Retrospective

It's been 65 years since VW rolled a gold and rhinestone Beetle off the line in Germany

Volkswagen created this one-off Beetle to celebrate a signninficannt anniversary.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The one-millionth Volkswagen recently rolled off the line at the company's Chattanonoga, Tennessee plant. It's been 65 years since the same thing happened in Wolfsburg, Germany.

The factory first opened in 1938. Due to regulations put in place by the German government then American occupation in the lead up to and throughout World War II, the factory did not gear up to produce civilian vehicles en masse until after the war was over.

Volkswagen Wolfsburg line Volkswagen produced the Beetle and Bus at the plant following World War II.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Leadership by British Army officer Major Ivan Hirst saved the plant from complete ruin. Hirst convinced the British government to place an order for military vehicles with the plant. Slowly, as Europe worked to recover from the warn, Volkswagen began creating a sales network.

In the early 1950s, the Wolfsburg facility began assembling the Beetle and the Bus.

By 1955 the Beetle was one of the most popular vehicles ever made. To celebrate the one-millionth vehicle milestone Volkswagen hatched a plan to celebrate the moment by producing a gold-painted Beetle whose bumpers were lined with rhinestones.

Volkswagen 1 millionth plant The company had 150,000 people join in a ceremony to celebrate the 1 millionth vehicle produced at the plant.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The car rolled off the assembly line in a celebration with nearly 150,000 people joining in for the festivities.

The golden, one-millionth Beetle now makes its home in Wolfsburg's AutoStadt Museum.

Just 17 years later, on February 17, 1972, Volkswagen broke the record for the total production of a vehicle surpassing the Ford Model T. The Model T was produced between 1908 and 1927.

Volkswagen had produced its 16 millionth Beetle by 1973 and on June 23, 1992, they company reached the 21 million mark.

VW bid farewell to its iconic Beetle on December 31, 2019 with a short film that aired during "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2020". The film, called "The Last Mile" featured a number of moments from the Beetle's history. Eagled eyed watchers can nview the film and see numerous pop culture references throughout the film including cameos from Kevin Bacon's character in "Footloose", an astronaut, and artist Andy Warhol. There's a sign proclaiming that its "Not a Lemon" and a cameo from Bravo TV host Andy Cohen in the 90-second spot.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye is the most powerful and fastest mass-produced sedan in the world.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Dodge's trio of fresh horsepower hellions is rounded out by the 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye, a 797-horsepower car that is the most powerful and fastest mass-produced sedan in the world.

The exterior of the model is a Charger Widebody, complete with 3.5 inches of width, which alloss for proper space for the car's wide wheels and tires. It rides on standard 20-inch-by-11-inch Lightweight Carbon Black wheels wrapped on Pirelli 305/35ZR20 tires. Three-season wheels are also available.

2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye The car has a revised, functional hood scoop.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The front of the Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye features a mail-slot grille. Side sills connect the front and rear fascias.

Thirteen different exterior colors are available including: F8 Green, Frostbite, Go Mango, Granite Crystal, Hellraisin, IndiGo Blue, Octane Red, Pitch Black, Sinamon Stick, Smoke Show, TorRed, Triple Nickel, and White Knuckle.

The Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye has a top speed of 203 mph (7 mph higher than the standard Charger SRT Hellcat), which it reaches thanks to its supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V8. The engine also achieves 707 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. That all sits. below a freshly fashioned performance hood.

Dodge has given the model an upgraded torque converter, which gives the car an 18-percent increase in torque multiplication.

2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye Dodge has given the model a number of upgrades over the traditional Charger.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

"The Charger is a big, comfortable, five-passenger sedan that can run the quarter-mile in the mid-10s, 0-60 in the mid 3s and reach a top speed of 203 mph, and be your daily driver," said said Tim Kuniskis, Global Head of Alfa Romeo and Head of Passenger Cars – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA – North America. The Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye runs 1.2 seconds faster than the Charger SRT Hellcat on a 2.1-mile road course, equal to about seven car lengths after one lap.

Like its Demon relative, the Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye's engine has 25 major component upgrades a larger supercharger, strengthened connecting rods and pistons, larger induction air box, two dual-stage fuel pumps, high-speed valve train, fuel injection system, SRT Power Chiller, After-Run Chiller, and improved lubrication system.

The cabin's dashboard is centered by an 8.4-inch Uconnect touch screen, which includes performance pages where owners can monitor the vehicles' performance on and off the track.

2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye The interior features standard Laguna leather seats.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The standard Laguna leather seats are embossed with the SRT Hellcat logo. Buyers can add the Alcantara Appearance Package which adds Alcantara upholstery and retains the embossed logo. Seats are stitched with silver thread.

The interior is accented by Light Black Chrome material and it features a Gunmetal SRT Hellcat instrument panel badge. Additionally, the car gets a red speedometer, Light Black Chrome instrument panel badge with SRT Hellcat Redeye logo, SRT Hellcat Redeye logo splash screen, and SRT Hellcat Redeye logo on the key fobs.

The Carbon & Suede Package, available on Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye, adds real carbon fiber accents to the instrument panel and console bezels and Dinamica suede headliner, sun visors and A-pillars.

Dodge sells the model in six interior color combinations: black, black/caramel, black/Demonic Red, black/houndstooth, black/Ruby Red, and black/sepia.

2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye The rear of the model features familiar Dodge Charger design.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Dealer orders open for 2021 Dodge Charger models this autumn and vehicles are scheduled to start arriving in dealerships in early 2021

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Ford has revealed the silhouettes of the three models in the Bronco family.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford has made it official. Not only will we see the Ford Bronco for the first time next Monday night, we'll see three Ford Broncos. That's right, the automaker is making two- and four-door versions of the heralded 4x4 SUV as well as the more lifestyle-focused Bronco Sport.

From the images Ford released, it's apparent that the two-door Bronco delivers a different flavor than the four-door, rather than just being a shortened model. The two-door 2021 Ford Bronco is shown without its two front doors and what appears to be a soft top style roof. Its blunt front end and silhouette are reminiscent of the original Bronco.

2021 Ford Bronco family Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The four-door model shown is what most Americans likely think of as the traditional Bronco. It is squared off and upright with flared fenders, a spare wheel out back, hard top, and a blunt front smiler to the two-door version.

We've already seen the headlights and sides of the Bronco as part of Instagram teasers the company released last week.

The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport sits on the same platform as the 2020 Ford Escape. Its interior is designed with a rugged yet comfortable lifestyle in mind. Because of its production mate, the Bronco Sport is likely to not be as capable as the two- or four-door Bronco.

With these images, Ford makes it clear that Bronco has the Jeep Wrangler firmly in its sights. While the two-door Wrangler and four-door Wrangler Sahara match up size-wise with the Bronco, the Bronco Sport is more the size of the Jeep Cherokee. Whether or not there is enough room in America's hearts for all the models remains to be seen.

The debut of the Bronco is slated for July 13 at 8 p.m. Click here to see all the ways to watch it alongside AutomotiveMap. Then, plan on coming back to AutomotiveMap for full model coverage, just like we did with redesigned 2021 Ford F-150 two weeks ago.

Bronco fans can reserve their Bronco model for $100 each, starting Monday, July 13 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

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