Archive 2015

Events 2015

Autonomous Motoring.

Autonomous Motoring themed island.

Three Volkswagen models – Golf 53+1, Passat Caroline and Polo driving robot Klaus – demonstrate three unique autonomous motoring possibilities. Common to all of them is the pioneering sensor technology that enables the car to recognise both the route and any obstructions. All three vehicles were successful in trials. Research is being done on subsequent, more advanced self-driving vehicles. The newly created themed island provides insights into the field of automated automobile research until 9 October 2016

Model cars fair 2015.

Model cars, brochures, badges on 15 November 2015.

The sixth model cars fair at the AutoMuseum Volkswagen in cooperation with automania promises again a great variouty on interesting models in nearly all scales, brochures and badges. A Must Have for every collector. Come to the museum on Sunday, 15 November 2015 from 10.00 h am till 2.00 h pm. Entrance fee for all visitors is 3,- € only. Exhibitors have to resgister themselves at Kai Seehase, e-mail, please.

River Deep - Mountain High.

Focussing on the fun that Volkswagen has brought to people in their free time - from 5 November 2015 to 7 February 2016. EXTENTED to 21 February 2016.

With the 'River Deep – Mountain High' special exhibition, the Volkswagen AutoMuseum is focussing on the fun that Volkswagen has brought to people in their free time. This was already apparent with the Beetle and its curious conversions, such as the floating so-called Messina Beetle, the dune buggy variants and the Volkswagen Baja. Leisure time benchmarks, however, were also set by Volkswagen with the Ducat, a special body work on Golf 1 chassis. The highlight of the exhibition is the Golf Country, the 'mother of Volkswagen SUVs', which is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The exhibition will be open until 21 February 2016.

In Europe it is pretty rare to see such vehicles. At present, however, one is to be found in the AutoMuseum: genuine Baja California Beetles came from the US state of California – their owners used to tear through the sand there and in the neighbouring Mexican coastal regions. Raised suspension, rudimental interior and wide tyres (here: 265 wheels at the back), plus a souped-up engine and a bonnet that is barely still there – this 'Baja' from RoadRage Cycles International promises a whole lot of driving fun.

Käfer Baja California

A motorbike with a Beetle engine – something that Técnica Paulista de Máquinas in São Paulo built on a full production basis from 1992 to 1999. Most of the 1,000 bikes went to the military, with only a few being exported. Three of those came to Germany. Named after the Greek goddess 'Kahena', the two-wheeler was powered by a Mexico boxer engine.

Kahena Motorrad

This Ducat is a one-off based on a 1977 Golf. Günter Dukat from Arbon in Switzerland converted it in 1981 into a plastic sports coupé, based on his own design. He used parts with all sorts of different origins for the short, four-metre car, which weighed just 930 kilos. Bumpers, wing mirrors, rear lights and indicators, for example, came from Ferrari and the flip-up headlights were originally from a Porsche.


Based on the VW up!, Volkswagen presented this show car at the 2011 Frankfurt International Motor Show, generating smiles just from its looks alone. Unlike the historic models in whose tracks it followed, the buggy up! has a water-cooled three-cylinder engine under its lowered front. The chic two-seater with an interior that can be washed out and a striking roll-over bar is reminiscent in its colouring of the Apal Buggy. And if on any trip the sun should ever fail to shine, there is a lightweight canvas hood.

Up! Buggy

A pioneer for later SUV and cross models: the Golf Country. Between April 1990 and December 1991, Steyr Daimler Puch in Graz built 7,735 units. Of the higher specification Chrome Edition on display in the AutoMuseum only 558 were produced. The Golf Country was based on the CL Syncro four-door model. Using an auxiliary frame, the chassis was raised 120 mm, thus increasing ground clearance to 180 mm. Typical features were the 'bull bars', the underbody protection and the spare-wheel bracket, which emphasised the car's off-road style.

Golf Country

Conceived as a leisure vehicle for surfers, the Country Buggy formed the template for the VW Type 181. When production of the Beetle came to an end in the late 1960s, the plant in Melbourne (Australia), which was in the process of being wound down, brought out this model that they had developed themselves and also offered it to the Wolfsburg executives for further utilisation – not least, perhaps, in order to keep the plant going after all...

Tracks in time. Paintings, graphics, sculptures.

An exhibition of Natalia und Wladimir Rudolf. From 9. October to 9. December 2015.
Regarding the series "Mobilart. Arts at the AutoMuseum Volkswagen."

