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Sep 11 2011

GTI Festival – Santa Pod – Sunday 16th October – The Season Finale

Posted by volkszone

Sunday 16th October 2011
Santa Pod Raceway,
NN29 7XA
01279 72 52 52 or [email protected]

(Accompanied under-13s FREE)

Show & Shine
Dizzy Rascals
Girlz N Dubz

Over the years, from the very first GTI Festival events in the late 1980s, the shows have attracted hordes of Volkswagen enthusiasts to several different venues around the UK. The GTI Festival and ‘Inters’ were for a decade or more, just about the only specialist water cooled VW events of the year. Now, we have a busy ‘calendar’. The 2011 GTI Festival is moving its date to the end of that busy calendar, to establish a ‘Final Fling’ season finale, before the time comes to put cars away for the close season, or pull them apart for mods or winter rebuilds.

The GTI Festival – ‘Season Finale’ is for enthusiasts of all VAG marques, SEAT, Skoda, Audi and of course Volkswagen. Now the Volkswagen Group includes Lamborghini, Bentley and Bugatti too, but the closest we will probably come to seeing any of those will be Bentley rims shoehorned under late Golf arches!

The GTI Festival is a show where all VAG vehicles are welcome with open arms. All clubs are invited to display during the day, and after a very well received revamp of the show layout in 2010, the clubs area is now easily able to accommodate the 40+ clubs who regularly attend the event. If you want your club to be part of the show, you need to act fast. The earliest club bookings get pride of place, and we expect to see a huge number of clubs and registers represented, so get in early! To book club displays call 01279 725252 or email: [email protected].
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Jul 5 2011

Santa Pod to give away Newbie as part of Bug Jam 25 Celebrations!!!

Posted by volkszone

As part of their Bug Jam 25 celebrations, Santa Pod is giving away an awesome and unique Bug Jam branded VW New Beetle – and it’s free to enter!


All you need to do is drop them an email to 25 AT with the answer to this simple question plus your name and a contact telephone number in that same email:

Q. What month does Bug Jam 25 take place in?

Answer: A=June, B=July, C=August

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Jan 28 2011

VW Beetle (2011): the new spy photos

Posted by volkszone

By Tim Pollard of Car Magazine

Spy shots . . .


VW-Beetle-2 VW-Beetle4 VW-Beetle5

These are the latest spy photos of the new 2011 Volkswagen Beetle, which will be unveiled this spring. Expect to see the new VW Bug around April/May time, away from the usual motor show schedule.

CAR’s new spy pictures of the Beetle reveal the car in its most production guise yet. But you should discount the enlarged bumpers and exaggerated rounded wheelarches – designed to mimic the look of the outgoing Beetle first launched in 1999 (the cabrio arrived in 2003).

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Oct 23 2010

VW working on a rear engined VW Beetle?

Posted by volkszone


A recent report in Germany’s “Manager Magazin” about Volkswagen’s increased sales target revealed something really interesting. Dr. Martin Winterkorn told newspaper that VW wants to bring back the rear-engine VW Beetle on the market!

According to the source, 2011 brings the next generation VW Beetle to the market. The rear-engine variant would then follow some years later.


Mar 22 2010

GTI Spring Festival, Santa Pod Raceway, Sunday 11th April 2010

Posted by volkszone


GTI Spring Festival
Santa Pod Raceway
Sunday 11th April 2010
01279 72 52 52

Well – it’s called the ‘GTI Spring Festival’, but the first major event of the water cooled VW season is actually aimed at every current and past model in the VAG group range. From Sciroccos and Golfs and Polos, through SEAT models, Ibiza, Cupra, Leon, Skodas, Audis – all are welcome at the show, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway, Bedfordshire on 11th April 2010. The ‘GTI Spring Festival’ now in its fourth year, is now without doubt a very major season opener. With Sprinting (RWYB), Show & Shine, Clubs, Autojumble and Traders, it follows a simple formula which has been hugely popular. The show itself offers all day sprinting for a single signing on fee, which means you can make one run, or as many runs as you can make during the entire day. But don’t forget your driving licence (you cannot sign on for sprinting without it.)


