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Unlocking the speed secrets of Volkswagen’s first electric race car

For a motorsports engineer like Cedric Delnatte, the ask was a bit of a dream: Design a new electric vehicle to take on one of the world’s great racing challenges, from scratch, with no rules beyond those of physics and driver safety. The result was the I.D. R Pikes Peak, the car that broke the overall record for the Pikes Peak hill climb in June 2018 – breaking a record that had previously only been set by liquid-fueled vehicles. The trip up the 12.42-mile route took just 7 minutes, 57.148 seconds, but before that was months of work by Delnatte and team to unlock the potential of Volkswagen’s first electric race car. At the Los Angeles auto show, Delnatte provided an insider’s tour into what made the I.D. R so fast, and a bit of a preview of what might come next.   From the start, Delnatte said the team quickly recognized that they would have to find a precise balance between power and weight. At 670 hp, the I.D. R has a mighty amount of grunt, but not as much as, say, a typical stock-bodied racecar. But with just under 2,425 lbs. to move, the I.D. R can accelerate more quickly than most top-level, open cockpit race cars. Delnatte said computer simulations quickly found that limiting weight was vitally important for mastering the Pikes Peak route and its 156 corners — even if it meant sacrificing some power. “Pikes Peak is very specific because it’s made out of corners, so having a lot of power doesn’t really help you – it helps you only on straight lines,” he says.  “You don’t need this power to be fast on the corners.” The I.D. R Pikes Peak at the Los Angeles auto show. The racing number 94 comes from the ninth and fourth letters of the alphabet – I and D. The other challenge was the battery pack. At 45 kilowatt-hours, the battery pack on the I.D. R can hold about 26 percent more energy than a 2018 Volkswagen e-Golf – again, a substantial but not overwhelming amount. Delnatte said the I.D. R was designed to make the most of that energy by relying on recuperation – essentially, using its twin electric motors as generators when driver Romain Dumas needed to slow down to recapture energy back to the batteries. Some 20 percent of the energy the I.D. R used to climb Pikes Peak came from brake regeneration. Making the most of all these parts relied on extensive aerodynamic testing and chassis design. The I.D. R looks like no other car because it’s designed to slip through the air as effortlessly as possible. Every part of the car was optimized either for airflow or downforce, from the smooth floor to the massive rear wing. Since Pikes Peak racers end up at 14,000 feet, the higher altitude makes it harder to maintain downforce. The oversize wing and other parts create so much downward pressure at speed that it’s like having another I.D. R sitting on top of itself. “If you could rotate the car,” says Delnatte, “the car would fly.” Adapting to an electric racecar also posed some challenges for driver Romain Dumas. The low slung, centered cockpit provides great aerodynamics and limited visibility. Dumas’ seat is slightly off-center, as the battery pack has been split in two, with one half next to him and the other behind him for better front/rear weight balance. The other challenge: Just how quiet the I.D. R runs. “It’s much less loud than a conventional engine car, which was affecting Romain quite a lot,” says Delnatte. “A driver in general is adjusting his driving style based on the noise that he’s hearing, and in this type of car you don’t hear that much.” Now that Pikes Peak has been conquered, the I.D. R team has some other plans for the car. Next month, Volkswagen Motorsports will announce the I.D. R’s next challenge. Delnatte couldn’t discuss specifics, but he said just as Pikes Peak took months of work to master, the next target will need its own set of innovations. “If you want to go back to a track basically at sea level, you would change the aero because you don’t need such a big rear wing,” he said. “If you go to a longer track, you would need maybe different batteries, or if you go to a track where you have more straight lines, you would need more power and less drag. So it’s really depending on the target you fix.”

