The history of VW
We've compiled 20 things you need to know about the Volkswagen brand
Volkswagen was established by the German Labour Front to build a practical, simple, five-seated vehicle typical people could afford.
Volkswagen Type 1 launched for civilians following World War 2. It had an air cooled engine at the rear, curvaceous bodywork, and low running costs. The Type 1 later became known as the Beetle.
Type 2 launched to expand the company’s range. It was van-like, came with multiple body styles, and had a split windscreen.
Beetle starred in The Love Bug. ‘Herbie’ drove itself, won races, and had the number 53 on its bonnet. Dean Jones, Michele Lee, and David Tomlinson co-starred.
Volkswagen K70 launched with several firsts for the manufacturer. It had front-wheel drive, a water cooled engine, and more modern looks than its predecessors. Safety was a priority too.
Volkswagen started developing electric vehicles. The Elektro Transporter came first and had a range of 43.5 miles per-charge. The battery could be fully charged in 10 hours via a standard plug.
Volkswagen Beetle surpassed the Ford Model T to become the most produced car ever. Number 15,007,034 claimed the record.
Volkswagen Passat Mk1 launched initially as a two and four-door fastback. It became Wheels Magazine’s Car of the Year in 1974.
Volkswagen Polo Mk1 launched with immediate success. This supermini was practical, affordable, and full of character. It also sold far better than the car on which it was based: the Audi 50. (1977 model shown)
Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk1 launched with more power, sportier handling, and better brakes than a standard Golf. The GTI later became legendary and inspired other brands to launch ‘hot hatches’.
Amphibious Golf Convertible took a cruise on Lake Wörth, in Kiel. It had a standard diesel engine, hydraulically activated floats, and reached 18mph. Volkswagen said the car ‘turned heads’.
Golf drove through 12 countries using only a single tank of diesel. It covered 1,344 miles on its way from Italy to Norway.
The German Postal Service received its 200,000th Volkswagen. It was a Golf Mk2 that had yellow paint and stickers on its doors. (1972 model shown)
The Volkswagen Plant in Wolfsburg produced its 25th million vehicle. It was a Golf with silver paint and a catalytic converter.
Golf Harlequin launched with different colour body panels throughout. No two touching panels were the same colour. The Harlequin was built in very small numbers to guarantee exclusivity.
Volkswagen briefly became the world’s most valuable company when its share price hit €1,005.
Volkswagen Amarok became the fastest vehicle to cross the Gilf Al-Kebir plateau, in Egypt. It covered 236 miles of rough terrain in 5 hours 7 minutes. It set a world record in the process.
Volkswagen T-Cross named Best Compact SUV at the Business Car Awards. The judges praised its ‘stylish design’ and agile handling.
Volkswagen sold a vast range of models including sports-utility vehicles, hatchbacks, and estates. Registrations were 148,338 which made it one of the best selling car brands in the UK.
Volkswagen launched free over-the-air software updates for its ID3, ID4, and ID4 GTX. Amongst other things, the updates made the infotainment systems easier to use. They became more intuitive.