Volkswagen ketchup at the 2010 Techno Classica – Click above for high-res image gallery

Volkswagen will bring a number of creations to this year's Techno Classica in Essen. While fans of the people's automaker will get a treat when the company dusts off cars like the Paris-Dakar-winning Iltis, the Tarek and Type 181, the company also plans to turn out another surprise – ketchup. VW will sell a total of 1,000 bottles of Volkswagen Classic Ketchup to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the creation of Volkswagen Spiced Ketchup.

Didn't know the company was into condiments? Neither did we. As the story goes, VW created its special sauce as a compliment to its unique curry sausage(!), and the ketchup features a thicker consistency and a special flavor compared to your run-of-the-mill Heinz. VW started bottling the stuff en masse in 1997, and it sold 20,000 units the first year. Since then, the ketchup sales have only gotten stronger, and last year, VW sold 425,000 bottles.

The stuff that'll be available at Techno Classica is based on the original recipe, which means it'll be quite a bit tamer compared to the current formula. Is anyone else craving Freedom Fries?

[Source: Volkswagen]

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Asked to name a Volkswagen model that sells in excess of 425,000 units a year and most people would choose the Golf. Of course they'd be right. But if they guessed ketchup? They'd still be spot on.

At the Techno Classica 2010 in Essen – alongside a limited edition ketchup – Volkswagen is presenting a raft of diverse classic and historical vehicles ranging from the K70 which debuted over 40 years ago and the Iltis all-wheel drive icon which was first seen 30 years ago, to the Golf Country Crossover produced 20 years ago and the Tarek off-roader which preceded the Touareg.

It is also using the occasion to commemorate another 40-year-old success story and launch Volkswagen Classic Ketchup, of which just 1,000 bottles will be available. Volkswagen Spiced Ketchup was born back in the 1970s, the ideal complement to Volkswagen's world-famous curry sausage. It has a thicker consistency than standard ketchup and a unique flavour, the recipe for which is, like that of the curry sausage itself, as closely guarded a secret as any classified automotive R&D project.

In 1997, Volkswagen began officially bottling and selling the Spiced Ketchup. In that year, 20,000 bottles were sold. Since then the sauce has gone from strength to strength (numerically speaking): in 2009, over 425,000 bottles were sold and in the first 10 weeks of 2010, 100,000 bottles have already been sold. The difference between Volkswagen Spiced Ketchup and Volkswagen Classic Ketchup? Imagine the culinary equivalent of the first and sixth generation Golf GTIs.

Apart from the Ketchup, other highlights of the Techno Classica 2010 include:
* Iltis: all-wheel drive icon debuted 30 years ago, winning the 1980 Paris-Dakar race
* Type 181: open 'bucket' design has inspired individualists for 40 years
* Apal Buggy: beach cruiser for Europe based on the Beetle
* Golf Country: crossover trendsetter launched 20 years ago
* Tarek: rear-wheel drive through the desert to Dakar
* T3 and its successors: 25 years of Bulli with front-wheel drive
* K70: the front-wheel drive era began 40 years ago
Later this month, on 25 April, the Volkswagen AutoMuseum will be a quarter of a century old. To mark the occasion, the museum will be hosting a special exhibition named '25 years of the Volkswagen AutoMuseum – from 25 April 1985 to 25 April 2010'. This exhibition covers the evolution of Volkswagen cars and features a number of classic and significant vehicles from the years 1985 and 2010.

The exhibition will be open to the public from 23 April to 19 September 2010. For more information visit

The Techno Classica runs until 11 April; for more information visit

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