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Nike offers pop-up experiences across America starring the Volkswagen ID. BUZZ CARGO
October 15, 2019
Founded by University of Oregon track coach Bill Bowerman and Oregon native Phil Knight, Nike began as the athletic shoe company Blue Ribbon Sports back in 1964. Nike’s first employee, Jeff Johnson, opened the company’s original brick-and-mortar storefront in Santa Monica, Calif., in 1967. When not manning the shop, Johnson would often drive his personal vehicle – a Volkswagen Type 2 bus – to local track meets to sell and deliver products directly to local runners out of the bus.
In a homage to the brand’s roots, Nike wrapped the Volkswagen ID. BUZZ CARGO electric concept van in original Blue Ribbon Sports fashion The new-age delivery vehicle toured three major U.S. cities, kicking off in Santa Monica on Oct. 5, stopping in Chicago on Oct. 12 and concluding in New York City on Oct. 15.
At each location, fans were able to purchase exclusive Blue Ribbon Sports footwear, learn about Nike’s genesis and participate in Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe program, on theme with Volkswagen’s “Drive Bigger” message. Nike’s program collects used athletic shoes and transforms them into surface materials for running tracks, athletic fields and school playgrounds.
Concept vehicle shown. Not available for sale. Specifications may change.
Fans of both Nike and Volkswagen also got an up close look at the ID. BUZZ CARGO concept vehicle, which debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show last November. Built off the MEB electric platform, the ID. BUZZ CARGO imagines what a commercial vehicle version of the upcoming ID. BUZZ – part of Volkswagen’s worldwide plan to build about 1 million electric vehicles by 2025 – could be.
The exclusive footwear available at the pop-up locations includes the bright orange Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2 and classic Cortez ’72, which was one of the first sneakers to don Nike’s iconic logo. Sneakerheads take note: inventory of each design will be limited to 3,107 pairs, a nod to Blue Ribbon Sports’ original Santa Monica storefront address of 3107 Pico Boulevard.
“To learn Volkswagen played such an important role in Nike’s early history is a really big deal to us,” said Saad Chehab, senior vice president of Volkswagen brand marketing.
“Supporting the rebirth of BRS is the perfect platform to help promote the values of our companies, while showing the world Volkswagen’s commitment to electrification isn’t just about personal transportation – it’s about moving things in a smarter fashion.”
The Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport adds some American-made style to SUVs
October 11, 2019
For most households, buying a new car may be the second biggest purchase they ever make behind a house itself. And if you’re going to spend that money, shouldn’t your family vehicle look not just good, but great?
That’s the idea behind the newest Volkswagen in America, the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport,1 revealed today in Chattanooga. Meant for those drivers who need five seats in an SUV instead of seven, the Atlas arrives with a strong sense of design that reflects what buyers most want in this type of vehicle.
“Building off the success of the Atlas seven-seater midsize SUV, we see an opportunity for a five-seater model that offers even more style and almost as much interior space,” said Scott Keogh, CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. “We look forward to entering this growing segment with the Atlas Cross Sport, which offers outstanding Volkswagen technology, driver assistance features, style, and value.”
Part of an estimated $340 million investment by Volkswagen at its Tennessee factory, the Atlas Cross Sport was developed by Volkswagen’s North American Region specifically for U.S. buyers. It joins the Atlas and the Passat as Volkswagen’s models assembled in America – with more to come, as Volkswagen plans to assemble electric vehicles there in the future.
It’s not just that the Atlas Cross Sport carries a more aggressively sloped rear pillar and hatch that gives it a racing-inspired profile. Most of its design elements have been updated from the Atlas, in the spirit of the concept from the 2018 New York auto show, from a new grille with a full-width light signature to sculpted bumpers front and rear, along with a variety of wheel options, with dramatic looks up to 21 inches on the R-Line trim.
Inside, the Atlas Cross Sport also takes design in a new direction. A next-generation Volkswagen steering wheel makes its debut with more intuitive controls. The seats can be specified with color-contrasting inserts and matching door panels, along with stitching accents.