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Volkswagen’s I.D. BUZZ CARGO: The electric van that could deliver the future

As electric vehicles evolve, there will be a need for them to adapt to all the shapes and sizes of vehicles we have today. No type of vehicle may be more ready for an all-electric future than delivery vans – and Volkswagen has an idea to deliver that future to your neighborhood in the I.D. BUZZ CARGO concept. While it’s based on the I.D. BUZZ concept, the I.D. BUZZ CARGO has several major updates throughout to transform it into an all-electric workhorse with autonomous driving capability. Longer than the I.D. BUZZ, the new features on the CARGO run from a solar-panel roof and cockpit workspace to high-voltage power outlets for tools. And as it’s based on Volkswagen’s easily adaptable MEB electric vehicle platform, the CARGO could launch in Europe as early as 2022. The original Transporter was a common sight in its era in the United States, and while Volkswagen does not sell commercial vehicles in the United States, thousands of businesses around the world rely on the modern Transporter light commercial vehicle. Thanks to the still-growing world of e-commerce, demand for those types of trucks continues to rise; between 2005 and 2015, the global number of parcels delivered grew by 128 percent. In the United States last year, your local shippers dropped 11.7 billion boxes on doorsteps – or 37 for every man, woman and child, an 8 percent increase year over year. All those parcels mean more delivery trucks in crowded urban areas running the types of stop-and-go routes that are often the least fuel efficient. An electric vehicle based on a cost-efficient electric vehicle platform like the MEB could offer cost-effective, zero tailpipe-emission solutions that help make the whole process of getting your new mattress more seamless. Worldwide, the Volkswagen Group plans to build 50 electric models across all of its brands by 2025, built at a network of 16 plants globally, with the first U.S. long-range electric SUV scheduled to arrive in 2020. The BUZZ CARGO demonstrates how the technologies behind this revolution can easily adapt to the business of hauling packages instead of people. “We see the business case for electric delivery vehicles in this market growing stronger by the day, especially as battery costs decline,” says Scott Keogh, CEO and President of Volkswagen Group of America. of Dressed up as a support vehicle for the I.D. R Pikes Peak race car, the CARGO concept has several exterior differences from the BUZZ concept – starting with a four-inch longer body for more interior volume. Designed with a single 201-hp motor driving the rear wheels, the CARGO concept could have an estimated range of up to 340 miles on the WLTP cycle, depending on the size of the lithium-ion battery pack, up to 111 kWh for long-range travel. Unlike the BUZZ concept, the CARGO concept does away with a driver-side sliding door to maximize interior space, and adds two new wide-opening clamshell doors in the rear. The roof design features a solar panel that’s large enough to add an estimated 9.3 miles a day to the CARGO range via sunlight; it’s also designed to allow for 150-volt DC fast-charging for quick recharging of the battery pack, or inductive charging that requires no plugging in. Inside, the CARGO puts work first. On the road, the driver can rely on a heads-up display and rear-view cameras, with a fold-down workspace and integrated laptop in place of the passenger seat. When drivers want to let the CARGO’s I.D. PILOT autonomous driving system take over, they can swivel their seat 15 degrees to the right, to use the laptop. Scott Keogh, CEO and President of Volkswagen Group of America, with the I.D. BUZZ CARGO concept The MEB’s location of the battery pack in the floor of the CARGO and rear-axle-mounted motor offers several benefits in space efficiency. There’s up to 7 cubic feet in the CARGO nose compartment, and the rear has been outfitted by German equipment specialist Sortimo with a data-connected shelving system. With 240-volt outlets for power tools and a fold-out workbench, the CARGO can serve as a mobile workshop; with an estimated maximum cargo capacity of 1,760 lbs, it is designed to haul the kind of loads delivery workers need to handle every day. “Imagine how an electric delivery van built for autonomous driving could change our cities,” says Keogh. “Zero tailpipe emissions and lower operating costs for the businesses using them and thus reduced delivery costs to consumer.” When asked whether a vehicle like the CARGO could ever come to the United States, Keogh says “Let’s just say we’re looking at it.” Even if it remains a concept only, the CARGO shows what’s coming to your doorstep next. Note: Concept vehicle shown throughout. Not available for sale. Specifications may change.

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Goodbye, Beetle

The VW Beetle is more than a car — it’s a cultural icon. We celebrate its journey from a singular-looking newcomer to one of America’s favorite fun-to-drive coupes.

