vw transparent factory electric vehicles
  • vw transparent factory electric vehicles
  • vw transparent factory electric vehicles
  • Image Credit: Oliver Killig / Volkswagen
vw transparent factory electric vehicles
  • vw transparent factory electric vehicles
  • vw transparent factory electric vehicles
  • Image Credit: Oliver Killig
vw transparent factory electric vehicles
  • vw transparent factory electric vehicles
  • vw transparent factory electric vehicles
  • Image Credit: Oliver Killig / Volkswagen
vw transparent factory electric vehicles
  • vw transparent factory electric vehicles
  • vw transparent factory electric vehicles
  • Image Credit: Oliver Killig / Volkswagen
Cynics who've been tracking the Volkswagen diesel-emissions scandal during the past seven months may scoff at the automaker's re-opening of its so-called "Transparent Factory" in Dresden, Germany. The longstanding name stems from the factory's glass exterior, but optimists may admire the company's chutzpah in using that moniker amid its ongoing legal challenges.

Now, the factory has 50 interactive vehicles and exhibits.

Now, the factory has 50 interactive vehicles and exhibits, showcasing vehicles like the Sport Coupe Concept GTE Plug-in Hybrid, which delivers 374 horsepower and has a fuel economy of 118 miles per gallon equivalent. VW, which makes eight plug-ins for the European market and is planning 20 more by the end of the decade, is also offering half-hour test drives at the factory as well as a section dedicated to driver-assist features and other technological bells and whistles. There's also a GTE simulator for virtual test drives "through" Dresden as well as a glass-framed replica of the VW e-Golf battery electric. The former Phaeton factory was closed for just 10 days, so one has to admire Volkswagen's efficiency in this case.

VW shut down the factory late last year after deciding to stop production if its money-losing Phaeton there. Rumors followed that the factory would be retooled to make a battery-electric Phaeton starting in 2019. For now, though, it'll serve as an exercise in marketing for what VW says will be a focus towards plug-in drivetrain and away from diesels.
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The Transparent Factory (Die Gläserne Manufaktur) is opening its doors today as a new showcase for electric mobility and digitalisation

Experience 50 interactive exhibits and vehicles first-hand
Test drives with Volkswagen electric vehicles six days a week
New highlight: Sport Coupé Concept GTE with innovative plug-in hybrid technology

Re-Opening of the Transparent Factory Dresden. Re-Opening of the Transparent Factory Dresden.

After closing for 10 days to carry out the necessary modifications, the Transparent Factory in Dresden has opened its doors today as a new showcase for the Volkswagen brand, focussed on electric mobility and digitalisation. Around 50 interactive exhibits and vehicles allow visitors to experience future mobility first-hand in a fun and informative environment. The highlight for visitors is a half-hour test drive with electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. The test drive is included in the ticket price for the Transparent Factory and, if pre-booked, is also offered on Sundays.

The opening ceremony was attended not only by the management of Volkswagen Sachsen and the Works Council, but also included such public figures as Martin Dulig, deputy prime minister of Saxony and Minister of Economic Affairs, Labour and Transport, and Dresden's mayor, Dirk Hilbert.

"The new showcase for electric mobility and digitalisation tells the story of the automobile from its very beginnings right through to the future, an exciting adventure for the whole family", commented Professor Siegfried Fiebig, management spokesman for Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH. "Our exhibition offers hands-on experiences with innovative future technologies which focus on benefits for the customer".

Minister Martin Dulig emphasised that "the Transparent Factory is not only an important employer, but also a magnet for visitors. We are therefore delighted that the Factory has a future. We are convinced that it will soon be producing highly modern vehicles once again; vehicles which are future-oriented, electric and digital. Saxony's innovative suppliers have remained completely loyal to Volkswagen, whether with alternative drives, lightweight designs, energy-saving technologies or automatic driving functions. If Volkswagen is prospering in Saxony, the automobile industry is also prospering in Saxony".

Volkswagen's major innovation, the four-door Sport Coupé Concept GTE, offers an exclusive sports car design with an innovative plug-in hybrid drive, and represents one of the true highlights at the Factory. The high-tech concept (279 kW/380 PS) offers zero-emissions through the use of two electric motors and a battery which can be charged externally. What's more, this 250 km/h vehicle has an average fuel consumption (combined) of 2.0 l/100 km. The Volkswagen Group currently has eight electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in its product range. A further twenty models are planned by 2020.

The Volkswagen exhibition has been split into four different areas to illustrate the future of driving. In addition to a test drive, visitors can take a virtual drive through Dresden in the GTE simulator and experience the ultimate in electric driving pleasure. A further exhibit is the glass frame model of the e-Golf*, which allows a detailed look into the propulsion components of electric vehicles on a 1:1 scale.

The second area displays the latest Volkswagen driver assist systems, which make driving simpler and safer. Settled in ergoActive seats, visitors can listen to an audio show on how the vehicle provides assistance in certain driving situations, and learn about the advantages of aids such as lane assist systems and blind spot sensors.

The possibilities offered by digital networks and smartphones are presented as a third topic, beginning with connection technologies such as Car-Net and e-Remote and finishing with the integration of smartphone functions via App-Connect (Apple CarPlay™, Mirror Link™, Android Auto™). A fourth area presents future mobility. In addition to the XL1** one-litre car and the cult Volkswagen bus, there is also the Last Mile Surfer, a possible solution for city mobility manufactured in Saxony.

The exhibition not only presents innovations by Volkswagen, but also invites visitors to express their own ideas on mobility in the future by speaking on the video box, giving the public the opportunity to actively take part in the innovation process too.

The new exhibition is just the first step in an extensive rebuild of the Transparent Factory: Production technology of the factory is to be modified within a year to enable the flexible assembly of different vehicles. To this end, flexible assembly frames are being developed and manufacturing and logistics processes are being adapted. This will mean that in the future, Dresden will be able to assemble additional models in the premium and luxury segment and fully electric vehicles.

WLAN is now also available for visitors, free of charge.

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