While the Atlas Cross Sport is 5.3 inches shorter than the seven-seat Atlas, the two share the same wheelbase (117.3 inches). That allows the Atlas Cross Sport to offer a cavernous interior for a five-seat SUV, with 111.8 cubic feet of passenger space and 40.4 inches of rear-seat legroom. For those who need to haul goods, there’s 40.3 cu. ft. of luggage space behind the second row, and 77.8 cu. ft. with the second row folded.
Along with the new design comes a long list of new technology, especially advanced driver assistance features. Two new features include Traffic Jam Assist, which helps keep the Atlas Cross Sport moving in stop-and-go traffic up to 37 mph, and Dynamic Road Sign Display, which works with the factory navigation system to display key road data like speed limits. The base S model has standard Forward Collision Warning with Autonomous Braking (Front Assist), Blind Spot Monitoring, and Rear Traffic Alert. Further up the trim walk, features such as Adaptive Cruise Control with a Stop and Go feature and Park Distance Control become standard.
And the new Car-Net® 2.0 with available Wi-Fi hotspot is standard, with a long list of no-charge services for five years, and new subscription options.
The Atlas Cross Sport offers the same engine options as the seven-seat Atlas: the 276-horsepower VR6 (late availability) and a four-cylinder turbocharged engine. Both engines pair with an eight-speed automatic transmission and can come with Volkswagen’s 4Motion® all-wheel-drive system. The V6 is rated at 5,000 pounds for towing, when equipped with the V6 Towing package.
Whatever you haul, the Atlas Cross Sport will offer a more stylish way to do it when it arrives on the roads early next year.
‘It’s always about the kids’: Celebrating Kimberly Tuttle on World Teacher’s Day
October 4, 2019
To mark World Teachers’ Day, an international celebration of educators, Volkswagen is celebrating Kimberly Tuttle and the positive impact she has had on her students’ lives.
“This is my 21st year teaching,” Tuttle says, “and it is truly a dream.”
A native of Blacksburg, Va., Tuttle teaches 11th grade English honors and advanced placement language and composition in Charlotte, N.C. Her excellence was recognized early on in her career by her peers and community and she was named her school district’s New Teacher of the Year in 1998.
More than two decades later, she was again honored by the school district and named its 2019 Teacher of the Year. She was selected out of 10,000 other educators to receive the top honor. “It was the highlight of my teaching career,” said Tuttle, choked with emotion.
Tuttle follows in the steps of her own mother, an elementary school teacher for 32 years who passed down her joy and passion for educating. “I learned from my mom that it’s always, always about the kids,” says Tuttle. “You have to teach to the heart of a child and that’s what I try to do in my classroom.”
Volkswagen agrees that education should be cherished and pledged to donate a total of $1 million to DonorsChoose.org to help teachers by funding classroom projects across America. Volkswagen dealers received DonorsChoose.org donation cards pre-loaded with funds from Volkswagen and shared them with customers during the “Drive Bigger” Summer Event.
In recognition of Tuttle’s latest accomplishment, she received a year-long lease on a black Jetta (that she’s named “Jenna”) from a local dealership. “At the time I [received Jenna], I was driving a van. It was old and the girls never wanted me to pick them up from school because it’s not cool to have that kind of a van,” Tuttle said, laughing. “When I won this award and the local Volkswagen dealership gave me a lease, I was like a kid in a candy store.”
“Now I am the cool mom because of the car that I’m driving,” Tuttle added, smiling, “and they love Jenna the Jetta.”
How plaid became part of Volkswagen Golf GTI history
October 4, 2019
No car has a claim to fame on a day to celebrate all things plaid quite like the Volkswagen Golf GTI – thanks to one woman’s pioneering choices that over the past four decades have become a symbol of driving enthusiasts worldwide.
The Volkswagen Golf GTI’s debut in 1976 caused a sensation. Even though only a few details distinguished it visually from the original Golf, Volkswagen—influenced by one of the company’s first female designers—succeeded in transforming the compact car into an affordable sports car for the masses and capturing the mood of the era.
