Vintage & Classics

The Volkswagen Beetle's blumenvasen got its start as a high-end porcelain German accessory

The blumenvasen became standard on the New Beetle.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

It's safe to say that in the 1950s and 60s, the Volkswagen Beetle had more flower power than horsepower. The affordable runaround had hit its stride in both Europe and America by then and was coming into popularity with a growing hippie crowd.

A unique feature made its debut in the 1950s inside the cabin of the Beetle - a porcelain vase. Known in German as "blumenvasen", the vase was perfect to hold one single flower close to the driver, whether it was on the dashboard, speaker grille, or windshield. Many of those first bud vases were made by high-end German porcelain manufacturers.

Volkswagen Beetle vase New BeetleVolkswagen gave the New Beetle a standard acrylic vase while older models had porcelain versions of the accessory.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

According to Volkswagen,

"Beyond adding a little color and joy to daily car rides, the accessory was also a nod to the very early days of car driving. Automobile vases first started appearing in the late 1800s not as an interesting novelty, but out of necessity. The vases, often filled with fresh, fragrant flowers, were used as air fresheners to help cover engine odors and the scent of passengers themselves in pre-air conditioned interiors. The vases themselves quickly became decorative as well and were widely available in catalogs and hardware stores."

The era of the bud vase left the U.S. when Volkswagen ended Beetle sales in the country in 1978. However, 20 years later, when the Beetle made a comeback, so did they.

Known as the New Beetle, the fresh take on the classic car wasn't as simplistic as the original, nor as affordable, but did bring with it a design that was reminiscent of the years surrounding the Summer of Love. The New Beetle included a standard three-inch acrylic version of the Bug's signature vase.

The New Beetle was advertised with slogans such as, "The engine is in the front, but the heart is in the same place" and "A work of art with side air bags and a bud vase."

The bud vase was dropped when the Beetle was redesigned in 2011 but bud vases are still hot options for classic Volkswagen Beetles.

Volkswagen said goodbye to the Beetle at the end of 2019 with a poignant ad showcasing the history of the model.

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VW purchased the rights to the iconic Scout name and plans to make new EVs under the brand.

Volkswagen

Automakers bring back names and brands from the past all the time, but it's not every day that a major company purchases a brand name specifically for the purpose of reviving it. That's exactly what Volkswagen just did with Scout, the name of an ultra-popular off-road SUV that was built by International Harvester in the 1960s and 1970s.

As for the types of vehicles we'll see from the brand, we currently only have the renders to go on. The pickup truck and SUV both feature throwback styling that is reminiscent of the original Scout shapes. Beefy off-road tires and lifted suspension are the only other clues available in the drawings.

Volkswagen has its own EVs, and its other brands like Audi and Porsche have made significant progress with electric vehicles as well. That said, VW doesn't really have a solid off-road option from any of its brands at the moment, so the Scout purchase opens doors for the automaker in that arena.

The announcement sounds exciting, but we've still got plenty of time to wait before there's a Scout-branded EV on the roads. Volkswagen said the plan is to release vehicles by 2026, but it won't be sitting idle between now and then. The VW ID.4 is still very fresh and the automaker says it will launch a total of 25 new EVs in the U.S. by 2030.

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The ID. Buzz enters production in Europe soon.

Volkswagen

The Volkswagen ID. Buzz is one of the most anticipated EVs in a sea of desirable and exciting new vehicles. With retro styling and an all-electric powertrain, the van promises to be a funky, futuristic people-hauler with plenty of new tech. Today, VW handed out specs and information on the van during its global launch.

Volkswagen ID. BuzzInterior and exterior design ooze retro style. Volkswagen

Two configurations are available: A five-seat passenger version and a three-seat cargo version. Both ride on Volkswagen's modular electric drive platform (MEB), and both are rear-wheel drive. Power output lands at 201 horsepower and 229 pound-feet of torque, and the van's top speed reaches 145 mph.

Inside is where the magic happens. The passenger van features five seats, and in top models the seats come with massaging functionality. The three-person bench seat in the second row can be folded flat or folded 60/40, and the seat slides up to 5.9 inches front to back. Six-passenger seating is standard, but an extended wheelbase seven-seat configuration will be offered.

Inside, a ten-inch digital gauge cluster is standard, and pairs with a ten-inch infotainment touchscreen. A 12-inch display is available, and touch controls handle climate controls and audio volume. Rather than a traditional gear selector lever, Volkswagen uses a stalk mounted on the steering column. The Cargo version gets special storage functions, including a removal center console and several storage bins.

Volkswagen ID. BuzzBoth passenger and cargo configurations are offered.Volkswagen

ID. Buzz Cargo production starts in Europe early this year, with production of the standard van following shortly after. The European launch is scheduled for the third quarter of 2022, and the van will launch in North America in 2024. Volkswagen has not yet nailed down the model year for the new van, and will release more information closer to its release.

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