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Iconic Finale: Why You’ll Love the Beetle Final Edition

It was 1949 and the U.S. was puzzled. What, exactly, was this car that Volkswagen had shipped here? That car, of course, was the Beetle, which cut a distinctive silhouette on the automotive scene. Its various iterations over the last 70 years have been no exception. And now, with the release of the Beetle Final Editions, Volkswagen is poised to bring one chapter of this storied history to a close. Saying Goodbye Throughout its history, the Beetle has been an innovative design, a counterculture symbol, starred in Hollywood films, and won races. No matter where or when it appeared, the body and design of the “Bug” has always been instantly recognizable. After the last Beetle is produced during the summer of 2019, it will mark the first time in over 20 years that the VW U.S. lineup hasn’t featured this iconic model. Two Cool To celebrate the heritage of the Beetle, two special models — the Final Edition SE and Final Edition SEL — join the final-year lineup. Both are available in coupe and convertible body styles and feature exclusive equipment, unique décor, and heritage-inspired exterior colors. Sun’s Out, Fun’s Out With a standard sunroof, the Final Edition models offer all drivers a chance to catch some rays. And the power-folding soft top on the convertible model makes letting the outside in as easy as a push of a button. Classic Colors When it was produced in 2003, the Beetle Última Edición — which marked the worldwide end of the first-generation Beetle — came in beige and light blue. The Beetle Final Edition models echo those hues with Safari Uni and Stonewashed Blue Metallic. Enthusiasts will recognize Stonewashed Blue Metallic, which is a nod to the 1970 Jeans Bug and most recently seen on the 2016 Beetle Denim. The Safari Uni is a new twist on the Harvest Moon Beige color from the New Beetle generation. The Final Edition models will also come in Pure White, Deep Black Pearl, and Platinum Grey Metallic. And for the first time, an exclusive brown roof option will be available on the convertible, in addition to the beige and black roof.  In Shape Inside the Final Edition SE models are unique cloth and leatherette rhombus-pattern seats while SEL models feature standard diamond-stitched leather seating surfaces. All of the Lights Final Edition SEL models come equipped with Bi-Xenon® headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs), LED taillights, and fog lights. Rethinking the Wheels “A new set of wheels” is more than just an expression: Both Final Edition models feature unique wheel designs. The Final Edition SE models come with 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with a 15-spoke design. On the other hand, the Final Edition SEL models sport 18-inch white aluminum-alloy wheels in a disc design, reminiscent of the Última Edición whitewall tires.  Media Frenzy Final Edition SE models feature a Composition Media infotainment unit with a 6.3-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth connectivity for compatible devices,1 a USB multimedia port, SiriusXM® radio with a three-month trial subscription,2 Voice Control, and Volkswagen Car-Net® App-Connect3 smartphone integration. The Final Edition SEL upgrades to a Discover Media infotainment unit, featuring navigation, Car-Net® Security & Service,4 and Guide & Inform,5 as well as Fender® Premium Audio. More Tech You’ll Love All Beetle Final Edition models offer Driver Assistance technology.6 The SE models include standard Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Traffic Alert, while SEL models add standard front and rear Park Distance Control. Performance, Of Course While the Final Edition models include a number of new touches, performance remains constant, powered by a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder TSI® engine with 174 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, mated with a six-speed automatic transmission. The EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of the models is 26 mpg city, 33 mpg highway, and 29 mpg combined.7 Delightful Details No corner of the Beetle Final Edition has been overlooked. Inside features the standard keyless access with push-button start,8 Safari Uni color dashpad with heritage-inspired Käferfach glovebox or “Beetle bin”, a gloss-black center console, and a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel with unique “Beetle” clip. Outside, stainless-steel pedal caps and a tailgate “Beetle” badge complete the look. of

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How the Volkswagen Apprenticeship Program makes an impact with jobs