Gunhild Liljequist—a porcelain painter and chocolatier candy-box designer by trade—was hired on to Volkswagen’s Germany-based Department of Fabrics and Colors in Wolfsburg in 1964 when she was just 28. Her work focused on paint hues, trims and interior detailing, so when the first Golf GTI came into production in the 1970s, she was tasked with designing various elements of its interior from a sporting angle. Liljequist’s genius centered on giving the GTI two distinct, but simple, textile elements: a tartan seat pattern and a golf ball-style gear knob.
“Black was sporty, but I also wanted color and quality,” Liljequist said. “I took a lot of inspiration from my travels around Great Britain and I was always taken by high-quality fabrics with checked patterns … you could say that there is an element of British sportiness in the GTI.”
And the golf ball gear knob?
“That was a completely spontaneous idea!” Liljequist said. “I just expressed my sporting and golf associations out loud: ‘how about a golf ball as the gear knob?’”
Although her ideas faced some resistance, the tartan seat pattern, now known as “Clark Plaid,” and golf ball knob would become an iconic part of the GTI.
For a woman who personally loved just black and white patterns, color illuminated Liljequist’s professional world throughout her 30-year career at Volkswagen. The 1960 to the 1980s were a highly creative and experimental time in car design, and Liljequist’s work help to influence some of Volkswagen’s most iconic paint hues, trims and interior detailing, while designing some special models of her own.
Beyond the Golf GTI, her two most notable contributions to the car world was her 1987 limited edition ‘Etienne Aigner’ Mk1 Golf Cabriolet—a car design influenced by the luxury maker of handbags, luggage and various other leather accessories—and her discovery of an iridescent, pearl color that she applied to a car’s surface, using a transparent foil. The metallic quality of paint on modern cars today is in part the result of Liljuquist’s experimentation in paint and coloring. Liljuquist retired in 1991, but her legacy is literally stitched into the fabric of Volkswagen.
The next generation of connected cars arrives with Volkswagen Car-Net for model year 2020
September 25, 2019
For model year 2020, Volkswagen’s Car-Net®1 relaunches with new technology and a new approach. Many Car-Net features now come standard with the purchase of most 2020 model year vehicles for the first five years of ownership. A new Internet-of-Things architecture can allow future upgrades, like voice commands and package delivery. And via Car-Net, most 2020 Volkswagen models will offer available Wi-Fi capability.
“Next generation Car-Net creates the ability for the car to become part of our customers’ digital lifestyle” said Shelly Desmet, Digital Marketing Manager, Connected Services.
Car-Net’s Remote Access package will be available at no additional charge for the first five years of ownership, and includes more than a dozen key features, such as:
Remote start/stop (if vehicle is equipped), lock/unlock, honk/light flash and vehicle status.
An automated vehicle health report and service reminders.
Family Guardian alerts that can monitor speeds, a boundary area or even a curfew time, notifying you if a driver uses the vehicle improperly. There’s also a valet alert – a service that flags if the car travels more than 0.2 miles from a drop-off.
One new feature this year is DriveViewTM, which can provide feedback on how they’re driving with respect to certain driving behaviors such as hard braking, excess speed or night driving. Car-Net combines these factors into an overall driving score, which drivers can agree to share with car insurance companies for potential discounts. Drivers can also get personalized tips on what they can do to help improve their driving score.
Next generation Car-Net includes an in-vehicle Wi-Fi hotspot for passenger use with a one month/1GB trial subscription that can provide a 4G LTE-enabled Wi-Fi hotspot for up to four devices. At launch, existing Verizon Wireless customers with an eligible mobile data plan can add their Volkswagen vehicle as a new item to their existing data plan; non-Verizon customers can set up a prepaid data plan for $20/month before taxes and fees.
In the months ahead, it is anticipated that new Volkswagen owners will be able to subscribe their vehicles to other major U.S. cellular providers. That means buyers will be able to tie into their existing provider, and when they sell their car, a new owner will have the same option.
For $99 a year, Car-Net’s Safe and Secure package offers a suite of services such as Emergency Assistance in case of a crash. Anti-Theft Alert sends a push notification to the user if the vehicle’s anti-theft alarm is triggered, and Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance uses Car-Net to assist law enforcement with locating the vehicle in the event that it is stolen.
