Volkswagen is strengthening its expertise in the integration of automotive software. At present, high-performance automotive functions can only be achieved by networking many individual software and hardware components. Integrating these components and testing the resulting assembly is a key development task for Volkswagen. As part of its ACCELERATE strategy, Volkswagen is seeking to grow automotive software integration and the digital customer experience as core competencies. The company has therefore established a joint venture with TraceTronic, a world-leading provider of solutions to test and integrate automotive software. Each partner holds 50 percent in the joint venture, named neocx, which will create a continuous integration/continuous testing (CI/CT) factory.


This is a platform which brings together high-performance tools for the automated testing and integration of automotive software and networked services. In this way, Volkswagen aims to accelerate the development of digital functions such as over-the-air updates, which are provided to the owners of ID. vehicles every three months. Prior to this, the updates are to be integrated and tested with solutions from neocx. This makes the new joint venture a key contributor to the development process.

Thomas Ulbrich, member of the Volkswagen Board of Management with responsibility for Technical Development: “With ACCELERATE, we have set ourselves the goal of evolving the car into a software-based product. The safe and efficient integration of software into our vehicles is therefore a critical competitive factor for Volkswagen. Our new joint venture, neocx, is a cornerstone in strengthening our expertise in this area so we can offer our customers a first-class digital driving experience.”

Rocco Deutschmann, CEO of the TraceTronic Group: “We are pleased that Volkswagen has chosen to partner with TraceTronic in the large-scale implementation of a CI/CT factory for Volkswagen and its suppliers. Deploying our TraceTronic software tools and expertise, we can help our customers worldwide with the continuous integration and testing of automotive software using state-of-the-art methods.”

Far shorter development cycles and faster updates

The neocx CI/CT factory is to provide scalable development and testing tools in response to the exponential increase in the size of software packages and data volumes in fully networked vehicles. It will make it possible to incorporate individual software components into integrated systems – such as driver assistance systems – at an early stage of development in order to test their compatibility and performance. The high-performance solutions from TraceTronic are the basis for this approach. In addition, the partners aim to consistently expand the functional scope of the platform. They are deploying new technologies and test processes from fields including machine learning, data analytics and scenario-based testing. The consistent use of cloud technology also facilitates the creation and integration of a highly scalable virtual testing environment.

CI/CT factory standardizes test and integration landscape

Volkswagen can already leverage internal Group synergies in developing software for its fully networked vehicles. CARIAD, the Group’s software company, is developing a standard software platform for all Group brands. neocx is a further building block in transforming the Volkswagen brand into a software-based mobility provider and has the goal of integrating the digital functions developed by CARIAD into Volkswagen’s vehicles, testing them in highly automated processes and accelerating the roll-out to customers.

Volkswagen is collaborating closely with Audi and Porsche in these activities. It is planned that the CI/CT factory will also be used by the sister brands in the future, thus harmonizing the testing and integration landscape across the Volkswagen Group. The standard interfaces will also facilitate the integration of development partners, suppliers and third-party tools.

Work on the CI/CT factory will start immediately. neocx will deploy agile methods and grow its workforce to a three-digit figure in the years ahead. The young company is therefore seeking to recruit additional experts for its main location in Dresden and its secondary location in Wolfsburg.

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Red is a popular colour for sporty top models. And now the ID.41 GTX is a vibrant new addition. Color & Trim Designer Mareike Hackbarth explains why red paintwork is such a good fit for Volkswagen models with power and performance.


Mareike Hackbarth is delighted as she enters the studio. “I finally get to see the finished version of the car,” she says with a radiant smile as she walks around the ID.4 GTX. She strokes the shiny red paintwork. “How beautiful. The GTX looks really great as a full package.” The designer spent three years working on the car, and this is the first time she has seen the new member of the ID. family in real life. She comes from the world of colours and paintwork. In Volkswagen Design Color & Trim, as part of the MEB team she is responsible for the exterior colours of the all-electric ID. family, where she works on colour concepts, researching trends and futurology.

Mareike Hackbarth has brought various work materials with her to the interview and unpacks them: painted sample metal panels, replica models, colour cards, bottles of colour – boxes of red. After all, that is what today is all about. The colour that attracts the most attention and triggers the most emotions. And that has a long, very athletic tradition at Volkswagen: the colour red.