“MobileArt. Art at the AutoMuseum Volkswagen.” is the name of a new series at the AutoMuseum Volkswagen offering a new platform to artists who deal with automotive topics in the widest sense. The artist couple Natalia and Wladimir Rudolf are kicking off the series with the exhibition “The traces of time. Paintings, Graphics, Sculptures.” Natalia Rudolf has a penchant for vintage cars and she presents their dynamism, charm and elegance with her very own style. Wladimir Rudolf's sculptures in the style of Giacometti show different motivations and forms of motion.

Classic jazz among classic cars.

Saratoga Seven plays at the AutoMuseum at 7 pm on 25 September 2015

Another classic at the AutoMuseum: the well-known popular jazz band "Saratoga Seven" from Braunschweig plays traditional Dixie music on Friday, 25 September 2015 starting at 7 pm. As on previous appearances at the AutoMuseum, the focus here will be on joining in to the rousing sounds of New Orleans jazz and blues by originators of jazz such as Louis Armstrong. "I don’t get a thing if it ain’t got that swing" is the slogan of the rhythm group ( Ticket sales start with immediate effect. Tickets are obtainable exclusively from the AutoMuseum. Price per ticket: €15 – Doors open 6 pm.

Inside small. Outside big. 40 Years of Polo.

Special Polo exhibition from 23 July to 4 October 2015 - be prolonged till 18 October 2015

Young, dynamic, unconventional – that’s one way of describing the Polo. The smaller brother of the Golf is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. The AutoMuseum Volkswagen is hosting a special exhibition dedicated to this occasion, which presents the wealth of ideas from this classic car in its first two generations. It goes without saying that the “Original Polo” from 1975 will be on display, but also the sporty versions such as the still very popular Polo Coupé G 40 and some private conversions, e.g. to a Derby Cabriolet or the widened motorsport version. The exhibition will run from 23 July to 4 October 2015.

Volkswagen Motorsport developed with the wide-bodied Polo Mk2 G40 a conversion kit for road tuning. The widened body fitted both onto the chassis of the coupé and of the hatchback. In addition to being converted by owners themselves, the vehicles could also be ordered already converted. The car shown is one of the first two made by Volkswagen Motorsport and a pre-production version of the G40 range.

Polo G40 Breitbau

In 1982, with the support of Volkswagen AG, Rainer Buchmann, a celebrated car tuner of the 1980s, brought out the so-called bb Buchmann Polo – 20x as the bb Polo Carat in metallic blue and 20x as the bb Polo Paris in metallic blackberry. In addition to wheel arch extensions and wider tyres, the car had elaborate interior trim and the digital DINFOS display technology with rocker switches integrated within the steering wheel.

Buchmann Polo

The money-saving technologies that Volkswagen was already working on in the 1970s included among others aerodynamics. Based on the Polo Mk1 facelift, this saw, for example, the creation of the now almost forgotten E 80, a prototype with covers, spoilers and a front trim panel designed to significantly reduce air resistance. The E 80 was also given a direct injection diesel engine – in this case even charged up by means of a Bendix supercharger.

As the Trabant plant in Zwickau was gradually taken over, Volkswagen began production of the Polo. The four-stroke Trabant and the Polo rolled off the line in parallel, with production in the case of the Polo being so-called SKD assembly from pre-produced modules. The Polo on show is the first one from Saxony: it was built on 21 May 1990. Just under nine months later, production of the second generation Golf replaced the Polo Mk2.

Volkswagen took a bold step with this version of the Polo – the Derby, complete with boot, which made its debut in 1977. In the early eighties, it too was given a facelift, but remained a saloon with spacious boot. A striking model, as it is very rare, is the Derby-based cabriolet, which was created by a company called Dietrich in Münster. The soft-top can be manually dropped down almost completely out of sight.

Probably the least known creation on the basis of Polo engineering is a motorbike with a sidecar, which was converted at home in his garage by a Volkswagen employee. Why he did so, remains his secret! He installed a complete Polo power pack transversely into the sidecar, with both rear wheels being powered from there. Changing the motorbike's gears is not done via a foot pedal, but rather via a standard gear lever from the Polo.

Test drives with prototypes.

Regarding the International Museum Day on 17 May 2015.

On Sunday, 17 May 2015, the annual International Museum Day 2015 takes place under the motto "Museum – Society – Future". AutoMuseum Volkswagen is taking part in this event in the context of its special exhibition "Generation Volkswagen. Limited production series. Concept cars. Prototypes." Two development engineers present their future models and will be happy to answer questions about future-oriented research at Volkswagen. In tandem with this, the visitors will have the unique opportunity to experience a test drive as a front-seat passenger in the EcoRacer, a roadster from 2005, as well as in the XL1.

