Volkswagen Magazine


A Wolf in Wolf’s Clothing

Sleek, powerful and stealthy, Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg Edition vehicles lead where others follow.

Text Paul Rodger
Photos Aaron Lam

Fans of the ‘people’s car’ will recognise the name Wolfsburg for its close association with Volkswagen. Situated in Germany’s Lower Saxony, Wolfsburg is not only where Volkswagen Group has its headquarters, it’s also home to the world’s biggest car plant and the site where the first Beetle was manufactured.

Fans will also recognized Wolfsburg as the badge on Volkswagen’s special edition vehicles, and there’s a good reason why.

The city of Wolfsburg derives its name from Castle Wolfsburg (or Schloss Wolfsburg as the locals say), which was first mentioned in records around 1302AD as being the domicile of the upstanding von Bartensleben family. Originally a tower house on the River Aller, it was later fortified including the addition of a moat.

The castle’s battlements figure prominently in the city’s ‘wolf and castle’ coat of arms, which portrays a silver two-tower castle on the River Aller. Standing attention over the fortress is a golden wolf.

As a medieval symbol in European heraldry, the wolf represents the rewards of perseverance. As such, it was not uncommon with the animal featuring on the arms and crests of many noble families during much of the Middle Ages. And the animal has since been a mainstay in the folklore of cultures around the world.

What is it about the animal that it should loom so large in folklore and symbolism? Renowned for its sleek stealth and determined grit, the wolf has exemplified courage, power and intelligence for centuries. The wolf has also come to embody a pure spirit, unable to be tamed.

All the attributes commonly ascribed to the wolf can equally describe Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg Edition range of vehicles. These cars spring forth from Volkswagen’s model line-up but are a first among equals: limited in their production run, designed for the discerning driver and bearing all the hallmarks of performance classics.

Leader of the pack

It should come as no surprise that the ‘wolf and castle’ emblem flown proudly above Wolfsburg should also adorn Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg Edition performance vehicles. As Volkswagen’s ancestral home, it makes sense that the name ‘Wolfsburg’ should only be given to limited-edition vehicles that exude the very best Volkswagen qualities: performance, style, tradition and excellence.

A modified version of the coat of arms was used as a steering wheel emblem on Volkswagen cars until the early 1980s, after which it was replaced by the Volkswagen logo as we know it today. The emblem has since been reinstated on Wolfsburg Edition vehicles as a mark of each vehicle’s exclusivity.

Both the Golf R hatch and the Golf R Wagon were given the Wolfsburg Edition treatment back in 2015. The Scirocco R and the Touareg became members of the club late in 2016 and they have since been followed by the Passat Alltrack.

In many ways the latest iteration of the Scirocco R typifies what it means to bear the name ‘Wolfsburg Edition’. The Scirocco R is unquestionably one of the most distinctive cars to have been seen on Australian roads in the last five years. But in Wolfsburg Edition trim, the car is a genuine head-turner.

The Scirocco R Wolfsburg Edition incorporates many of the features that have defined the Scirocco R, such as a bold rear spoiler with integrated third brake light, powerful Bi-Xenon headlights and dual chrome exhausts, which convey a burble at idle and a spine-tingling roar when the throttle is opened. But the Wolfburg Edition sets itself apart from the series model with its distinctive black 19-inch Lugano alloy wheels and gloss black exterior mirror housing.

Oryx White Pearlescent paint is available for the first time in the Scirocco R Wolfsburg Edition, as is clever Keyless Access. The instrument cluster has also been upgraded to feature Volkswagen’s new colour multi-function display – MFD Premium.

Taking a seat in the cabin is akin to strapping yourself in the cockpit of a racing car. Sure, there’s no roll cage to be found, but shoulder-hugging bucket seats (with R logo) provide plenty of lateral support – just the thing for fast acceleration out of corners – while Alcantara/Vienna leather appointed upholstery offers grip and style in equal measure. The leather-clad flat-bottom steering wheel continues the sporty theme.

Local production of the Scirocco R Wolfsburg Edition has been restricted to 150 units only, with each individual vehicle receiving a limited-edition numbered plaque. Of those, 30 will feature manual transmission to satisfy enthusiasts wanting ultimate driving control.

Once the latest release has been sold, the Scirocco R will no longer be manufactured for the Australian market. Talk about going out with a bang.

As for the Touareg Wolfsburg Edition, it’s based on the 2017 Touareg V6 TDI variant, which sits one notch below Volkswagen’s flagship V8 TDI R-Line. With its 3.0-litre 6-cylinder turbo engine dispensing 180kW and 550Nm and complemented by an 8-speed Sports automatic transmission and 4MOTION all-wheel-drive technology, the Touareg is every bit as potent as its appearance suggests.

This latest Touareg contains a suite of driver aids including Adaptive Cruise Control with Front Assist, City Emergency Brake and Side Assist. Black 20-inch Mallory alloy wheels and dark LED taillights distinguish it from other Touaregs, as does the option to select exclusive Reef Blue Metallic paint.

Inside the cabin, unique ventilated and heated seats in black Nappa leather appointed upholstery with contrasting diamond stitching portray an effortlessly cool look, as do other inclusions such as ‘Dark Beaufort’ decorative wood trim and a piano black centre console, stainless steel pedals and a heated steering wheel with paddle shifters.

Finally the Passat Alltrack Wolfsburg Edition is the most recent edition to the Wolfsburg range and premieres exciting new technology and style not previously available on the Passat Alltrack.

The striking Crimson Red Metallic paint is an exciting addition to the range (option) as are the 19-inch Albertville alloy wheels and LED headlights.

The model remains powered by the same 2.0 litre turbo diesel four cylinder engine producing 140kW of power and 400Nm of torque but the addition of Adaptive Chasis Control allowing you to soften or stiffen the suspension across a variety of modes is what sets this limited edition apart from the series model.

Inside the cabin this Wolfsburg Edition possesses the perfect combination of technology and quality. Active Info Display provides a fully digital instrument display whilst Nappa leather and other trim highlights provides the touch of luxury.

Worn with pride

The Scirocco R, the Touareg & the Passat Alltrack deserve to be recognised for what they are – sleek and stylish – which is why these models feature the iconic Wolfsburg Edition emblem mounted on the tailgate. It’s a badge to be displayed with pride and a marker that these are no ordinary Volkswagens. This pack of wolves represents nothing less than the pinnacle of motoring performance.

The symbolism of the wolf is vast and compelling – and it evokes powerful feelings in us. To the folklore that has existed throughout history we can now add the legend that is the Wolfsburg Edition.