Volkswagen GX3 : 2006

Volkswagen presents a crossover between a sports car and a motorcycle.
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It goes from 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 5.7 seconds with a fuel consumption of 46 mpg (5.2 l/100 km). GX3 was created for the US by the Moonraker team and VW's Design Center in California. Pure affordable performance: if it is sold, the price of the GX3 could be under $17,000.

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In a world premiere at the Los Angeles Motor show, Volkswagen presents the GX3, A crossover between a sports car and a motorcycle. The GX3 was developed by the Moonraker Team and VW's Design Center in California, exclusively for the U.S. With its three wheels and a unique design, this Volkswagen brings pure driving enjoyment back into every day life. Light, fast and environmentally friendly, the GX3 shows that conceptually it is much closer to a motorcycle than to any other type of vehicle. This two-seater Volkswagen is one of a kind, bold, young and affordable. It defines a new driving dimension, turns even the daily drive to work into a small trip to freedom, allows you to cruise in the carpool lane, even if you're driving solo (the GX3 is a motorcycle, after all!) and with its keen handling opens up completely new horizons for driving pleasure. It accelerates in 5.7 seconds to 62.5 mph (100 km/h) but still only uses an average of 46 mpg (5.2 l/100 km). A realistic dream and pure affordable performance potentially starting under $17,000. Fact is: the antithesis of the motor vehicle establishment, the GX3 could be on the market very soon. It all depends on the American public's feedback.

The GX3 was designed in close collaboration between VW's Design Center California (DCC) and an international, cross-functional group of young engineers, designers, manufacturing and marketing experts. Team name: Moonraker. This is homage to the Apollo 11 mission back in the sixties, to an accomplished vision, which typifies the challenge for VW of facing the largest national automobile market. The team started its work in the US in early 2005. The job: To convert the wishes, dreams and needs of the American drivers into a consistent U.S. product portfolio. The goal: highest possible customer satisfaction.

In addition to the models developed in Germany and sold in the U.S., in the future Volkswagen will be building more models catering especially to the needs and requirements of U.S. customers. The first dramatic example: the GX3. Responsible for the design of the new Volkswagen is the Volkswagen Design Center in Santa Monica (DCC). The team there will be working in close cooperation with the new VW Concept Development Team on the West Coast. The GX3 offers a look into the exciting and comprehensive spectrum of totally new motor vehicles which are currently being conceptualized by Volkswagen of America for the US market.

Three wheels allow for a completely new and extremely progressive design concept.

Worldwide there is no equivalent to the GX3 which could be produced on a large scale. Three wheel vehicles have been exotic up until now. But at the beginning of the 21st century, in an era of constantly rising fuel costs and an ongoing shortage of resources, they offer an excellent approach to realizing a completely new vehicle concept. Because here, lightweight construction and the demonstrative departure from convention have the potential to be implemented. The same goes for the design: The motorcycle with three wheels allows for a significantly better departure from the familiar design concept than do comparable four wheel vehicles.

The focus for Volkswagen's design team in California was to create a quintessential and pure driving machine. Inspired by the minimalist design language often expressed in contemporary GP motorcycles and F1 race cars, the GX3 has a true feeling of authenticity. These influences are seen throughout the exterior with an exposed single sided swing arm, aggressive central exhaust, open front wheels and stealthy matte finishes. The progressive dynamic on the GX3 is emphasized with a strong graphic dividing the body as it wraps up to the aggressive forward leaning roll hoops. Anodized gold and black suspension components and LED lighting are further examples of track inspired designs.

The GX3 interior is all about business with nothing to distract from the absolute driving experience. The driver's cockpit is equipped with five point racing harnesses; "moto" style instruments and a GTI inspired stainless shifter. Most distinctly, the rear boasts a massive single 18"x12" back wheel dressed with a 315 rubber. The front end proudly displays a bold V graphic consistent with Volkswagen's vehicle lineup, most notably the GTI. The GX3 in no way denies that it is a motorcycle, but rather plays it up as a unique design advantage.

High density space frame made of tubular steel and body paneling made of fiberglass.

The Volkswagen GX3 is a sports machine with two souls: uncompromised driving machine and relaxed cruiser. The basic structure is formed by a high-density, warp-resistant, steel construction space frame. It consists of the front axle, the monoswing arm rear axle, the two adjoining seats and the engine integrated between the rear wheel and seats. Also a part of the steel structure: the longitudinal roll bars with transverse members. In addition to the roll bars behind the seats, the driver and passenger are also protected by a third concealed bar above the instrument panel.

The paneling of the interior and exterior parts of the space frame is made of high density fiberglass. There are no doors in the classical sense. Here the GX3 deliberately follows the design of the legendary Dune Buggy. However, getting in and out of the vehicle is easy.

Fascinating proportions: 147.8 inches (3.753 mm) length, 106.3 inches (2.700 mm) wheel base and a height of only 47.6 inches (1.210 mm).

Thanks to the space-frame structure, a compact 4-cylinder motor, and a light axle system, the GX3 weighs a mere 1,257 lbs (570 kg). It also has an ideal weight distribution of 59 to 41 percent (front / rear). The GX3 is 147.8 inches (3.753 mm) long, 72.8 inches (1.850 mm) wide and a mere 47.6 inches (1.210 mm) high.

(source: Volkswagen)

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It's pretty Obvious what the Volkwagen logo is (a V over a W in a blue background, sorounded by a circle). It's origin is rather mundane though. The logo was the result of an office competition to see come up with a logo. The winner of the competition (who won 50 Marks for his troubles) was an engineer named Franz Reimspiess (the same man who perfected the engine for the Beetle in the 1930's).

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THE "1900's" BOOK.
Each decade seems to have its own stylistic language, and this issue showcases logos, ads, cars, companies and products (and their typographical sensibilities) from the early 1900s.

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