The technology behind the next generation of Car-Net also provides room for new services, potentially including such things as using your car for package drop-offs and pick-ups or activating Remote Access services via voice-connection devices.
This Hummus Shop’s Secret Sauce is in Their Roots — and a 1978 VW Bus
September 19, 2019
When Chefs Nick Wiseman and Ronen Tenne opened their hummus shop Little Sesame in Washington, D.C. in 2015, they wanted their restaurant’s foundation to have a very different philosophy than some of the New York City kitchens they’d cooked in over the years. They wanted to create a place that felt more grounded, that would enable them to build connections, explore new flavors and responsibly source their food, so they built one key ingredient into their business philosophy: travel.
Tenne grew up in Tivon, a small town in Israel outside the port city of Haifa, while Wiseman is a native of D.C. The concept for Little Sesame was a tribute to both their heritages, inviting a city that never stops moving to slow down and experience the vibrant, authentic flavors of Israeli hummus shops. And, when they’re not busy serving crafted hummus bowls, pita wraps and seasonal salatim and mezze, the two frequently venture from D.C. in their robin’s egg blue 1978 Volkswagen Bus to find inspiration for fresh, bold and new flavors across the U.S.
“The road trip concept [for Little Sesame] came when we found out the old pop-up we had was going to close and we had a couple of months before our new shop would open,” said Tenne. “Our concept was to go on the road and trying to do as much collaboration with people who cook in our same style and have the same attitude [towards] food that we have.”
Little Sesame is a plant-centric restaurant, so this summer’s road trip was a journey out West to see where the plants that fuel their business are sourced.
“We wanted to see where the food we serve is grown, who’s making it and how it’s being made,” Wiseman said. “We wanted to meet [the food], [get] our hands dirty in the soil and learn what it is [like] to farm and bring that produce directly to the city.”
Tenne and Wiseman’s first stop was Clear Lake Organic Farms in Fort Benton, Montana. Run by longtime friend and organic farmer Casey Bailey, this 5,000-acre, sustainability-focused family farm supplies the chickpeas that fuel Little Sesame’s creamy hummus.
“My connection to hummus is mostly eating it for most of my life,” Tenne said. “But always as a chef I think there is a big thing with being able to see the food circle of the product you’re using and understanding that what we use as our main ingredient, is what [Bailey] uses to fix the soil between his crops. Adding this element gives me a new perspective on the beauty of the chickpeas.”
After passing through Portland and Tillamook, Oregon, to host a collaborative dinner with Tusk—a Portland-based restaurant—one of Wiseman and Tenne’s last stops was to spend a day with Life Lab, a nonprofit in Santa Cruz, Calif. For the last 52 years, Life Lab has provided a rich, influential program that uses gardens as classrooms to connect kids with where food comes from and how it enriches our bodies and teaches children tools for developing healthy eating habits at an early age.
“To land here in this tranquil oasis of a space with the kids was so grounding for us,” said Wiseman. “It brought us back to why we do what we do, which is about connecting people to good food, and creating this community of people who really care about good food.”
In total, Wiseman, Tenne and their bright blue VW bus traversed the Great Plains, Badlands, Redwoods and Big Sur on their expedition. They charted more than 4,000 miles through 14 states, hosted six dinners, built two pop-up kitchens, swam in one ocean, five rivers and one lake, and made countless new friends along the way.
“We want future generations to have access to the same thrill of discovery with food that we’ve been so lucky to chase on our own travels,” Wiseman said. “By traveling, we live our mission of creating a community of eaters savoring authentic flavors, craving memorable experiences and working to leave the world a better place.”
Preserving a piece of civil rights history: The Jenkins’ Bus
September 18, 2019
Most vehicles that sit outside unattended for four decades aren’t destined to ever move again. But this 1966 Volkswagen Type 2 Deluxe Station Wagon isn’t just any Bus – it’s a piece of civil-rights history, and a memory of a family that spent decades working to make the country a better place.
Esau and Janie B. Jenkins spent several decades fighting to improve the lives of their neighbors on Johns Island, S.C. From the 1940s through the early 1970s, the Jenkins family built a network of businesses and schools for underserved African American residents that would eventually become a template for the entire civil rights movement across the South. They painted their motto on the tailgate of their Bus: “Love Is Progress; Hate Is Expensive.”