The Show & Shine is one of the best in the country, with in the region of 100 contestants. There is no charge for entry into the Show & Shine, and it is becoming a popular show at which to debut new or revamped cars after the winter lay off. Gates open at 8.00am with the dragstrip open from 10.00am. There is plenty of opportunity to browse trade stands, check out the autojumble and club displays, as well as watch (or even try a few runs on) the dragstrip. Overseas visitors to the show will receive free admission on production of their ferry tickets/proof of travel, so perhaps we will see a few more European visitors this year.


Santa Pod itself is just about the best venue for this type of event in the whole of Europe, meeting all international timing standards. The timing equipment is accurate to within less than one thousandth of a second.

If you are looking for those increasingly rare parts, check out the GTI Spring Festival Autojumble to see if you can find that extra bit you’ve always wanted! All of the autojumble plots are in a designated area which is filled on a first come basis on the day, and usually full of bargains for the eagle eyed buyer.

So, please don’t forget – April 11th, Santa Pod. And once again – all watercooled VWs are equally welcome, Golf, Polo, Lupo, Passat, Jetta, Scirocco, Derby, Corrado, Bora, New Beetle, Sharan, Octavia, Fabia, Cupra, Leon – the list goes on. If you are a VAG lover, it’s the one day show for you!

Jan 25 2010

Like father, like daughter – neither can stop phoning while driving

Posted by volkszone

Driving while impaired by texting, Tyler Strandberg wrecked a VW Beetle, on U.S. 64 near Rocky Mount.


Like father, like daughter – only more so.

Tyler Strandberg of Rocky Mount has a hard time getting her mind off her BlackBerry when she drives writes

Each time, she was distracted from her driving because she was typing text messages or talking on the phone.

“Sometimes I will zone out and forget I’m driving,” said Tyler, 23. “If I’m on the phone talking about something that takes up all my focus, I’m looking straight ahead – but not even seeing what’s there.”

Her dad, Buckley Strandberg, worries that she will never curb her dangerous habit.

But Buckley, an insurance executive, confesses his own weakness for Blackberry and Bluetooth. He feels compelled to conduct business by phone and e-mail on long, lonely drives between his offices in Rocky Mount and Nags Head.

“That’s more than two hours,” said Buckley, 49. “I’m not just going to sit there in the car. I get a lot of work done on that straight, dead stretch of U.S. 64.

“And if I run off the road, there are rumble strips that divert me back onto the road. That has happened occasionally. They seem to work, those rumble strips.”

Buckley and Tyler Strandberg contacted The News & Observer to come clean about a problem they share with each other – and with a lot of us. They expressed embarrassment but spoke candidly about how they rely on their phones when they drive, and how they try to reduce their risks.

As many as 60 percent of drivers use their phones occasionally, researchers say, and 11 percent are on the phone at any one time. Cell phone use is a deadly distraction that causes as many as 28 percent of all traffic crashes, the National Safety Council says.

Readers share alarming stories about other drivers who swerve in traffic while clasping phones to their ears or gazing at little text screens:

“I saw her on her cell phone as she sped through the red light,” said Nancy McGrew, 77, of Garner, describing a driver who “banged into the back of our truck.”

“The driver never even put on her brakes,” said Janet Giannattasio, 66, of Raleigh. “She got out of her car, still on her cell phone. She told whoever was on the other end, ‘I just hit somebody.’ My daughter and I still have problems from the whiplash injuries.”

Distracted at the wheel

Tyler Strandberg graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill last May and is spending a couple of years in Wyoming. She has had three crashes while phoning or texting

The first was in 2007 on U.S. 15-501 between Chapel Hill and Durham. She was texting, didn’t see traffic slowing in front of her, and ran into a truck. There were no injuries, she says.

Then she totaled two cars within two months.

