Monday, July 25, 2011

Volkswagen Concept: iROCK Scirocco

Hot dry air pushes northeastward up from the Sahara Desert and spins in a counter-clockwise rotation across the southern coasts of Europe. The Italian name for these winds is Sirocco and it carries red Sahara dust along the African coastal regions causing abrasion in machinery and magageing to penetrate buildings. The winds peak during March and November with wind speeds up to 100 kilometer per hour.

Like these winds, storms, heavy rains and lots of water usually followed.

Volkswagen desperately wanted to modernize it's product offerings and realized that the air-cooled platform so successful from before the war had run it's course. A new breed of
water-cooled Volkswagens were in the works.

The Volkswagen Scirocco, a small 3-door coupe was developed during the early 70s as a replacement for the venerable Karmann Ghia. Using the Golf/Rabbit platform, the model's all-new wedge shaped styling was penned by none other than Giorgetto Guigaro. His other notable "Wedge" designs include the "James Bond 007" Lotus Esprit S1 and the "Back to the Future" DeLorean DMC-12.

In 1974, the Scirocco officially went on sale in Europe and in North America in 1975. The Mark I, manufactured from 1974 to 1982, featured four-cylinder engines ranging from 1.1 to 1.7 Liters, all having 2 valves per cylinder and single overhead camshafts. Most came with a 4-speed manual transmission before the 5-speed American version was made available in 1979.

This Volkswagen Concept: iROCK Scirocco uses a late (1979) US Version of the Mark I Scirocco. This is a car I lusted after when I was in college. It was not offered in the Philippines and the best I could do was the 1st generation Passat 2-door which I painted black (from white) including the rims and installed front fender "windsplits" and a FOHA rear spoiler. I also installed a Clarion "component" car stereo with Jensen Speakers.

But this IROCK Scirocco was the look I was gong for. I was always fond of the single wiper which parked on the passenger side of the windshield and the one-piece wrap around bumper. To make the dream complete, this concept includes the windsplits and FOHA spoiler as well as a quartet of Bosch fog lights.

Volkswagen Concept: iROCK Scirocco is powered by a turbocharged version of the 2.0 FSI engine, producing 200 PS (147 kW; 197 hp) from a Mark V Volkswagen Golf coupled to a 7-speed DSG (Dual Clutch) from the new Mark 6 Golf all tied up on a PQ35 platform from the Golf Mark V.

The interior features comfortable gun metal grey leather while the exterior was painted a 1981 "S" version Cirrus Gray Metallic color to keep it stealthy!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Volkswagen Concept: Hebmeuller Superbe

Throw away the book.

Guaranteed to turn heads is this Heb-style 1303 Super Beetle. A look at what could have been if Hebmeuller Coachcraft survived the war and continued to produce it’s 2-seat Convertible into the Super Beetle era.

Most assuredly, Hebmeuller would be at the forefront of VW advancements. As the VW Convertible evolved into the 1303 model, Hebmeuller also followed suit.

The Hebmeuller Superbé is a Volkswagen Concept based on a late model 1303S Convertible. The Superbé features the distinctive curved 03 windshield, the re-engineered VW top, and at the rear, the smoothened hood that echoes the sexy Heb shape.

Giving Superbé the visual jolt is the bright tangerine sides with the straight black body. Bilstein adjustable coilovers replace tired VW McPherson struts and the Brembo brake upgrades are decades more advanced. Polished EMPI 18-inch replica wheels with Fulda rubber fill-in the reworked fenders quite nicely. Modifying the Hebmeuller in the popular German-Look formula, Porsche 944 Turbo trailing Arms with Bilstein adjustable shocks and same Brembo brake upgrades round out the rear. A fire-breathing, blueprinted 3.0 liter Type4 engine, mated to a rare Gene Berg 5-speed gearbox pushes the Hebmeuller Superbé flat out at the ‘Bahn.

The “Burnt Orange” leather interior is luscious, it hides the audio/video gear from prying eyes. The clean dash features VDO white faced gauges. Twin Recaros in matching orange leather regularly gather crowds at the local Mickey D’s.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Volkswagen Concept: The Girl From Ipanema

A cutesy Volkswagen Brasilia made into a tasty woodie!

It’s a little known fact that Brazil, the country, was named after the precious dye extracted out of her native trees. Interest was minimal at first, but the discovery there of a type of wood containing a valuable red dye, know as brazil, was treasured by the Portugese who quickly exported boatloads of the expensive stuff to Portugal and the rest of Europe.

The Brazilian rainforest, essential to the worlds ecosystem, also provides an appropriate link to this Volkswagen Concept.

The Brazilia, a model Volkswagen sold locally is poised for a big comeback. The ugly duckling of the local VW scene, is a rare bird these days, more so the four-door. The styling, different to say the least, was designed by Brazilian Marcio Piancastelli and was a courageous effort.

The front headlights do bear a slight resemblance to a rare air-cooled prototype, the SP1 and the rear ties very well with the design of the 1st generation Golf (nee Rabbit).