“Long years ago, I asked myself, ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’ And the answer I got was, ‘You are,’” Jenkins, who died in 1972, said in an oral history of the area. “I decided to do anything I can to help people in order to help myself.”
Growing up under the racial Jim Crow laws of the era, Esau Jenkins became convinced at an early age that he needed to tackle the discrimination that touched every part of his community’s life. At the start of the 1940s, only a few thousand African American residents across all of South Carolina were allowed to vote, due to racial literacy exams. On Johns Island, most children quit school after eighth grade, as there was no nearby high school, and families could not afford transportation for their children to Charleston.
Jenkins had found his first business in hauling produce to Charleston, and had started taking his own children to schools there with him, a daily trip that began at 4 a.m. In 1945, Jenkins bought his first full-size bus to begin bringing other children from around the community to Charleston; soon after, he began hauling adults who needed work as well.
At the time, South Carolina’s voting literacy test required an applicant to recite and explain a part of the state constitution; only white judges could decide who passed. Jenkins began using the bus trips to teach his passengers what they needed to know to pass the tests; over the years, those rides led to hundreds of new voters from Johns Island.
In 1948, Esau and Janie helped found The Progressive Club on Johns Island, a co-op that provided programs such as legal and financial assistance, child and adult education, and community workshops. The building held a grocery store, gas station and community center. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the two worked tirelessly to help offset the economic disadvantages of Jim Crow, opening several businesses, such as a credit union to provide loans for other small businesses.
In the 1950s, the couple partnered with other Johns Island residents to open the first citizenship school – a more focused form of the talks Esau used to give on his bus rides, helping residents overcome illiteracy and learn their civil rights. The methods they developed were later adopted by civil rights leaders who launched similar schools across the South in the 1960s.
Shortly thereafter, the 1966 Volkswagen Type 2 Bus Esau and Janie had last used was parked on Johns Island, next to the original Progressive Club. Four decades of salt air and the occasional hurricane would eat at the Bus and wear down the “Citizens Committee” lettering they had painted on.
Last year, relatives of Esau and Janie Jenkins asked the Historic Vehicle Association for help in preserving a memory of their work. The HVA documents and helps preserve cars with important historical and cultural meaning, and oversees the National Historic Vehicle Register in partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior, Heritage Documentation Programs and The Library of Congress.
In March of this year, the HVA and the NB Center for American Automotive Heritage teams spent five hours delicately moving the Bus from its resting place, carefully reinforcing key points to help keep the entire frame from collapsing. From there, the Bus was documented, stabilized with a new substructure and had initial preservation work done by experts at BR Howard.
Last week, the Bus went on display on the National Mall; it’s now undergoing additional preservation with help from Volkswagen of America. Diane Parker, vice president of the HVA, says the goal isn’t to restore the Bus, but to preserve its condition as much as possible to reflect the history it’s been a part of.
“We want to make sure future generations can experience this Bus and the work that the Jenkins family did for civil rights,” she said.
Watch the electric ID.R set a record on one of the most beautiful roads in the world
September 13, 2019
It’s known as “Heaven’s Gate” – the world’s highest naturally formed arch, with an opening some 430 feet tall and 190 feet wide, about 5,000 feet up China’s Tianmen mountain. A hallowed and scenic site for centuries, visitors can reach the gate on a road that ranks among the most scenic, and twisting, of any in the world, with 99 sharp switchbacks.
Earlier this month, the Volkswagen ID.R team went to the Tianmen Mountain Big Gate Road to set the first benchmark there of any kind for a performance car, let alone a 671-hp, all-wheel-drive electric one. With Romain Dumas at the wheel again, the ID.R glided up the 6.78-mile route in 7 minutes, 38.585 seconds.
Professional driver on closed course.
The feat was the latest in a string of record-breaking events for the purpose-built electric race car. In June 2018, Dumas not only won the famous ‘Race to the Clouds’ at Pikes Peak for electric vehicles with the ID.R, but also smashed the all-time record for vehicles using any kind of fuel by a massive 16 seconds. A few weeks later, Dumas undercut the record for electric vehicles at the Goodwood Festival of Speed’s famous hill climb in England with the ID.R.
