Volkswagen have come a long way since the Type 1, the original name of the Beetle, was developed by Ferdinand Porsche in 1931 as a cheap popular alternative to the larger more costly cars of the time. Volkswagen means "people's car" in German and was such a success that it was in continuous production for 65 years, unrivaled by any other model, during which time it became part of popular culture. Almost as successful was the instantly-recognisable Type 2 VW, the camper van or Combi as it's often known, that was also big hit with the surfing community.
Volkswagen have no less than 3 cars in the top 10 list of best-selling cars of all time, as compiled by the website 24/7 Wall St: the Volkswagen Golf, the Volkswagen Beetle, and the Volkswagen Passat.
Not only do they spend more than any other company on research and development, they also produce the world's fastest road car, the Bugatti Veyron, though losing money on every one sold ! In 2001 they unveiled the Transparent Factory, a dazzling modern workplace of glass and spotless maple hardwood floors, as the assembly base for their top-end Phaeton range, continuing their reputation for technical brilliance, safety and reliablity.
We've got over a dozen of the very best models that Volkswagen have on the market today: Beetle, Caddy, Camper, California, Caravelle, Cc, Eos, Golf, Jetta, Passat, Phaeton, Polo, Scirocco, Sharan, Tiguan, Touareg, Touran and the VW Up!
Why not have a look at the official Volkswagen UK company web site and get the latest news about Volkswagen in the UK at The Volkswagen Owners' Club site. You may also like to see what they're saying about new Volkswagen cars on the Top Gear web site.
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SEVEN UP: The seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf might just be all the car you'll ever need. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.