How Much Do You Know About Volkswagen?


By: Steven Symes

6 Min Quiz

Image: pixabay

About This Quiz

The car of the people was a truly revolutionary idea in Germany, which unfortunately has its history entangled with the Nazis. Volkswagen doesn't like to mention its early roots much, preferring to focus more on its expansion and commercial successes of the 1950s and on.  It has plenty of good to focus on. The brand has offered affordable vehicles to the masses, many with simple designs that made them easy and inexpensive to fix, endearing the Volkswagen name to millions around the globe. 

Unlike many other European car brands, Volkswagen didn't decide to become a luxury automaker. It has ventured in that direction with a few models like the Phaeton and Touareg, but the core models like the Golf, Jetta, and Passat have stayed in the mainstream price range. Starting in the 1990s, VW has offered a level of interior quality you might expect in some near-luxury vehicles, only further appealing to people who wanted something nice, but didn't want to take out a second mortgage to finance a vehicle. 

Even though VW hasn't been around as long as some other German automakers, there's a lot of know about the brand. Just how much VW knowledge do you hold? Take the quiz now to find out! 

What year was Volkswagen founded?

The German government, under the control of Adolf Hitler, was the first owner of Volkswagen, which was supposed to provide practical, affordable personal transportation to citizens.


What city is Volkswagen's global headquarters in?

Wolfsburg, which is situated in the northern portion of Germany, has been the home of Volkswagen since the beginning.


What role did Volkswagen play in World War II?

Volkswagen, like other automakers on both sides of the conflict, pivoted to making military vehicles and machinery. Allied bombers destroyed the original factory in Wolfsburg.


Who created the original Volkswagen Beetle?

Ferdinand Porsche, who founded another German automaker you might've heard about before, was the creator of the Beetle. Some history books incorrectly cite Adolf Hitler as creating it, but he just liked to take credit for others' work.


What was the first model year of the Passat?

As Volkswagen reacted to changes in the market, it started dumping rear-engine vehicles in the 1970s, replacing them with front-engine, sportier cars like the Passat.


How many brands are operated under the Volkswagen Group umbrella?

With VW, Audi, SEAT, Skoda, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Ducati, VW Commercial Vehicles, Scania and Man, the Volkswagen Group covers a diverse cross-section of the automotive market.


The Dieselgate scandal involved what?

A simple and innocent test uncovered that for years Volkswagen had been lying about the clean nature of its TDI models' emissions, resulting in billions in government fines and lawsuit settlements.


When was the last year Volkswagen was the largest automaker in the world, based on sales volume?

Despite the whole Dieselgate scandal, Volkswagen was able to sell 10.7 million vehicles during 2017, mostly thanks to extremely strong sales in China.


In what year did Volkswagen successfully fight off a hostile acquisition by Porsche?

After acquiring a 30.9 percent stake in Volkswagen the previous year, Porsche's coup fails, leaving the other brand on the verge of bankruptcy once more. VW then bought a 49.9 percent stake in Porsche, which was reversed thanks to legalities.


What kind of vehicle was the Volkswagen Type 2?

The Type 2, which people have referred to as the VW Bus or a few other names, remains a highly sought-after classic to this day.


What was the final production year Volkswagen made a Beetle with the split rear window?

If you can get your hands on a model with the split rear window, instead of the big, oval window most people know, they're worth some pretty serious money.


Where did Volkswagen get the name of the Karmann Ghia?

Volkswagen contracted with the famous Italian vehicle designer Ghia to make something sleek and attractive, while German coachbuilder Karman made each car by hand.


What important vehicle's total sales figures did the Volkswagen Beetle surpass in 1972?

On February 17, 1972 the 15,007,034th Beetle was sold, edging past the previous record that was held by the Model T.


What was the performance issue with the New Beetle Turbo S?

By turbocharging the 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine used in the New Beetle, Volkswagen was able to squeeze out 180 horsepower. If it had added all-wheel drive the car might've been a legitimate pocket rocket.


How many automakers did Volkswagen acquire in 1998?