Three months ago, the ID. R set a new and dominating electric record on the Nürburgring, and a few days later came the all-time record in Goodwood – demonstrating how electric vehicles can meet extreme challenges. Next year, Americans will get their chance to see Volkswagen’s ID. electric vehicle technology up close when the wraps come off the first U.S. version of an ID. production car.
alice + olivia’s spring collection blooms into view with a Beetle backdrop
September 10, 2019
The fashion world gathers in New York City every September for a week-long reveal of the latest works from top designers, all capturing trends that will shape the industry in the coming year. Attendees put their best, well-heeled foot forward and see what the season ahead will bring.
The brainchild of designer Stacey Bendet, alice + olivia’s Spring 2020 fashion presentation has long shed the stale catwalk approach for a series of nine “vignettes” – colorful, social-media-ready sets ranging from frothy pink flowered swings to a backdrop of neon orange teddy bears. Among a bustling crowd of onlookers and celebrities, Volkswagen further enhanced Bendet’s dream-like vision this year by displaying its Beetle Final Edition, wrapped in alice + olivia’s whimsical hero print for Spring 2020. Guests were able to partake in the set experience and snap pictures inside and around the personality-packed VW Beetle.
“When the colors are right in a space you exhale and tune into your own interior,” Bendet say. “I dream in color and these rooms are fashion dreams come to life.”
Launched in 2002 by Bendet, alice + olivia has built a sizable following for its mix of whimsy and sophistication that’s a strong reflection of its founder’s personality. Its line of clothing and accessories can be found in more than 800 department and specialty stores worldwide and more than 20 stand-alone boutiques.
The collection introduced color block dressing highlighted by dramatic new shapes which included high-waisted trousers, tops with voluminous sleeves, oversized blazers with pleated ruffle details, and dresses that showcased fresh new floral prints and fine embroidery.
The brand also introduced a collaboration with Murder Bravado designer Everard Best, a rising star in the fashion world. Best is known for his hand embroidered, dyed and distressed denim, and previously collaborated with fashion designers Virgil Abloh and Heron Preston.
“With this collaboration, we wanted to bring our vibe and our design DNA to alice + olivia,” Best says. “We applied our signature dying and distressing techniques then exaggerated the length to keep it super fun and over the top.”
Vintage Warehaus: A true restoration story
August 29, 2019
Tim Bolar’s passion for restoring vehicles started where many enthusiasts’ do: fixing up cars with his grandfather as a kid. Born and raised in Iowa, Bolar talks fondly about his childhood memories of going for ice cream runs in his granddad’s Volkswagen Bug and afternoons spent working on his Beetle.
However, Bolar took his passion one step farther and turned it into a successful career path: he has a 9-to-5 job restoring vehicles and a side Volkswagen-inspired business called Vintage Warehaus.
Started last year by Bolar and his wife, Tasha, Vintage Warehaus is a unique concept. The couple sells one-of-a-kind vintage items and antiques out of their bright orange Volkswagen Transporter.
Over the past year, Tim and Tasha, have taken their colorful VW camper, nicknamed “Bob,” to antique shows around the state of Iowa. In between shows, the couple tracks down unique and uncommon furniture and goods that can be repurposed and resold, with the help of Vintage Warehaus. Through the experience, the pair have met numerous VW owners who jump at the opportunity to share their memories of the brand with fellow enthusiasts.
“We are just passionate about bringing older inventory to life again, which applies to both the cars and the antiques that we sell,” Bolar commented.
Before Vintage Warehaus, Bolar owned and restored several Volkswagen vehicles as a hobby, ranging from the Beetle to Rabbit, Jetta vehicles and a 1976 Westfalia bus. The Westfalia bus, dubbed “Leo,” was a complete overhaul of the vehicle.
Today, Bolar’s most recent restoration project is a blue 1984 Rabbit Cabriolet, Wolfsburg Edition. As he thinks about his plans for future cars and goods, he comments, “These projects just find me.”1