Across the country, more than 530,000 people are chasing the dream of a career through an apprenticeship program. These programs combine on-the-job training with classroom work to help enable tech-focused workers to graduate with in-demand skills – and often, a job offer waiting for them. The Volkswagen Apprenticeship Program began at the Chattanooga plant in 2010, training workers who graduate certified to work in any Volkswagen plant worldwide. To mark National Apprenticeship Week, we asked Ilker Subasi, the assistant manager of technical training at Volkswagen Chattanooga, to explain the history of the VW Apprenticeship program, its impact on the local community and what recent program updates mean for the program’s future. How did the Apprenticeship Program get started? Why the need? The decision to train apprentices in Chattanooga came before Volkswagen had even started building the plant. We identified that skilled maintenance technicians were scarce in the United States, especially in the Chattanooga region. And, since Volkswagen runs many successful apprenticeship programs in Germany and around the world, it made sense to bring the knowledge and capabilities to Volkswagen Chattanooga. The apprenticeship program is seen as the basis for qualifying and developing skilled workers on a long-term basis and aims to train workers to Volkswagen standards, helping to ensure  the company could fill the anticipated open positions with skilled workers. Upon graduation, the apprentices can start working in the plant immediately and are already familiar with the Volkswagen culture, expectations and technical equipment. How many applications do you get each year? How many apprentices have graduated? We have seen a steady increase of applications over the years. This year we received almost 200 applications for 24 open apprenticeship positions. The process of reviewing all applications and interviewing candidates takes about six months. Since 2013, 95 apprentices have graduated from the Mechatronics Program. Graduates receive a Volkswagen Group Academy Diploma, which certifies that they have received factory training according to global Volkswagen standards. Graduates also receive an Associate Applied Science Degree in Engineering Technologies from the local college. All graduates are also eligible to be placed in positions in the Chattanooga Plant. How large is the average class and what is a normal day like for apprentices? Each year, 24 new students, divided into two classes of 12, start the program. This creates a good learning environment and allows for ideal mentoring from the instructors. The program’s dual apprenticeship structure means learning through a combination of hands-on experiences and theory. During their semesters in the Academy, apprentices spend 80 percent of their time doing hands-on equipment training, which resembles work they would do in the Plant. The remaining 20 percent of their time is spent learning the complementing theoretical content. Additionally, students spend three semesters completing on-the-job training in different departments on the Volkswagen Chattanooga shop floor where they are introduced to the production environment, can use their acquired skills and can start building relationships within their future workplace. What concentrations does the current program offer students? Currently, the program offers Robotronics, which is a combination of robotics, troubleshooting, IT programming and maintenance. This past August, Volkswagen announced the relaunch of the Apprenticeship Program which was the most comprehensive update since the program started in 2010. What did you change? The shift in the industry and changes in technology across car manufacturing has influenced the qualifications that skilled team members need to excel in their positions. The new Robotronics apprenticeship program is a reaction to these circumstances and the new content is designed to help ensure that graduates have the right qualifications and can be prepared for the changing manufacturing environment. Program updates include a shift from mechanical to robotic training, which is becoming increasingly important in manufacturing. What benefits do graduates have entering the next phase of their careers? Are they guaranteed a job upon graduation? Graduates start their positions already familiar with the company culture, technical equipment and department environment. The apprenticeship has taught them up-to-date technical skills, which is why all graduates are guaranteed a job offer in the Plant. In addition, graduates may take part in programs called “Wanderjahre,” an international assignment opportunity to work in a different Volkswagen plant anywhere in the world for a year. This past May the High School Mechatronics Akademie held their first graduation, and 11 of those students chose to continue their training and become Volkswagen Robotronics Apprentices. Can you talk a little about the importance of this program to the Academy? The high school program at the Academy offers students, who are interested in hands-on learning and technical subjects, the opportunity to complete their last two years of high school at the Academy, working on state-of-the-art technical equipment, getting to know the Volkswagen culture and earning over 40 credit hours towards a college education. If they enjoy this learning environment and are interested in Robotronics, we hope they apply for the Volkswagen Chattanooga Robotronics Program. We fill many of our apprenticeship positions with these individuals who already bring commitment and passion to the company. Ilker Subasi, the assistant manager of technical training at Volkswagen Chattanooga How have you seen the program impact the local Chattanooga community? By offering an apprenticeship program that trains skilled workers in the technical field, Volkswagen helps support the local workforce development. The program has not only resulted in individuals starting careers in manufacturing, but has also led to other companies in the region now offering similar apprenticeship programs as a result of the success at the Volkswagen Academy. As an Apprenticeship Program graduate, how did the program affect your life and professional career? I started my own career as an apprentice at Volkswagen in Germany 20 years ago. Just like our apprentices here, I got to know the Volkswagen standards, culture and was taught valuable, professional skills in a modern, hands-on learning environment. The culture and mindset that I learned during those three years have stayed with me throughout my career at Volkswagen. Building on the content of my apprenticeship, I successfully obtained two Master’s Degrees in mechanical/electrical engineering and teaching. In 2010 I was sent to Chattanooga to design and build the dual apprenticeship program, again being able to utilize my own experience. Now, I am managing the apprenticeship program as well the technical training needs across Volkswagen Chattanooga.