The pointed nose suggest a more nautical theme perfect for this interpretation. The Volkswagen Concept: The Girl From Ipanema is an ideal summer surf wagon for a family of four. The car is best used during the warm summer season at a beautiful seaside neighborhood like Ipanema, located in the southern region of the city of Rio de Janeiro.. Instead of an early T2 Split Panel, or a T3 Square, the Brazilia can be a very enjoyable VW to wood up.

This Volkswagen Concept was very much influenced by the popular song with the same name. "The Girl from Ipanema" is much-loved bossa nova song, written in 1962, with music by Antonio Carlos Jobim and English lyrics by Norman Gimbel. The version performed by Astrud Gilberto, along with João Gilberto and Stan Getz, from the 1964 album Getz/Gilberto, became an international hit, reaching number five in the United States pop chart.

Taking a few styling tricks from the SoCal surf scene, this VW Brazilia is measured and fit from the doors to the rear hatch with a light brazilian hardwood. Once fitted, custom framing is masterfully done by a cabinet maker ensuring a smooth finish. A generous urethane stain protects the wood from typhoons and monsoons. A bright “Pink Blush” House of Color “Brilliance Series” urethane topcoat is sprayed on the hood and fenders, while an eggshell white top and windshield posts adds a little class.

The door panels, twin Bucket seats and the stock rear seats are reupholstered in white vinyl with rose piping, with a set of Batangas embroidered seat covers reserved for formal functions.

Styled as a woodie, the interior boasts more timber than your average daily driver. Wood-grip steering wheel, wood shift knob, wood console, wood speaker boxes. Ultra-durable Abaca Carpet is used throughout and a modest audio-video system provide just enough samba.

17-inch Volkswagen Jetta 7-spoke rims are dressed-up with black center caps and with hi-performance Pirelli radials brighten up the package and provides excellent grip on the slippery stuff.

An otherwise rebuilt IRS suspension, steering, brakes, transmission, and DP 1600 engine with a dual exhaust provide just enough power and economy for everyday use.

Take care of her and she’ll run forever.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Volkswagen Concept: Jiu Jitsu

Jiu-Jitsu came to international prominence in the martial arts community in the early 1990s, when Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert Royce Gracie won the first Ultimate Fighting Championships. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu teaches that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend against a bigger, stronger assailant by using leverage and proper technique.

in 1970, Volkswagen of Brazil's president, Rudolf Leiding, wanted to create a "People's Car" with the Brazilian market in mind. He envisioned the car to have the Beetle's reputation of practicality, reliability, and economy. He also wanted the car to have a Brazilian flair! Using the Volswagen's german-engineering, the air-cooled Volkswagen Brazilia was a successful model, with a good reputation of reliability and extremely popular throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s in its time of production. The Brazilia, despite its Type 1 underpinnings, was perceived as a modern looking urban car.

To add more flair to the Brazilia, what if the designers offered a fastback model? Echoing the Type3 Fatsback, the Volkswagen Concept: Jiu Jitsu strikes a handsome profile while maintaining it's practicality.

This particular example is updated with 18-inch EMPI 8-spoke replica rims and Potenza rubber. A front and rear spoiler adds aerodynamic downforce at speed. Power comes from a dual Weber-34 fed 1835cc Type1 engine while the exhausts are blown through a 1 1/2 inch merged header with dual quiet-pack mufflers.

Of course, the car is bathed in Brazil's colors of Green and Yellow.

G O A L ! ! !

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Volkswagen Concept: Riva

Those in the know, treasure a small exclusive Italian sports boat company with the Riva name. As in the case of Porsche, the family of Pietro, Serafino, and Carlo Riva, produces a product lusted after by the rich and famous. From the 60s on, anyone who’s anyone owned these sleek, fast wooden watercraft. Sean Connery, Prince Rainier of Monaco, Frank Sinatra, the list goes on.

The exquisite shape is mimicked by this Riva. Based on a Volkswagen Brazilia, this concept embraced a life close to the sea. The Volkswagen Brazilia, long considered the ugly duckling of Philippine Volkwagen mania, is finally turning into a much loved swan! No longer trapped in the city, Volkswagen Concept: Riva frequents the local hot spots of Boracay. The additional room is quite unexpected but appreciated. It really is much roomier than a comparable Volkswagen Beetle. While the white sand gets into practically everywhere, Riva is built to party.

After chopping of roof and sides of the abandoned donor Volkswagen Brazila, pinoy craftsmen thoroughly and painstakingly measured and fit Philippine wood to frame and dress up the sides and rear of Riva.

The rear hatch gives the rear the shape critical to the Riva mystique.

Solid dark red is painted on the front of this early and rare VW. A removable, folding canvas “bop-top” provides minimal solar protection when needed.

Power comes from an 1835, dual Weber 40-fed, motor that offers brisk performance while maintaining economy. Safety first with the rebuilt suspension, steering, and brakes.

Big 17 inch BRM Classic rims and Dunlop tires provide enough contrast for the woodwork.