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Volkswagen's "R" gets a new logo starting with 2020 Atlas Cross Sport

Volkswagen's iconic "R" logo is getting a 21st Century update.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen ushered in its highest level of popularity with the VW Beetle and alongside the development of that product came the VW R line.

In the 1970s, European Beetle enthusiasts begged the company to create a limited-edition version fo the Bug for rally driving. It would have an upgraded suspension and brakes. Volkswagen obliged, offering a well-equipped Beetle with a special yellow and black livery called the Beetle GSR or Gelb Schwartz Renner.

The spirit of that rally car would continue through the generations of Volkswagen vehicles extending through the Golf R and the company's R-Line trim levels that can be found on many modern VWs like the Jetta and Passat.

"Volkswagen R is all about excitement and thrill," says Jost Capito, Managing Director of Volkswagen R." In the future, we will continue to focus our efforts on integrating these emotions into the Volkswagen brand."

MK4 Volkswagen Golf R32

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

This model got its power from a 3.2-liter six-cylinder engine.

The modern incarnation of Volkswagen R began in 2002 with the reveal of the first Golf R32, designed to be a hotter hatch than the typical Golf. Produced until 2005, the model came complete with a 3.2-liter six-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive. The engine pumped out 238 horsepower and was the world's first production car with a race-inspired dual-clutch automated manual gearbox.

When Volkswagen redesigned the Golf for the 2008 model year, the company sold a very limited number of 2008 Golf R32 models in the U.S., due in large part to the Great Recession. The redesign gave the model 250 horsepower but took away its manual transmission, opting instead for paddle shifters.

Two iterations later, the Golf R has reached its 2019 model year with a 288 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque rating. It can be had with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG transmission. It starts at just over $40,000.

Earlier this year, Volkswagen introduced the 2020 Atlas Cross Sport and when the model arrives on dealership lots, a new version of the R logo will come with it.

"The R marks the athletic apex of our model program and the R logo serves as an expression of both aesthetics and sportsmanship," says Klaus Bischoff, Head of Volkswagen Design.

The new logo was designed at the Volkswagen Design Center in Santa Monica, California.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The expected range of the Volkswagen ID.4 has been confirmed.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 will have an EPA-estimated 250-mile range. The estimate is for ID.4 1st Edition and Pro models. The EPA-estimated fuel economy for city driving is 104 MPGe; highway driving is rated at 89 MPGe, and combined city/highway at 97 MPGe. It will be VW's first long-range model sold in the U.S.

The ID.4 1st Edition and Pro will be the first models out of the gate for VW. They feature an 82 kilowatt-hour battery and a rear-mounted motor that produces 201 horsepower and 228 pound-feet of torque.

2021 Volkswagen ID.4 The interior of the ID.4 features a minimalist aesthetic.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen says that at a DC fast-charging station, with 125 kilowatt charging, the ID.4 can go from five to 80 percent charged in about 38 minutes. VW is providing three years of Electrify America fast charging with every ID.4 purchase at no additional cost. Electrify America is the nation's largest open DC fast charging network with more than 470 charging stations and over 2,000 DC fast chargers. Earlier this year the company completed its second cross-country charging route.

Based on calculations by Volskwagen using the EPA's cost allowances, it will cost $700 per year, on average, to fuel the ID.4 in the U.S. The company estimates that over five years owners will save $2,250 compared to the average new model.

The first ID.4s will be made overseas soon. VW will make the battery electric vehicle (BEV) in the U.S.A at VW's Chattanooga plant. The model will be made and go on sale in early 2021.

Pricing for the ID.4 starts at $39,995 for the ID.4 Pro. Buyers may qualify for a $7,500 federal tax credit. The limited-run ID.4 1st Edition, which sold out the day the vehicle was launched, carried an MSRP of $43,995.

Volkswagen has plans to release a 302-horsepower, electric all-wheel-drive variant of the ID.4 later in 2021. Range estimates for that model are forthcoming.

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Little Sesame's Volkswagen Bus allows the restaurant's chefs to travel the country in search of new flavors.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Holiday shoppers this year, once again, have shopping small on the mind. For some businesses, their idea of small is smaller than most. From a hummus shop to a coffee shop, to a mobile bookstore, many small business owners rely on vintage Volkswagen products to help their businesses run.

Little Sesame

Little Sesame Volkswagen Bus

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

In 2015, chefs Nick Wiseman and Ronen Tenne opened their hummus shop in Washington, D.C. They didn't just want another restaurant, they wanted to create a different way of doing business than they'd experienced in some of the New York City area kitchens they'd cooked in over the years. They wanted travel.

In order to inspire new flavors , Wiseman and Tenne hop into their robin's egg blue 1978 Volkswagen Bus and explore the country. Their current Bowl of the Week brings in autumn and wintertime flavors with ingredients like maple roasted winter squash, pomegranate molasses, crispy chickpeas, za'ata, and herbs.

The restaurant, with locations in the Golden Triangle and Chinatown, is currently open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They offer catering and meal kits as well as online ordering for pickup and delivery.

Dom's Coffee

In Farmington Valley, Connecticut, a European-style coffee shop sits on a strip of real estate next to buildings similar to what you'd find in nearly anyone's hometown - a car dealership and a church. The brick-and-mortar shop was opened by Andrius Plankis and Asta Plankiene in May 2015, two years after the couple emigrated to the U.S. from Lithuania.

In addition to their shop, they run a fully-equipped mobile espresso bar out of the back of a Volkswagen Atlas R-Line. Their specialty is artistically crafted drinks including espressos, affogatos, specialty lattes, cold brews, and hot chocolates.

The Cincy Book Bus

The Cincy Book Bus

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

After retiring from 25 years of teaching, Melanie Moore decided it was time to pursue her dream: opening a bookstore. But she didn't just want to own the shop around the corner, she wanted to have a business that would work to get books into the hands of children that need them the most. Just as she was about to sign a lease for a storefront, she got cold feet.

Inspired by a novel centered around a fictional, female horse-drawn carriage bookseller, Moore decided to launch the Cincy Book Bus – a mobile bookstore – out of the bed of her husband's teal 1962 Volkswagen Transporter. The van holds about 150 books, and Moore regularly rotates titles to cater to her audiences.

Moore dedicates her profits to stocking classroom libraries.

While these three businesses are small, three large corporations (including Nike) were founded from humble beginnings thanks in no small part to their Volkswagens. Click here to read their stories.

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