Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pt 3 Wolfsburg

The last three vehicles I've owned have been VWs of one kind or another, so it seemed only right that I make part of this trip to Wolfsburg, the home of VW.

The Autostadt (Auto City) in Wolfsburg is cool in a way that if it was in the USA I probably would think is cheesy, in that it is a giant corporate "Ain't we swell" grounds.

There is a factory tour of course, but I couldn't take photos. The highlight of that was the robot that closes the hood of the car, "That's all he does, all day long," intoned the accented tour guide.

And of course, the funky little car train that we rode in-
This is a little blurry because we had to sneak the photo in before we got to the factory itself. It has to be the coolest thing VW is making right now though, or I guess made-I don't know that there is a lot of call for them. That it was number 09 was just that extra dash of awesome. .

The grounds are littered with pavilions to the various brands under the VW umbrella, Audi, SEAT, Skoda, Bentley, and Lamborghini. We only went to the Lamborghini one and it was so lame that we didn't try any other ones. The Lamborghini Pavilion consisted of a Murcilago on a wall and an enthusiastic German explaining how powerful and expensive it was, then a six minute "laser light show" that involved lots of stage smoke, no lasers to speak of, and the sound of the engine coming through speakers. We couldn't help but think that the whole thing would have been cooler from the outside because half way through, in what we guess was supposed to be 'magic,' the wall spun around placing the Lamborghini on the outside.

My UC Santa Cruz shirt got us a special tour of the Zeithaus (Time House) where a very knowledgible and excitable Bentley man showed us some of the collection's rarer Bentley's, Audi (before they were Audi), and a Cadillac. Turns out one of the VW employees spent some time in the Bay Area and was excited to connect to the beach bum/hippie element once again. Though he did for a moment try to sell me on the new Sirroco...

The grounds themselves were very nice. Including this aroma tunnel, which suffered a bit of a malfunction-
The Skoda Pavilion had the most interesting outside, including the side view mirror wall, where I took this 'self portrait'.

Later, if I get the urge, I'll go on about the Wolfsburg Museum and its unbelievably inexpensive swag...

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