The list of shades of red at Volkswagen is long. The first shade of red was Coral Red in 1956, and more followed - usually with enticing names such as Bahia Red, Flash Red, Mars Red, Tornado Red or Salsa Red, and now Kings Red … Why has red been part of the range for so long?

When buying a car, after manufacturer and model, the colour is generally the most important deciding factor. The colour red is very expressive. Red is in motion and very dynamic. So, red exterior paintwork has long been integral to the Volkswagen colour range; there are well over 50 shades of red as it stands. Also very popular as a colour for fleets, red will continue to play an important role at Volkswagen – in its various shades.

When Mars Red was launched in 1976, it was the first time that a shade of red was launched at the same time as a new sporty model. In addition to Diamond Silver, Mars Red was the colour of the very first Golf GTI. A real “dream team” – and perhaps even something of a pioneer?

Absolutely. The GTI and the colour red belonged together from the word go. Sporty models have always been characterised by the connection “powerful and red”. The colour has a strong symbolism: red is blood, red is fire. The colour triggers feelings of activity, energy and a zest for life in us. This makes red the perfect brand colour to use for performance models: You associate it with driving pleasure and it attracts a lot of attention.

Tornado Red followed in 1986 – the colour for high-performance cars for decades. Countless top models of their time had the power paintwork, for example, Golf II GTI 16V, Corrado G60, Golf III VR6, Golf R32 or Golf GTI TCR. Why was that red such a good fit?

Tornado Red is a very dominant, positive and loud colour, which can be seen from afar. The complete opposite of a soft blue or innocent white. Tornado Red is a successful, timeless plain shade that is a really good fit for our sporty models – incidentally, this is the shade we used to develop our new performance highlight colour Kings Red Metallic.


Since the first GTI, red elements have remained sporty hallmarks. Is it fair to say that red is a common theme in the design of Volkswagen’s high-performance models?

Red is power. That’s what we want our performance models to get across at first sight – including the details. Which is why we use red as an accent colour, which is continued in the stitching or the standard diamond pattern, for example. A common theme, in many ways, which has now established itself as a hallmark of sportiness and power, yes.


… and that is carried on in the ID.4 GTX?

Definitely. We deliberately picked up on this common theme for the ID.4 GTX and reinterpreted it. The new electric mobility needs an innovative design. But the image transfer of Volkswagen performance models was also important for the GTX. We developed the new GTX world with the motto “Electric Vibrant Power”: very dynamic, pithy and powerful. A strong red combined with the colour black, distinctive, sporty features with dark blue and red interior highlights, such as the red double contrasting seam that runs through the cockpit.


What is important for a colour that characterises a new sporty top model?

Red is something that our customers associate with sportiness, we used this familiar aesthetic as a basis. The home of the GTX is the world of performance – and that is what we wanted to show with Kings Red Metallic. We wanted to create a symbol of a new performance product line in the electric age. After all, it’s not all about reason when it comes to climate-friendly electric cars; emotions, driving pleasure and acceleration are also involved. Red represents these attributes. So we developed Kings Red Metallic specifically for the GTI and the GTX.


What makes Kings Red Metallic special?

In the past, red symbolised prosperity, it was an expensive luxury colour. We wanted to upgrade the new models with a “royal” premium red, and worked hard to create a brilliant colour with deep saturation and strong luminosity. The double-layer base coat contains the coloured pigment and a red coated aluminium pigment, which gives the colour its extraordinary depth. The water-based paint system is also very environmentally friendly, ecologically sustainable and can be used in all production plants.


30 years ago, 50.4 percent of new passenger car registrations in Germany were for bright-coloured cars: With the number one choice being red with 25.2 percent of registrations. Since the turn of the millennium, the world of automobile colours has become more subtle. The proportion of bright colours decreased to just under 24 percent by 2020. The proportion of red cars was 6.7 percent in Germany and 5 percent internationally. Is red still an enduring colour? And what is the direction of the trend?

Red is one of the three primary colours and has countless shades. And in the same way that there are trend cycles, there are also colour cycles. The colour range in the automotive industry is evolving into a wider selection of colourful shades. In the coming years, coloured and customised paintwork will accentuate exterior designs more strongly. There is more diversity of colours in Europe; blue and red are increasing again among the bright colours. The current trend for red is bluish shades and we think that red will become trendier again in the future.

