW Group, handling production of the Golf Cabriolet, XL1 and Porsche Boxster and Cayman, and with that original Karmann Ghia prototype as part of its factory collection.
Volkswagen built a stonking, narrow-angle V6 in the 1980s and 1990s that was found in three different generations of the Golf (their performance iterations, obviously), three generations of the Passat, the New Beetle, the Corrado and the Touareg, among other VWs, a spate of Audis, Seats, a Skoda, and even the Porsche Cayenne. It was a sad day when it was announced that it'd be put out to pasture.
Rejoice, though, fans of the venerable VR6, because Volkswagen has a new, modern variant in the works that, according to AutoWeek, features direct injection and can easily be fitted with forced induction. In fact, AW mentions Volkswagen insiders that claim this unit will spawn a production version of the twin-turbo V6 shown on the Design Vision GTI from this year's Wörthersee festival. That unit produced an epic 503 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque.
Don't expect a production unit with that level of power (although it would make a hardy RS4 powerplant), though. In reality, AutoWeek is suspecting anywhere from 340 to 450 horsepower from the new mill. When it arrives at an undisclosed date in the future, it'll likely be found in the Passat and Passat CC as well as the production version of the CrossBlue.
The redesigned Volkswagen Passat has been a decent seller since its debut in 2011, but sales have apparently dropped off enough that the automaker is trimming some of the employees from its Chattanooga, TN assembly plant. According to Automotive News, Volkswagen will be cutting shifts and laying off 500 contracted workers in response to slowing sales.
Currently, the plant has three teams running 10-hour shifts Monday through Saturday, but starting May 13, this will be reduced down to two teams running 10-hour shifts Monday through Thursday. This will be done to reduce dealer inventory (the article says that VW dealers, on average, have a 97-day supply of Passats) and production capacity (currently running at an annual pace of 170,000 units, which is more than the 150,000 annual units the plant was planned to produce).
This, of course, isn't saying that the Passat has been a failure since VW added 200 full-time employees to the plant in February 2012 to keep up with increased demand. The AN article says that automakers frequently overstaff plants during the launch of a new product - or in this case, a new product and a new plant - but eventually reduce the workers as things run smoother and more efficiently.