Volkswagen's ZeitHaus is a celebration of automobile design and technology
The ZeitHaus is part of the vast Autostadt attraction near VW's headquarters
In its day, the Audi 100 boasted class-leading aerodynamics
Luxurious long-wheelbase A8 was powered by a mighty W12 engine
The road-going Audi Quattro remains a sought-after collectable classic
The sports-oriented cockpit of the Bentley 3.0-litre Speed model
Bentley's MkV is an ultra-rare vehicle, with fewer than a dozen produced
A replica of Karl Benz's Velo of 1894, one of the earliest cars
BMW 328's front grille is an early example of a clear corporate identity
Bugatti EB 118 concept was first shown at the Paris motor show in 1998
Bugatti Type 15 is one of the oldest examples of the marque still in existence
Stunning Bugatti Type 57S Atlantic was highly advanced by 1930s standards
The massive Cadillac Eldorado – parking sensors not pictured
Citroën 2CV, the toast of France, remains an enduring design classic
Citroën DS was famed for its styling and the technology under its skin
The DMC-12 was the only model produced by ill-fated DeLorean
The DKW F1 was manufactured during the early 1930s
Ford's Capri was hugely successful from its 1969 launch onwards
Nothing says luxury motoring like the Gutbrod Superior...
Honda S800 was Japan's rival to British marques such as Triumph and MG
Jaguar E-type retains a place in the ZeitHaus design pavilion
Funky Karmann GF buggy was sold at Volkswagen dealerships
The gorgeous 350 GT, Lamborghini's first production vehicle
Lamborghini LP400 Countach adorned many a teenager's bedroom wall
Lamborghini Miura: beautiful to look at, but a handful to drive on the road
Lancia Dilambda used a 4.0-litre V8 engine when it appeared in 1929
Lancia Lambda was one of the first cars to adopt independent suspension
Lincoln Zephyr was produced in the early 1940s
KR200 'bubble car' was produced by Messerschmitt, better known for its aircraft
MG M-type gave its parent company a much-needed sales boost in the 1930s
Motorcycles feature in the ZeitHaus too – this is an NSU Quickly
Imposing Oldsmobile Toronado stayed on sale for 28 years in the USA
For many, the Porsche 911 Turbo 3.3 remains the ultimate 911
Earlier example of the 911 shows more subtle, less muscular styling
Porsche Junior 108K tractor used a single-cylinder engine
Almost three million examples of the Trabant 601 were sold in East Germany
Like the Trabant, the VW Beetle was designed as an accessible 'people's car'
The VW Gol was made hugely popular by VW's Brazilian subsidiary. Current model still sells well today
It wouldn't be a Volkswagen museum without an example of the Golf
A late-model Volkswagen Type-2, now sadly out of production
The Volkswagen Käfer (German for Beetle)
Brazilian market Volkswagen SP2 looked great, but was underpowered
Pininfarina had input into the design of the Volkswagen Type-4 estate
Volkswagen Polo first went on sale in 1975. This is a 2007 Mk4 example
The sleek styling of the second-generation Volkswagen Scirocco
Volkswagen W12 Synchro concept used W12 engine and four-wheel drive
East German marque Wartburg produced this 1100 in the mid-1960s
Autostadt's massive car silos hold brand new production cars for customers
When new VWs are ready for collection by owners, their names flash up on the screen
For car lovers, the town of Wolfsburg in Germany is synonymous with one brand: Volkswagen. The history of the automotive brand is intertwined with that of the town, which was known as Stadt des Kdf-Wagens until May 1945.
The location, near Fallersleben in Lower Saxony, was specifically chosen as the site of a new car plant in the 1930s. The four chimneys of the factory’s original power station remain one of the town’s distinctive landmarks and still provide power for the area.
Now, adjacent to the Volkswagen production facility and the Mittelcanal upon which bargeloads of VW products were transported to markets before a bespoke rail track was built, is the massive Autostadt visitor attraction.
Autostadt is a celebration of the Volkswagen Group, housing pavilions that showcase all of the main brands. Its open spaces, lakes, exhibitions, art and architecture offer a contrast to the starkly industrial ambience that otherwise pervades Wolfsburg.
Outside, near the lakes rendered solid by the bracing sub-zero Arctic wind, enormous glass car silos house freshly made Volkswagens of all shapes, sizes and colours. European VW buyers can choose to collect their car from the Autostadt if they wish, making a day of it by combining key collection of their new vehicle with a visit to the exhibits.
In the restaurant shop you can buy Volkswagen-branded tomato ketchup or, if the mood takes you, wurst sausage that has its own serial number in Volkswagen’s parts catalogue.
For car nuts, the main attraction is the ZeitHaus. Now, you might be convinced to give Volkswagen’s automobile museum a swerve through concern that you’ll be presented by endless iterations of Golfs, Polos and Passats.
Not a bit of it: those cars are represented, but the ZeitHaus is a fascinating celebration of the history of the automobile with an emphasis of the design and technological perspectives, and disparate brands both current and dormant are represented.
See our picture gallery above this story for a taste of what the ZeitHaus has to offer.