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3D Printing Used in Development of New Volkswagen Electric Project Car, Golf GTI First Decade

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Car lovers abound across the world, but Volkswagen fanatics are a whole different breed. You may have grown up in the generation of the VW Bug. Or perhaps the Cabriolet or the Jetta. Founded in 1937 in Germany, the famed automobile manufacturer today employs over 200,000 people with headquarters in over 14 countries. It’s certainly no surprise to hear that their cars are sold in over 150 countries today.

The VW Golf was one of the most popular and well-recognized cars around the world. It debuted in 1974, meant as a replacement for the ubiquitous Beetle—going on to become one of Volkswagen’s best-selling cars. Now, Volkswagen has announced the release of “a very special Golf GTI.” It was just unveiled to the world at the Wörthersee meeting in Austria this week.

The new GTI was presented by 13 apprentices from Volkswagen and Sitech. What’s extra special about this model is that it is also electric. To be known as the Golf GTI First Decade, this new car was made in just nine months “on the basis of ideas provided by apprentices in six vocations,” according to Volkswagen. Both the inside and outside of the new car were said to have actually been inspired by the landscape at the famed Wörthersee lake, situated in the southern Austrian state of Carinthia.

The new Golf offers some of the following features:

  • 410 PS (300 kW) petrol engine
  • 48-volt electric motor
  • Front-wheel, rear-wheel, and all-wheel drive
  • Zero emissions due to electric propulsion system
  • Regenerative braking
  • Two batteries that charge in rear of vehicle
  • Mobile app for controlling driving modes

“During the creation of their dream GTI, our apprentices learn about the complexity and future challenges of automobile production. They gain further experience in the use of digital technologies, the application of system technology and electro-mobility,” says Peter Christ, Head of Automotive Technology Training in Wolfsburg. “This is why we choose our strongest talents and offer them the opportunity to learn from experienced instructors and experts from the entire company at an early stage.”

The apprentices working on the First Decade were aged 18 to 23, and were heavily engaged in using progressive and digital technology. They used tablets to create designs, as well as CAD programs which generated 3D printed components.

“In the course of the project, the apprentices from six vocations gained considerable specialist knowledge and expertise and grew together to form a strong team around project manager Holger Schülke,” stated Volkswagen.

This Golf is known as a show car project, and is only one of ten since 2008.

“Each unique car bears witness to the high level and practical character of vocational training at Volkswagen,” stated the company.

The Golf GTE Variant impulsE was also debuted at Wörthersee, offering a prototype battery with a capacity increased from 8.8 to 16.8 kWh. Because of that, this show car will offer twice the amount of electric operation. Volkswagen announces that it will also offer innovation in aesthetics with this project with the five-tone matte paintwork in Oryx White, Apassionata Blue, Anthracite, Hallmark and St. James Red. Discuss in the Electric Car forum at 3DPB.com.

[Sources: VolkswagenAutoguide / Images: Volkswagen]

 

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