In February 2008, she was lost on Raleigh’s 540 Outer Loop, overdue for a family dinner. She and her father argued on the phone as she drove, and she couldn’t understand his directions to the Raleigh restaurant.

“I was mad, lost and late. It was sleeting, and I was really stressed out,” Tyler said. She hit an icy patch and spun into a green exit sign, smashing her Nissan Xterra.

“It was pretty scary being on the phone with her and hearing her going through the accident,” Buckley said. “She was screaming.”

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Dec 29 2009

Camaro Designer Departs for Volkswagen

Posted by volkszone

Sangyup Lee, the General Motors designer credited with the exterior design of the new Chevrolet Camaro, has left the company to join Volkswagen’s Southern California studio writes the New York Times.

The joint Audi-VW advanced studio, now in Santa Monica, is famed as the birthplace of the Volkswagen New Beetle and Audi TT concepts. Its longtime head, Derek Jenkins, left to join Mazda earlier this year. Now his successor, the studio’s executive design director Jens Manske, has hired Mr. Lee as chief exterior designer.

2010 Chevrolet Camaro designers
Sangyup Lee, right, exterior design manager for the 2010 Camaro, visited The Times last March with Micah Jones and Rebecca Waldmeir of the G.M. design staff.

Mr. Lee, who grew up in Korea, spent nearly a decade at G.M. He was employed for a time at Porsche before joining G.M., where he also worked on the 2004 Buick Velite show car and the Corvette Stingray Concept.

Mr. Lee studied sculpture and earned a bachelor’s degree in fine art at Hongik University in Seoul before turning to auto design at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., from which he graduated in 1999.

Mr. Lee was working in the Corvette design studio of Tom Peters when Mr. Peters was asked by G.M.’s design chief, Ed Welburn, to quickly develop proposals for a new Camaro as part of an internal competition. Mr. Lee said that his low-roof, angular sketches were inspired more by comic book and automobile magazine images than by any vehicles he had seen growing up in Seoul — and were less overtly “retro” than some of the other proposals.

“Korea has no muscle car tradition,” he said in an interview.

Mr. Lee was also put in charge of seeing the design through to production, working with engineers at Holden, the General Motors arm in Australia, where the car was being developed. He recalled that every fraction of an inch of hood and roof height was an occasion for battles with the engineers.

Dec 27 2009

New Beetle ‘hype’ in India

Posted by volkszone

The Beetle has a bigger role to play for Volkswagen India than just the numbers writes

At Rs 20.45 lakh ex-showroom Delhi, the Beetle – unlike its illustrious predecessor – is not exactly a people’s car. Though you’d never realise that going by people’s reactions when they see it.

Volkswagen India has been steadily drumming up the hype around the Beetle, leading to the eventual climax of its launch earlier this month. Though VW launched the impressive battletank-like Touareg SUV along with the Beetle at the same event, it’s the little Bug that’s still being talked about. And the blitzkrieg continues. Just last Thursday, VW had an innovative promotion of the Beetle where they flew a huge banner in the skies above Mumbai – it certainly would not have come cheap.

For a car that fits in an extremely niche segment in the country and contributing to very small numbers, the hype surrounding it seems completely disproportionate. Neeraj Garg, member of the board/director, Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Volkswagen Group Sales India however justifies the activity surrounding the car. “The Beetle is our brand foundation. To lay the VW foundation here, it is but very natural to introduce it in India and therefore the huge communication activity,” he says.

Indeed, Volkswagen owes its very existence to the Beetle. The original one, introduced to the world just after WWII, turned out to have an incredibly long production run, with over 21 million units produced before it stopped trundling out of VW Mexico’s plant in 2003. Amazingly, it was VW’s mainstay well until the 1970s. Considered one of the greatest cars of the twentieth century, the Beetle was an essential part of popular culture, let alone a mere car. It is the cult of the original Beetle that still powers the new iteration today.