40th Jubilee Meeting in Wolfsburg.

From 14 to 17 May 2015. / 40 Years of the Pretzel Window Club - Anniversary Meeting at Wolfsburg.

40 years ago, a small community of lovers of the "Pretzel Beetle" (with divided rear window) and the generation following it, the "Ovali", banded together to form the Pretzel Window Club (or, in German: Brezelfenstervereinigung e.V.). The club celebrates its anniversary at the place where the car rolled off the assembly line: in Wolfsburg. The presentation of the vehicles will take place on Saturday, 16 May 2015, starting at 9:00 a.m. at the AutoMuseum Volkswagen. The traditional spare parts market is also going full speed here – the spot where Beetle lovers can certainly find one or the other long-sought spare part for their classic car. On Sunday, 17 May, the cavalcade of cars forms all across the factory grounds to create the fitting finale of the meeting. More information on the meeting online at:

Generation Volkswagen. Small series. Studies. Prototypes.

Jubiläumssausstellung 30 Jahre AutoMuseum Volkswagen vom 24. April bis 12. Juli 2015.

The anniversary exhibit covers innovative achievements by the Volkswagen brand from the 1950s to modern times based on 16 prototypes. The technological approaches on display include some that were rejected as well as concepts that were further developed to production readiness. Most of the exhibited prototypes have never been shown before in this form or combination. One focal area is fuel-saving and alternative drives, but the exhibits also show stylistic experiments that were far ahead of their times.

The EA 311 Spezial (in front) of 1966 is a very successful example of the creativity of Volkswagen designers. It paved the way for the later Type 4, which already had a flat engine and unitised body construction. The form of the prototype was absolutely contemporary, and anything but backward-looking.

EA 311

The Auto 2000 of 1981 anticipated the future. Its exterior evokes the later Passat B3, but it was based on a Golf I. Along with its streamlined form, the car's three-cylinder turbodiesel is also very noteworthy. The prototype was a fuel-saving wonder with a coasting function (freewheeling) and a stop-start system.

Auto 2000

The Eco Racer (left in front) of 2005 is a small, two-seat mid-engine vehicle that could be turned into a speedster, targa or coupé, depending on the configuration of the removable roof sections. A 1.5-litre TDI and extreme carbon lightweight design enabled minimal fuel consumption figures in a car that could go 230 km/h.

Eco Racer

The NILS (in front) of 2011 is an ambitious research project in the guise of a single-seat wing-door car. The drive system of the city speedster features an electric motor and a driving range of 65 km. Thanks to its solid aluminium spaceframe, it leaves no doubt about its safety capabilities. The car also has ESP, a warning system for the gap to vehicles ahead and visionary infotainment equipment.


30 Jahre – 30 Modelle heißt die zweite Sonderschau zum Jubiläum, eine Kooperation der Internen Kommunikation von Volkswagen und des AutoMuseum Volkswagen. Im Rahmen einer Verlosung konnten 30 Mitarbeiter der Volkswagen AG ein Fotoshooting im AutoMuseum gewinnen. Die Fotografen Matthias Leitzke und Frank Bierstedt setzen die Gewinner an „ihren“ Volkswagen Klassikern gekonnt ins rechte Licht. Besonders begehrte „Fotopartner“ waren Golf GTI, Bulli-Modelle und der Herbie-Käfer. Als zweite Aufgabe sollten die Teilnehmer erzählen, warum sie sich für Ihr Lieblings-Exponat entschieden haben. Die Porträts mit den Statements werden am jeweiligen Modell präsentiert.


Beetle in Sports Kit - 60 years of Karmann Ghia.

Special exhibition from 29 January to 11 April 2015

Die erste große Sonderausstellung des AutoMuseum Volkswagen 2015 widmet sich dem Jubiläum eines eleganten, zeitlosen Klassikers: Dem Karmann Ghia, der in in all seinen Facetten durchleutet wird. Von der Evolutionsgeschichte dieses knapp 20 Jahre produzierten Modells über Unikate, Prototypen bis hin zum großen Bruder, dem Typ 34. Lassen Sie sich in die Zeit des Petticoats und des Rock'n Rolls zurückversetzen.