In that one year, the VW Group bought Lamborghini, Bugatti and Bentley, which are from three different countries and have considerable market clout.


Which model's success in North America in the early 1990s convinced Volkswagen to not leave the market?

The VW Jetta MK3 launched in 1993 and was a red-hot commodity among American buyers, far outselling the Golf and convincing VW management to stick around in this market.


Where did Volkswagen get the name Touareg?

The brand's mid-size luxury SUV was never a huge sales success, and some say it was partly because of the name people struggled to pronounce and remember.


What was the formal name for the Volkswagen Thing?

Most people know this two-wheel-drive convertible four-door vehicle as the Thing, which was made from 1968 to 1983 and still turns heads.


What was the first model year of the New Beetle?

At the leading edge of the retro styling craze for cars, something that really appealed to aging Boomers, Volkswagen decided to bring the Beetle back. This time it was bubblier and had a flower pot.


What car was the basis for the first Jetta?

Essentially, the Jetta MK1 was a Gold with a trunk, using the same platform and designer as its sibling model, since VW realized some consumers wanted a trunk and not a rear hatch.


Where did Volkswagen get much of its workforce during WWII?

Some have characterized the practice of German firms during the war using people in concentration camps as free labor as slavery. This is a portion of the past VW would like to forget.


What was the first luxury brand owned by Volkswagen?

After buying Auto Union in 1964 and NSU Motorenwerke in 1969, VW merged the two to create Audi as we know it today.


What was the last year of hardtop Beetle Type 1 sales in the United States?

Thanks to the introduction of the Rabbit, the only Beetle that was sold in this market going forward for some time was the beloved convertibles.


What Disney movie only helped further endear Volkswagen to Americans?

Herbie, the sentient Volkswagen Beetle that beat out bigger, more powerful cars in races absolutely fascinated audiences when the first movie debuted in 1968.


What kind of car was the Volkswagen Type 3?

Sold as the VW 1500 and 1600, the coupe came in three different forms: fastback, notchback and squareback.


What kinds of vehicles fall under the upcoming Volkswagen I.D. umbrella?

As part of the reparation for the Dieselgate scandal, Volkswagen is pushing forward with an aggressive electric vehicles product rollout, including the I.D. Buzz, a throwback to the old VW buses.


Who saved VW from being dismantled after WWII?

The Potsdam Agreement established between the UK, US, and USSR would have mean the factory was up for being dismantled, but Major Ivan Hirst saw the car could help with the German economy, and so persuaded his superiors to spare it.


What are Volkswagen's plans for the e-Golf?

With a new I.D. model launching in 2020, and the e-Golf not selling well because it was outclassed by new EV models, Volkswagen decided to pull the plug after 2017.


What was the debut year of the Volkswagen GTI Mk1?

To create the GTI, Volkswagen took a Golf and dropped Audi's 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder engine in the car, combining power with a lightweight platform.


Starting in the '90s, what was the competing engine against the 1.8T for the top spot in the Golf lineup?

If you'd visited Volkswagen Golf forums online in the late '90s and early 2000s, you would have found enthusiasts arguing that either the VR6 or 1.8T was the superior engine and the future of the car.


For the Mark 5 GTI, what did Volkswagen call the wheel design in Germany?

With the GTI once again looking different from other Golfs, VW used an awesome wheel design for the car, which were called Hufeisen wheels in the US market.


How did Volkswagen react to the Brazilian government's National Alcohol Program?

Thanks to the oil crisis of 1973, the Brazilian government invested heavily in promoting bioethanol vehicles, so Volkswagen produced a series of neat ethanol models to support that initiative.


What year did Volkswagen outright acquire SEAT?

In 1982, Volkswagen first entered an agreement with Spanish automaker SEAT. Just four years later it bought a majority share in the company, then four years later bought it outright, which it still owns today.


What was the final production year of the VW Beetle Type 1?

You might've thought the original Beetle died sometime in the 20th century, but the car lived on and was rolling off the production line in Puebla, Mexico until 70 years after Ferdinand Porsche was commissioned to produce the primary prototypes.


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