Designed in California by an American designer, the new Beetle was built on the front-engine, front-wheel drive underpinnings of the mass-market, fourth-generation VW Golf. It was designed to evoke the classic looks of the old one, but had all the contemporary features seen in a modern car. Introduced in 1998, the “new” Beetle can be considered old today – most modern cars go through a generational shift every seven years or so. But VW can safely claim that the Beetle is a retro car and is designed to evoke nostalgia. That was the thinking behind its creation anyway – to capture the hearts of US baby boomers who owned the older one in their younger days.

Which is why its welcome by Indians is all the more surprising, because our association with the original Beetle is nowhere close to the craze it was in other parts of the world. Far from nostalgic middle-aged Indians, it’s the well-heeled youngsters who are getting themselves the new Beetle for its sheer novelty value.

“The new Beetle is about an expression of personality, a state of mind, a lifestyle,” says Garg. “Our study of the intended customer showed that the pull-factor for this car was in its style statement and its head-turning uniqueness,” he adds.

That seems motivation enough for wealthy scions to make a beeline for the car. Even before the official launch, VW India received 150 bookings. And that forbidding price tag notwithstanding, there is a waiting list behind the car going all the way up to May 2010 with a total of over 200 bookings. That’s better than what can be called its nearest competitor – the Fiat 500 – managed, with 62 units sold since its launch in July 2008 at a price of around Rs 15 lakh.

Beyond the numbers, the Beetle has an important role to play for VW India. The manufacturer is aware of the Beetle’s universal appeal and the positive reaction it evokes wherever it goes. In a country that’s unfettered by the powerful nostalgia of the old Bug, the new Beetle is a cute and rather different looking car that attracts eyeballs. The Beetle also plays the role of a magnet to get attention to the marque, while also getting gawkers into the showroom.

The manufacturer needs to keep the excitement about the Volkswagen brand at a high pitch before they start selling their first mass-market product in India.

The Polo, which will be unveiled at the Auto Expo in Delhi next month, is expected to go on sale by March 2010. Till then, the hype surrounding the Beetle plus the recognition of VW in India as makers of this loveable, huggable car seems to make the communication activity surrounding the car worth it for VW. What is left unstated however is that the new Beetle is a moving – and extremely effective – billboard for Volkswagen in India.

Sep 3 2009

The Volkswagen brand is an icon

Posted by volkszone

Neeraj Garg, director, Volkswagen Passenger cars talks about playing catch-up in the Indian market using the Polo and the Beetle. And tells us a bit about the German car maker’s very Deutsch ways writes The Economic Times.

The Indian car market has transformed drastically over the years with more and more global car-makers hitting Indian streets aggressively. Volkswagen is a late entrant, why?

While entering a new market it is extremely crucial for a company to understand the business viability, to understand the environment it plans to conduct business in and most importantly to understand its customers. For Volkswagen this is the right time since the automobile market here is now growing at a fast pace and it is expected to touch 2 million by 2014. We have the right products to satiate the Indian consumers and to take advantage of this growth in the country.

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Aug 1 2009


Posted by volkszone

Volkswagen (VW) yesterday reported a smaller-than-anticipated decline in profit for the second quarter and said growth in emerging markets would help the Audi owner outperform the industry in the second half.

Second-quarter net income fell 83 percent to E283 million (R3 billion) from a year earlier, Europe’s largest car maker said. Profit beat the E238.6m median estimate of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Sales slid 7.7 percent year on year to E27.2bn. The shares rose as much as 4.9 percent in Frankfurt trading.



VW’s first-half worldwide car and sports utility vehicle deliveries dropped 5 percent, less than the 18 percent industrywide contraction, as gains in China and Brazil buffered declines in European countries such as Spain and the UK.

The maker of Skoda and SEATcars last week won a battle to combine with Porsche after staving off a takeover attempt by the 911 sports-car maker.

“VW is feeling the impact of the crisis, no doubt, but they’re still performing comparatively well,” said Aleksej Wunrau, an analyst at BHF Bank in Frankfurt. “VW’s liquidity is high and inventory cuts were lower than at competitors.”



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