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VW, Apple may collaborate for iCar

updated 01:25 am EDT, Fri August 31, 2007

VW and Apple iCar

Speculation is brewing that Volkswagen and Apple may work together to manufacture and ship an automobile, tentatively dubbed the "iCar". Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn allegedly met earlier this month in California to discuss the possible joint-venture. The team-up may be the result of research revealing that a compact car upgraded with Apple products would be of great interest to young target groups. In 2003, Apple and Volkswagon worked together on the "Pods Unite" promotion, in which VW gave a complimentary Apple iPod to anyone who purchased a Beetle.

by MacNN Staff





  1. l008com

    Joined: Dec 1969



    ooooooh i don't know about this one.

  1. Beechlady

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Pod Power

    That'd be one h*** of a flash drive.....

  1. Comanche Zen

    Joined: Dec 1969


    think of it as outsourced

    design consultation and it doesn't sound like a bad idea. who does design - of any kind - like apple does? i'd be willing to suspend judgement until i see something from them. really, how much worse could it be than the c*** than the us pumps out? i drive a rabbit and i'd love to see better integration with my apple products.

  1. bobolicious

    Joined: Dec 1969


    As a long time customer..

    ...of both companies I might suggest VW could learn a lot from Apple about reliability & customer service... While I immediately sense a shared design zeitgeist (the new beetle makes me think of Apple minimalist design) the last consumer reports showed very disappointing car reliability ratings from VW in contrast to excellent ratings for Apple products...

    Apple may want to be cautious about such an alliance...

  1. Mediaman_12

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Smart car?

    The last collaboration of this type (an Automotive company and a 'cool' company) was the Mercedes & Swiss watch company Swatch. Which resulted in the original Smart city car

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Minimalist approach

    Yeah, but you fear apple's penchant for design considerations over all else taking over.

    There will be only one model, with very few options. Aby more then that, and the consumer would be confused.

    No negotiations on price, either. Sure, it'll cost more than other cars, but people will point out that if you trick out the competition with all the stuff Apple shoved into the car, they're competitive.

    Trunk room? Who needs trunk room. It ruins the lines of the car.

    You'll need special tools and care in order to get to the engine.

    If you need to replace the battery, you need to bring it into your local VW dealer, who will ship it off to Germany to get it replaced. You'll be offered a loaner car at a reasonable price, however.

    The turn signal lever won't actually move, but it will have built-in sensors to determine which way you really want to turn.

    There will be only two cup holders. If you need more, just buy an 'external' cup holder and attach it to the dash board. The instrument panel will only show speed, as all other information just gets in the way. It will also show and hide all other info at the press of a button.

    The LCD used for the instrument panel, however, will have a noticable shift of brightness as you look at it. VW will say its within specs.

    The entire audio system will work through a single click-wheel interface. Accidents abound as users spend their time trying to dial to the correct station.

    The back seat will have a built-in video player, but won't accept DVDs. All content must be transferred from your home computer.

    When you get into an accident, the dashboard display will inform you to contact 911 in five different languages.

    There will be no 'glove box', as internal storage is unnecessary. What else are the seats and floor for?

    You will need to enter an administration password to turn on the head lights.

    The next years model will look alot like the first years model, but the car's fans will insist its a lot better because of all the changes 'under the hood' (if there were a hood).

    There will be three class-action lawsuits over various issues with the car. People on iCarNN will call them money-grubbing leaches trying to ride the Apple gravy train.

    'testudo' will criticize it for some stupid reason.

    It will completely lack any type of iPod integration or connectors.

    However, in what will turn out to be the weirdest event of all, Mac users will stop using car analogies in their defenses of Apple.

  1. Grrr

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Oddly enough, the original Smart car idea was intended to be a collaboration with Swatch and VW. VW pulled out early on and Benz took over.

    To be honest, if this Apple/VW story is true, then I would be willing to bet that nothing will become of it. Not that Apple would bottle out. Its more likely to be VW, again. Just look at VW's past history of making some great concept vehicles. Then shelving them... Happens all too frequently from them.

  1. notehead

    Joined: Dec 1969


    not "iCar" please!!

    Is anyone else sick to death of iProducts? Is it no longer possible for companies to simply come up with a nice-sounding name for their product without desperately trying to tap into the iPod/iMac demographic with an "i"? I'm an Apple fanboy, to be sure, but the whole "i-" naming convention is a long-dead horse.

  1. ibugv4

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iThink iCar is real

    VW has been working on the Gyspy project, which the screen shots show iTunes installed in the system and Google Maps -- both Google and Apple are in bed. The Audi (VWs luxury brand) MMI vehicles slated for 2008/09 already promise full iPhone integration from phone book to iPod. It's really not that impossible.

    Regarding VWs reliability - have you really READ what the complaints are? Airbag lights that never seem to go away (iBook Logic Board failures, to compare to Apple), and power windows failures 99-02 which they recalled and fixed (Apple: Laptop Batteries). I've owned 5 VWs and they've all gotten over 100k miles of reliable, dependable service to me and my family from 1974 to 2006. VWs demographic is those who can't afford a BMW, picky hipsters who complain about everything. We've never had one of our VWs refuse to start, but we've had MANY Apple-like problems with a light they won't stay turned off or an electrical component that fails. They still performed their basic tasks without fail, the question is what vehicle? Will this be a Beetle-overhaul, a new vehicle all together, or for once a Euro subcompact that meets US crash tests and gets better than 60MPG like a SMART and is powered by only Diesel engines? If VW had stuck to their better-than-mercedes Diesel engines thoughout the 80s and 90s we'd not have the pitiful 2.5L gasoline, we'd have the 2.1L TDI turbodiesel sporting some 50MPG with the ability to run on anything from petrol diesel to veggie oil and a pethora of synthetic fuels.

    Given VW wanting to break back into the American market and produce a model other than their flashship Jetta (think Apple's iMac) this could be a good venture.

  1. trevj

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Hey Fred!

    Check out my new wheels. It's a Volkswagen Testudo!

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