Red has different connotations depending on the culture: In Western cultures, red also represents love, courage, danger and warmth. In Eastern Europe it means beauty. Red is a symbol of joy among other things in China. As well as success, like in South America, for example. The greatest consensus around the world when it comes to red is that it is the colour of passion. Does the regional symbolism of a colour play a role?

Colours and combinations of colours trigger certain emotions in us humans. They make us curious, influence our state of mind and control our shopping patterns. Which is why we look at which shades are a good fit for the trend of a region, and what we can put on the cars there. Society, culture and economy are major factors; not all groups of colours are acceptable in all regions. For example, violet, gold and intense red are very popular in China at the moment, they are very expressive colours. It’s different in European countries. In South America, car buyers try to express their individuality with more sporty cars and red is the most popular shade of colour there. Each country has specific colour preferences. Which is why we work closely with our international design centres.


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Enel X, the Enel Group’s advanced energy solutions business line, and the leading auto manufacturer Volkswagen Group signed an agreement aimed at setting up a full function joint venture of equal partners to enhance the electric vehicle (EV) uptake in Italy (the “JV”). The JV will operate in Italy as Charging Point Operator (“CPO”) by investing in, deploying between 2021 and 2025, owning and operating a high power charging (HPC) network. The network will count on more than 3,000 charging points of up to 350 kW each across the national territory. The charging network will enable a comfortable ride with electric vehicles from North to South of the Peninsula.


Francesco Venturini, Enel X CEO, said: “We share with Volkswagen a joint vision on global electrification of transport, so a partnership with them came naturally for us: the energy transition requires teamwork. The EU auto industry and the energy sector have the required expertise and means to make the energy transition happen as quickly as possible, with the electrification of transportation as one of its main avenues. Towards this aim, we are joining forces with Volkswagen and the overall auto sector in the design and implementation of electric mobility solutions that are accessible and convenient for all drivers, as well as being safe and sustainable.”

Thomas Schmall, member of the Volkswagen AG Board of Management responsible for Technology and CEO of Volkswagen Group Components, said: “Volkswagen’s aim is to boost charging infrastructure around the world. The joint venture with Enel X will install more than 3,000 high power chargers at about 700 locations. This is a big step for e-mobility in Italy and in Europe. By 2025, Volkswagen initiatives will provide 18,000 High Power Charging Points on the continent – this makes up one third of the necessary High Power Charging infrastructure in Europe. Drivers of any Volkswagen BEV as well as any kind of electric vehicle from other manufacturers can benefit from these initiatives.”

The Enel X-Volkswagen joint venture will focus on city centers, main roads used by commuters and main extra-urban roads with the aim to:

  • enhance the uptake of electric vehicles among urban drivers that do not have private parking facilities by relying on a capillary network of charging points which, in just 20 minutes, can charge popular mid-size vehicles such as the Volkswagen ID.3
  • reduce range anxiety among EV drivers, especially those commuters who travel longer distances
  • provide a fast and comfortable charging experience while traveling


Drivers of any kind of electric vehicle from all manufacturers can benefit from this initiative by accessing the joint venture’s HPC Network that will also be interoperable to different Mobility Service Providers, including through interoperability platforms. The two parent companies will allocate core expertise in site selection, installation and operation to support the quick ramp-up of the charging points’ network.

Moreover, Enel X will support the JV with service contracts to make its e-Mobility technology and expertise available for the start-up phase.

The completion of the transaction between Enel X and Volkswagen Group is subject to certain conditions including the administrative authorization relating to the “golden power procedure” with the Presidency of Italy’s Council of Ministers and the clearances issued from the competent Antitrust Authorities.

The Enel Group and Volkswagen have also joined forces within the European CEO Alliance initiative with 11 other European companies for a zero-carbon future and a more resilient Europe. The Alliance represents companies from different industries and European nations which generate a combined 600 billion euros in annual revenues and employ 1.7 million people. The CEO Alliance channels the decarbonization efforts of these companies by connecting sectors and strategies, identifying potential for collaborations, fostering investments, as well as deploying projects for a sustainable economy and society in line with the EU Green Deal.

About Enel X.

