The employee magazine
of the Volkswagen brand

Models and Technology

Second Home

GTI¹ and Virtus, soccer and BBQs: inside met with Brazilian developer
 Bruno Marques and his wife Camila for a very special afternoon.

Blue skies, 27 degrees Celsius outside, and pleasant anticipation of what’s ahead of us. In short, great conditions for today’s job. We, Dirk Schlinkert and Jonas Wetzel, both work as editors in Internal Communication. Always on the move in the company in search of great people and good stories. We’ve been looking forward to this Wednesday for some time, because today we have an appointment with our Brazilian colleague Bruno and his wife Camila watch soccer together in Dirk’s backyard and to meet our favorite cars from our home countries.

Almost at the same time, we meet at the VfL Wolfsburg stadium: Dirk and I in the fiery red Golf GTI, a true Wolfsburg original. Camila and Bruno come in the silver Virtus, the new sedan with notchback for South America. Bruno is proud of the car built in his homeland. It rolls off the assembly line in Anchieta, where Bruno started in Development more than years ago, and accompanies the Virtus in the series – usually in Anchieta, sometimes from Wolfsburg.

At the cradle of German soccer: Bruno and Camila Marques wearing fan jerseys with inside editors Dirk Schlinkert and Jonas Wetzel in Braunschweig. The first soccer match in Germany took place there more than 140 years ago.
Half-time break: the soccer fans from Brazil and Germany fortify themselves with a freshly grilled bratwurst.
Pure emotion at the public viewing as the German national team doesn’t live up to expectations.

His travelling back and forth across the Atlantic has now come to an end. For over 12 months, he’s been working as an Anchieta employee in Overall Vehicle Development in Wolfsburg, and has taken on new projects there. But he’s always stayed with Virtus. “It’s a big, beautiful, safe car. It’s exactly what the South Americans like,” says the 29-year-old. That Virtus is popular is also proven by the sales figures. His countrymen like the large trunk and modern technology in particular. “For us here at home, Volkswagen is a brand that stands for value. You pay a little more, but you get a lot for your money,” explains Bruno, who studied electrical engineering in Brazil.

With his stay in Germany, the young man is following in his father’s footsteps. He worked in Wolfsburg from 1999 to 2001, also in Technical Development, and in Overall Vehicle Development. Bruno attended school in Wolfsburg, learned German, and later continued to take German lessons in Brazil, at his own expense. He’s infected Camila with his ambition; she now speaks nearly fluent German as well. She started taking lessons immediately after arriving in Wolfsburg in spring 2017, and is now able to communicate quite well. The professional chemist’s goal is to work for one of the large German companies with branches around São Paulo.

A good ten months ago, the Virtus celebrated its world premiere in São Paulo. The sedan has been in dealerships since February 2018, and has since found more than 21,000 customers in Brazil. More than 10,000 models have been shipped to Argentina, Chile, Peru, Uruguay and Paraguay.

The notchback sedan in the compact car segment is produced by the employees at the Anchieta plant. It’s 4.48 meters long – 42.5 centimeters longer than the Polo. With 521 liters, the sedan is the best in its class in trunk volume. It’s based on the Modular Transverse Toolkit (MQB) and its onboard features include the Active Info Display and the eight-inch Discover Media infotainment system. The TSI Total Flex engine (ethanol) delivers 94 kW/128 bhp and reaches a top speed of 194 km/h.

The Virtus

the new sedan from Brazil

A stopover in Braunschweig at the House of Science, historical place of great importance for German soccer: the first soccer match on German soil took place in 1874 just a few meters from here. On the way to the watch party, we talk briefly about Camila and Bruno’s impressions of Germany. She likes the security here and the short distances to other European countries. He spontaneously remembers an example from everyday working life: “I’ve learned a lot in Germany. When I get back home, I want to combine German structure with Brazilian easygoingness. That would be the perfect mix!”

Right on time, we reach the “World Cup studio” in Dirk’s yard. Camila and Bruno take seats in the front row and are immediately fully engrossed in the match with us. Several German world champions are playing, and Bruno knows them all “from the painful experience of 2014,” he says. During the halftime break of the South Korea game, there’s going to be bratwurst. “Watching soccer together with family and friends – that’s something we know from home. The bratwursts are great, but in Brazil we tend to grill beef,” Camila says, revealing one small difference. At the end of the game, the German national team is out of the running. Our Brazilian guests are shocked and console us, saying, “We feel it with you. Germany is our second home. But cheer up, it’ll keep going.”

But the weather was much too beautiful to stay sad for very long. In the evening, the Brazilians do better and advance to the round of 16. As we say our goodbyes, we get talking about the GTI. Bruno takes a seat behind the steering wheel. He gently runs his hand over the decorative red seams, then grabs the golf ball-like gear knob. “There’s so much love of detail in it. The GTI is a true legend. It would be great if we could say the same for the Virtus in a few years.”

Since 1976, the GTI has been a legend among sporty models in the compact car class. And still is today. Today the top of the GTI series is the Golf GTI with the byname “Performance”². Its turbo engine runs at 180 kW/245 bhp and produces a torque of 370 Newton meters on the road. Only the Golf R³ is more powerful. It sends 400 Newton meters on four wheels. This means the Golf GTI can accelerate to 100 km/h in 6.2 seconds. With a six-speed manual transmission, it reaches a top speed of 250 km/h, and with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox (DSG) it can even reach 248 km/h.

The Golf GTI is in its seventh generation, rolling off the production line at the brand’s main plant in Wolfsburg, together with the other models from the Golf family. In the first half of 2018, Wolfsburg employees have built an average of more than 800 GTI models per week. In total, over seven generations – or more than two million Golf GTIs – have been built to date.

The Golf GTI

the classic from Wolfsburg