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Top tuners take the Volkswagen Jetta and Arteon up a notch at SEMA

Every fall, hundreds of wild custom vehicles and the creative minds behind them gather at the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association show in Las Vegas to show off the latest trends in car modifications on the latest models. While SEMA never fails to draw out the unusual and unexpected, the best in show often demonstrates a flair for making everyday vehicles striking – in ways that might not require access to a paint shop and years of experience. This year, some of the top aftermarket suppliers and customizers in the country chose the 2019 Jetta and the upcoming Arteon to show how cars can transform into personal expressions. Here’s an up-close look at the results. of Volkswagen enthusiast Jamie Orr has a history of cutting-edge builds, and has now taken his talents to a White Silver Jetta S with six-speed manual transmission. His plan to stand out with the Jetta was to go for understatement, but with sharp details. “I’ve been a long-time fan of the Volkswagen Jetta through the years,” he said. “The 2019 model has some really interesting and exciting design elements, which I was thrilled to try to highlight.” Several of the parts Orr chose make their debut on his car, starting with the set of 20-inch Work Emotion T5R 2P wheels, wrapped in Delinte DS8 tires. The exterior carries an ECS Tuning 3D-printed prototype body kit, including a high-rise rear spoiler. Lowered on KW Clubsport coil-overs that feature remote reservoirs and three-way adjustable damping, the aggressive stance also showcases ECS Tuning brake rotors with Brembo six-piston calipers up front and Golf R calipers/carriers at the rear. Inside, Orr installed RECARO® A8 seats and rear seats reupholstered in houndstooth-style material, complimented by a Black Forest Industries color-matched shift knob and boot, “Almost every part that has gone into the car has been developed specifically for it within about four weeks,” says Orr. “I was ecstatic to be able to collaborate on a newly released design, from a beloved car line with such great history.” of Inspired by Jetta/Golf accessories from the 1980s and 90s, Air Design USA’s Jetta SEL plays to the strong retro trend among gearheads today. Nineteen-inch TSW Hockenheim S wheels, shod with Falken Azenis FK510 tires, are a modern redesign of the 90s-era DTM-inspired Hockenheim wheel. An Air Design USA body kit with rear lip spoiler is complimented by vintage look tri-color graphics that echo onto a roof-mounted bicycle, attached with Volkswagen Accessories roof bars and upright bicycle rack. A lowered stance is achieved with EIBACH® Progressive Rate Lowering Springs, while front performance brake calipers get a coat of GLI red paint. Inside, two-tone custom cognac and black colored seating surfaces with matching door cards and steering wheel complete the retro look. “Air Design’s first styling kits were developed for the Jetta Mark 2 and Jetta Mark 3 and have been part of the Volkswagen Euro-tuning cult, with a legion of dedicated fans throughout the world,” states Mariana Lopez, PR and Social Media Manager for Air Design. “When the Jetta A7 arrived this year, we knew we had to make sure we developed a sporty styling package to be available for our customers.” of When it came to customizing Volkswagen’s upcoming flagship sedan, the tuners at H&R Special Springs didn’t see any need to tinker with the car’s striking exterior design. “The all-new Arteon is one of most exciting new vehicles to arrive on the automotive scene,” says Roland Graef, president of H&R Special Springs. “The lines on car are very pleasing, with good proportions — everyone that sees it says it looks great.” The H&R team rose to the occasion instead by lowering the body with its VTF Adjustable Lowering Springs. The stance takes a slightly more aggressive tack thank to 20-inch Rotiform BUC wheels and H&R Trak+ wheel spacers wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero tires, guarding newly aggressive Brembo GT six-piston Monoblock brake calipers. The sole exterior flourish comes from a set of Sticky Jewel Graphics on the lower sides. of Built to highlight the aftermarket suspension offerings from H&R Special Springs, this Jetta R-Line has been lowered via H&R Street Performance Coil Overs and Trak+ wheel spacers. Perching the car on 19 x 8.5-inch Rotiform BUC wheels wrapped in Pirelli P Zero tires has cleared the way for upgraded front performance brake calipers, color-matched to the Habanero Orange factory paint, and 13.4-in rotors. Styling comes by way of an Air Design USA body kit, including a high-rise rear spoiler and Sticky Jewel graphics. A full suite of available Volkswagen Accessories rounds out the build, including Comfort & Protection accessory MoJoMats® carpet floor mats & MuddyBuddy Trunk Liner, Bumperdillo® rear bumper protection, and pop-in sunshades. Even the steering wheel was swapped with a BAK Performance carbon-fiber and leather sport wheel with orange stitching. “The Jetta is a great car out of the box,” says Graef. “Like all of our projects, we always build vehicles that can be repeated by others and utilized by the daily driver enthusiast.” Note: Modifying vehicles can adversely affect warranty coverage & compliance with required safety & other standards