Enel X is Enel Group’s global business line offering services that accelerate innovation and drive the energy transition. A global leader in the advanced energy solution sector, Enel X manages services such as demand response for around 6 GW of total capacity at global level and around 100 MW of storage capacity installed worldwide, as well as 195,000 electric vehicle charging points made available around the globe. Through its advanced solutions, including energy management, financial services and electric mobility, Enel X provides each partner with an intuitive, personalized ecosystem of tech platforms and consulting services, focusing on sustainability and circular economy principles in order to provide people, communities, institutions and companies with an alternative model that respects the environment and integrates technological innovation into daily life. Each solution has the power to turn decarbonization, electrification and digitalization goals into sustainable actions for everyone, in order to build a more sustainable and efficient world together.


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The stage is set for a new body shape from the Volkswagen brand: With the new compact crossover Taigo, Volkswagen is launching an SUV coupé on the European market for the first time. The front-wheel drive Taigo is a real crowd-pleaser with its trendy crossover body style, raised seating positions, pioneering connectivity and unrestricted suitability for everyday use. The rear of the five-seater car slopes backwards in the style of a coupé, without restricting headroom in the back seat. This sees Volkswagen expand the portfolio of the compact Polo (hatchback) and T-Cross (SUV) models built on the MQB platform with a third chassis variant, which has previously been primarily reserved for high-end models. Numerous latest-generation assistance systems guarantee optimum comfort and a high level of safety for all passengers. 


The new Taigo focusses on design, individuality and emotion. With full LED head-lights, an all-digital cockpit and the latest generation of infotainment systems (MIB3) as standard, the SUV coupé measuring in at just under 4.26 metres sets high technology standards in its class. The expressive body shape is the first of its kind in the Volkswagen brand’s model portfolio. With a crossover body style and a silhouette like that of a coupé, the new Taigo – just like its Brazilian counterpart the Nivus – is perfectly equipped for winning over new, predominantly young and young-at-heart groups of buyers for Volkswagen. The technical basis of the Taigo is Volkswagen’s MQB. Depending on the options selected, the Taigo also comes with the new IQ.LIGHT LED matrix headlights and an illuminated radiator grill crossbar.

The Taigo’s design is characterised by strong proportions, with the silhouette like that of a coupé being particularly striking with the C pillar slanting well forward. Inspired by SUV coupés in higher vehicle classes, this makes the Taigo unique in its sector.

On the inside, the Taigo scores with an elaborately designed multifunctional steering wheel and modern control elements as standard. The infotainment systems are based on the third generation of MIB3, including an online control unit (eSIM) and “App Connect Wireless” (depending on the configuration). Features such as access to streaming services, natural voice control and cloud-based personalisation using “Volkswagen ID” allow the use of the latest MIB3.1 services, depending on the configuration.

And when it comes to driver assistance for more comfort and safety, the new SUV coupé is very similar to Volkswagen models from higher sectors. Every Taigo comes with assistance systems such as the surroundings monitoring system “Front Assist”, including city emergency brake function, and the lane departure warning system “Lane Assist” as standard. “IQ.DRIVE Travel Assist” is available as an optional extra, enabling semi-automated driving up to a system-determined top speed of 210 km/h.

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With 235 kW (320 PS), the new Golf R Estate is the most powerful and dynamic Golf Estate to date. More power and driving dynamics, numerous innovations, more space and strong emotions: this is what makes the new Golf R Estate better than ever before. The standard 4MOTION all-wheel drive with R Performance Torque Vectoring is powered by a 2.0 TSI engine with a maximum torque of 420 Nm.
Power is transmitted via an R-specific 7-speed dual clutch gearbox. It sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.9 seconds. The top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h. With the optional R Performance package, a top speed of 270 km/h is possible. The package also includes 19-inch wheels and the additional driving modes Special (Nürburgring mode) and Drift (for power slides). A host of assist systems and the latest-generation Infotainment system guarantee even more safety, comfort and convenience.

The Golf R Estate may be exceptionally sporty, but it also retains all the characteristics you’d expect from a Golf estate: this is a versatile all-rounder, a comfortable leisure-oriented and family-friendly estate car for all walks of life. Its suitability for everyday use is in no way compromised by the R-specific sports running gear (lower by 20 mm) and the fact that it is designed with motor racing in mind. “The Golf R Estate is the perfect combination of a compact Golf R and an estate. Sportiness, performance and emotions meet space, versatility and innovation,” says Sven Smeets, Head of R Business Unit. The interior of the R Estate fully benefits from the 66 mm longer wheelbase of the Golf Estate compared with the Golf. Especially passengers in the back profit from the generous proportions: The maximum legroom expands from 903 mm to 941 mm. The vehicle has a luggage compartment volume of 611 litres, which increases to a maximum of 1,642 litres if loaded up to the roof and with the second row of seats folded down. For the first time, the Golf R Estate is available with an optional ball coupling with a permitted maximum trailer weight (braked) of up to 1.9 tonnes and a drawbar load of 80 kilograms.