Key Visual

Thanks to the initiative of coachbuilder Wilhelm Karmann and Luigi Segre, director of Carrozzeria Ghia, 1953 saw the creation of a smart little coupé based on the Beetle. It was presented to the Managing Director of Volkswagen, Heinrich Nordhoff, in an audacious stunt – and he gave it his blessing. It finally went into serial production in mid-1955 and the series was augmented by a stylish convertible two years later. Continually updated with a plethora of detailed modifications, both the coupé and the convertible remained in the Volkswagen portfolio until 1974 at which time they were replaced by the Scirocco.

Typ 14Karmann Ghia Coupé und Cabriolet

Collectible cars always find owners who wish to further optimise their pride and joy. Accordingly, examples of the Karmann-Ghia can be found with performance-improved engines up to and including the Porsche six-cylinder, or as pure racing cars, or show cars for night-time street cruising. Recently, some have even been fitted with electric motors, which make for an almost silent drive. Some examples underwent factory customisation at the Karmann works in Osnabrück; a unique interior concept design produced in 1962 is just one example.

Typ 14 Karmann Ghia Rennwagen

The Brazilian subsidiary Karmann do Brasil – where the legendary SP2 was created, which, however, was never officially launched in Europe – was an important site in this context. The little Karmann-Ghia was also manufactured in Brazil, albeit with a few modifications. For example, there was minimal padding in the convertible's soft top, and neither the coupé nor the convertible were equipped with a heating system. The TC 145, which replaced the Type 14, was also built in Brazil: a total of 18,119 units were produced between 1970 and 1974.

Karmann Ghia TC 145

In addition to the Type 14, Karmann also ventured on the production of the Series 34, which accompanied the launch of the Type 3 saloon. The spacious coupé with its American looks and rear-mounted 1.5 (later 1.6) litre boxer engine never really succeeded although it remained in the portfolio until 1969. As of 1962 there was even a convertible version available but only 12 of them were ever built ex works. Later, some coupés were remodelled as convertibles by specialist firms.

Typ 34 Karmann Ghia Coupé

Karmann's history goes back to 1906 when the first passenger cars were built. Adler and Hanomag were major customers in the pre-war era. After the Second World War, Karmann primarily focused on Volkswagen but also built countless models for Audi, BMW, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Opel, Porsche and others. The Karmann works in Osnabrück (now Volkswagen Osnabrück) and Rheine, (which has since been sold off), were available for this.

Hanomag Partner

Rally win with 34 hp - Hans Wehner and his motor racing successes.

15 January to 15 March 2015

The small special show by the Volkswagen AutoMuseum Volkswagen from 15 January to 15 March 2015 is a tribute to the motor racing successes of former tax officer Hans Wehner and his Beetle 1200, which was new at that time. Hans Wehner‘s rally adventures started with his victory in the Tour d‘Europe in 1960, a regularity rally which took place in the south and east of Europe. The pictures taken during the tour are contemporary witnesses of the hardships which both man and machine were forced to endure. It was also a milestone for Volkswagen – the company professed to Wehner’s success and used it for advertising purposes. In the meantime, Hans Wehner prevailed in other rallies.

Wehner and his co-driver Horst Wilhelm, both in their mid-thirties at the time, were thoroughly committed racing drivers from Wiesbaden. For years, Wilhelm also officiated as a racing manager in Formula 1. Hans Wehner spent the majority of the Tour d’Europe behind the steering wheel; he had fitted a reclining seat on the co-driver’s side. At that time, teams had to make their own arrangements for road maps, visas and foreign currency. Incidentally, the first chance to look at the vehicle in any detail came in Damascus, where the brand-new 34-PS Beetle model was still completely unknown…

Following the successful tour, Hans Wehner showed off his astonishingly fresh-looking Beetle and his collection of trophies at the Volkswagen dealer Rossel in Wiesbaden. The management congratulated him, while Volkswagen Sales from Wolfsburg sent a formal letter of thanks. Wehner continued driving the Beetle with the legendary registration number of WI-HW 65 in races and in everyday life for another three years before changing to an NSU Prinz. And from the beginning of the seventies, he held an honorary post as a race official and racing manager.  

Almost identical with a standard model, the VW Beetle not only endured the 10,000-kilometres of the Tour d’Europe without complaint. It also mastered other classic races such as the Spa-Sofia-Liège and Lyon-Charbonnières rallies as well as various circuit competitions – effortlessly and with only occasional mishaps. During the ‘Marathon de la Route’ on the Spa-Sofia-Liège rally in 1962, for example, the windscreen shattered, which led to Wehner and his co-driver Count Matuschka-Greifenclau donning motorcycle goggles to continue the race. And the Count actually took on a pseudonym with fewer letters, so that he could get through the control points more quickly.