Monday, December 12, 2011

Best of 2011 from GRAutoBlog: Volkswagen, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz Edition

Change is a constant in the auto industry, but this year in particular ushered in some truly transformative moments for three of our favorite brands: Volkswagen, Volvo and Mercedes-Benz.

In 2011 we saw the re-invention of the iconic VW Beetle, Volvo's new design direction, and Mercedes-Benz forged a new path with fully re-designed models of the C-Class Coupe, M-Class model and more.

2011 has also been a year of big redesigns for the Mercedes-Benz SLK and both the Volkswagen Passat and the iconic VW Beetle, all of which are included in this '10 Best Redesigns for 2012' list.

Along with its stunning redesigns, Volkswagen really flexed its concept-design muscles. This year's offerings ranged from the re-invention of the iconic T1 Camper Van with the Volkswagen Bulli Bus concept, (featured below) to the Volkswagen NILS concept, a futuristic single-passenger pod car that represents an emerging shift in eco-friendly design for the auto industry.

Volvo took its brand in a new direction with its 'Designed Around You' strategy, which resulted in the development of the Volvo Concept Universe, and the Concept You. Volvo was also back in the spotlight with its Twilight vampire vehicle of choice, the  Volvo S60 T6 R-design that was featured in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1.

Mercedes-Benz introduced its new M-Class and C-Class Coupe, as well as, a modern re-interpretation of the classic Unimog model with a new award-winning concept. Mercedes-Benz didn't stop there: They wowed the automotive world with the beautifully-designed and technologically-innovative A-Class concept.

Here are some of our favorite posts from 2011:

Volkswagen Highlights:

Volkswagen’s ‘Bulli Bus’ Concept Unveiled

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="550" caption="Volkswagen Bulli Bus Concept"]Volkswagen Bulli Bus Concept[/caption]

The iconic Volkswagen Microbus design has received an automotive-design facelift, and then some. “Car of the future” may be an overused car-cliche, but this VW concept may truly be just that.

Unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show, the ‘Bulli Bus’ is a concept that Volkswagen-devotees are hoping will actually come into fruition. If Volkswagen sees this model through to production, the VW van will be popular with both the environmentally-conscious and techie crowds thanks to its electric-engine and tablet-friendly capabilities. Read more...

2012 Volkswagen Up!

Say hello to the latest edition to the Volkswagen family: the Up! compact car. The Up! may be just 139.4 inches long and 64.6 inches wide, but VW calls it “a giant among small cars.”

Up!, the next ‘big thing’ in the small-car sector, comes in a trio of three-cylinder engines: two gasoline-powered and one natural-gas powered engine. There will be the option of a 59 horsepower gas engine that receives 56 mpg, and a 74 horsepower engine with 55 mpg. The natural gas-powered engine, with a later release date, will boast 67 horsepower with a truly impressive 73 mpg. Read more...


Volvo Highlights:

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Volvo Concept You"]Volvo Concept You[/caption]

Volvo Concept You

Unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show, Volvo’s Concept You is a luxury sedan with the perfect blend of traditional luxury and contemporary touchscreen technology.

The You, a model that has evolved from Volvo’s Concept Universe, may represent the future of the car company’s larger sedan models. Read more...

World’s Highest Mileage Car : Volvo P1800

On Tuesday, the World’s Highest Mileage Car visited Betten Imports! Irv Gordon, the owner of the famous Volvo P1800 let us capture the moment.

Back in 1966, the Volvo P1800 cost just $4,150. Irv says it was the best $4,150 he has ever spent and somehow we believe him since he’s racked up over 2.9 million miles in his trusty Volvo. Since retiring in 1996, Irv has driven more than 100,000 miles per year! Read more...


Mercedes-Benz Highlights:

Mercedes-Benz Unimog Concept

“60 Years of Unimog” Mercedes-Benz Concept

Leave it up to Mercedes-Benz to re-visit a vehicle that was originally intended for agriculture and design a completely avant-garde, and dare we say it, beautiful vehicle that maintains its trademark level of all-purpose functionality. Mercedes-Benz says the concept, simply dubbed “60 Years of Unimog,” will set the future tone of the automaker’s design and development of commercial vehicles.

The concept was the combined brainchild of the Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks Unit (MBS) and an outside design team. The concept takes elements from the modern Unimog U 5000 chassis while maintaining style solidarity with the original Unimog. Read more...

2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe

The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe is a sophisticated statement on four wheels. The 2012 Coupe model has an aggressive design with a performance engine and seven-speed transmission to back it up.

Based on the C-Class Sedan, the new Coupe stays true to Mercedes-Benz’s bold profile with its signature slatted grill and sleek yet sporty silhouette. Read more...


Thank you for travelling on this journey with us, we look forward to an even more exciting 2012!

To stay tuned on all the latest updates on Volkswagen, Volvo and Mercedes-Benz,  follow us on Twitter: @GRAutoBlog and Facebook:


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