Sportiest Golf Estate ever with a number of R-specific elements

The R-typical insignia such as the front bumper with splitter and side wings as air deflectors dominate the powerful exterior of the new Golf R Estate. From the side, the striking wider side members in the body colour catch the eye. Completely new are the R-specific rear bumper with the diffuser painted in high gloss black as well as the sports exhaust system built according to Volkswagen R specifications and boasting two chrome-plated twin tailpipes. There are three colours to choose from: the R-typical Lapiz Blue Metallic, Pure White and Deep Black Pearl Effect.

And the Golf R Estate, just like the compact Golf R, features the newly developed 4MOTION all-wheel drive with R Performance Torque Vectoring with selective wheel torque control on the rear axle. Here, a new rear final drive distributes the drive power not just between the front and rear axles as needed, but also between the rear wheels. This innovative drive significantly increases the agility of the new Golf R Estate, particularly when cornering. The all-wheel drive is also networked via the Vehicle Dynamics Manager with other running gear systems such as the electronic differential locks (XDS) and adaptive chassis control DCC. The result: very precise and neutral handling, optimum traction characteristics and exceptional agility. In other words: maximum driving pleasure. The Golf R Estate was fine-tuned on the Nordschleife of the Nürburgring.

Two new driving profiles increase the fun factor and enhance safety aspects

In the optional R Performance package, the powerful estate car has two additional driving profiles. In the Special profile, all key drive system parameters have been configured for demanding race tracks such as the Nordschleife. Away from public roads, the driving profile Drift opens up a whole new level of driving dynamics and makes drifting much safer and more fun.

The four driving profiles Comfort, Sport, Race and Individual come as standard. Drivers can use a button to adjust the ESC to their requirements by selecting one of two settings. ESC can also be switched off completely for all driving situations (ESC off mode), however, the Autonomous Emergency Braking and the Swerve Support reactivate the full ESC system in an emergency.

The 1,984 cc four-cylinder turbocharged engine of the EA888 product line now develops an output of 235 kW (320 PS) in its fourth development stage. That’s 14 kW (20 PS) more than its predecessor. The maximum torque has increased from 400 Nm to 420 Nm. This is available even at low engine speeds of just 2,100 rpm and remains constant at this high level up to speeds of 5,350 rpm. Of course, the new engine fulfils the current EU6 AP emission standard. A new brake system with 18-inch brake discs is fitted on the front axle. This means they are one inch (25.4 millimetres) larger than the predecessor’s. The new brake is built with pin discs and a brake pot made of aluminium, which reduces the weight by 600 grams on each side. A speed-dependent map in the electromechanical brake servo ensures precise brake control. The visible components of the brake system are in striking blue with the R logo on top as a kind of optical exclamation mark.

The Golf R Estate is a true R model inside too

Fitted as standard in the new Golf R Estate are the new multifunction sports leather steering wheel and premium sports seats at the front, among other things. These have integrated head restraints sporting blue R logos. The seat centre panels are covered with the fabric seat covers “R” in black-blue. The inner side of the seat cushion bolsters is made of ArtVelours microfleece in Flint Grey. The optional Nappa leather package can also be ordered. It includes active climate control for the front seats and, on the insides of the doors, carbon-look elements with blue applications.

Compared to those in its predecessor, the driver’s controls have been almost completely redesigned. Touch buttons, touch sliders and touch screens substitute the functions of classic controls and analogue displays. The R-specific Digital Cockpit Pro offers exclusive features such as a new, horizontal engine speed display at the upper edge of the fully digital display as well as a lap timer for keeping time on the race track. And you can operate the vehicle with the new, natural, learning voice control, if you wish.

As with all Volkswagens, the new Infotainment system MIB3 provides modern connectivity. It is networked with the various online services of the brand’s own Volkswagen We ecosystem and enables Cloud-based personalisation by means of the Volkswagen ID. The Digital Cockpit Pro and the Infotainment system are arranged in the driver’s line of sight and easy to see and operate at all times.

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