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Taking the VW van life road to cosplay adventure

For many people, the thought of quitting a job and traveling the United States sounds like a dream. For Justin and Megan Webb, it’s a reality. Last year, the Tennessee couple decided they had nothing to lose by pursuing a passion. They sold almost everything they had, donated what they could, and kept only a box each of sentimental belongings. They then traveled to Boise, Idaho, where they picked up the vehicle they would live in and drive across the country—a 1984 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia. When the Webbs first bought the van from a collector at the beginning of 2018, it had about 89,000 miles on it. It now has 110,000 miles in the early stages of the Webb’s dream journey—to attend as many cosplay conventions as possible. Justin and Megan Webb in their Vanagon. Modifying vehicles can adversely affect warranty coverage and compliance with required safety and other standards. To people who aren’t familiar with the world of cosplay: Yes, it’s short for “costume play,” people who dress up as characters from pop culture—movies, video games, comic books, and elsewhere. It’s a way to express creativity, boast fandom and have fun, all at once. Justin describes it as the chance to celebrate Halloween every day of the year: “Cosplay is the chance to showcase your love of a show or game and step out of your skin to be someone else,” he says. The Webbs have dressed as a variety of characters at cosplay conventions and their VW bus is always a hot commodity. Decked out with magnet decals that can be peeled on and off easily, their Volkswagen van is a replica evacuation shuttle from a popular series of video games set in a post-apocalyptic future. “It’s got really cool memorabilia and people can come sit inside and check it out. People think it’s awesome,” says Justin. “The van really fits the shape of the one from the game,” says Justin. “I like the freedom the apocalypse offers to the people in the game. You step out into a wasteland with all new people surviving and building new cities. It’s all about exploration, and the van, outside of the game, offers the same thing—exploration and freedom.” The van is also equipped with solar panels, a solar shower, wood flooring and an awning that Justin has built himself. “Every spare dime went into this van. We might have lost a lot of amenities moving into it, but we gained a lot of freedom,” says Justin. While their friends were jealous of their adventure, Justin admits his family thought he and Megan were nuts, and worried about their finances. But due to the van’s cosplay theme, Justin and Megan are often invited to conventions and paid to attend. The Webbs’ updated van. Modifying vehicles can adversely affect warranty coverage and compliance with required safety and other standards. On the road, Justin and Megan enjoy all the honks and thumbs ups from other drivers, but sometimes wish getting gas could be quicker. They are often stopped by other customers asking about the van and wanting to take pictures. When Justin and Megan want to drive in peace, they simply take the magnets off. Justin and Megan plan to live in the van for a minimum of one year, visiting all 50 states, Canada and Peru. They hope the trip lasts longer though, and they plan to keep going as long as they continue to receive sponsorships. Because of Megan’s German heritage, their end goal is ultimately to take the van to Germany. They are currently in the process of learning German, to learn to read the original owner’s manual. In the meantime, Justin is most looking forward to visiting Anchorage, Alaska to see the Northern Lights, while Megan is most excited to visit all of the Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C. “That’s what the Volkswagen bus means to us,” said Justin. “We can explore ourselves and the world that was given to us.”

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