more year has come and gone, and the time has come for Volkswagen
enthusiasts to congregate at the Austrian Alps and take over the little
town of Reifnitz. Worthersee 2008 is here, and from the looks of it, it
was the best year yet! Filling the streets with modified euros and
crowding the sidewalks, people arrived in the thousands to keep the
Worthersee tradition in running order.
seems that every year Worthersee comes and goes there is always talk
about what is going to happen next. With mixed reactions there is
usually mention of the Austrian government shutting the show down due
to its unruly crowd and the sheer size. Last year there was also talk
about opening the show to all vehicle makes and models, and as always -
to make things a little more organized. Thankfully, I can report that
Worthersee was here; and it was as awesome as it has ever been!
The true spirit of Worthersee lies in the attitude of all the
enthusiasts who flock to the sidewalks and roundabouts to hang out,
drink beer, and watch modded dubs cars drive around. The freedom to
walk, park, and chill wherever you want is what makes Worthersee so
much different to every other show; the fact that you can walk down the
street with a few pints of beer, while mixing between some of the
hottest dubs in the world is truly an experience to behold. So you can
imagine that when discussion about organization and officials come up;
it can conjure up thoughts about whether the freedom will still exist
in the next year.
This year, it seems like they have hit the spot on finding the
perfect balance between officiating while offering the freedom you
want. Volkswagen hit the show like never before with a massive company
presence that can only be seen as taking the Worthersee show seriously,
and wanting to be involved with their mod hungry customers.
In previous years, Volkswagens participation seemed rather like an
afterthought; I can only think that the marketing team did not pay much
attention to the show, and that it was something not worth investing
time into. Each year though, Volkswagen has become more involved;
bringing bigger displays and nicer cars to unveil.
Some could say that with more involvement from Volkswagen, the show
would be losing its grassroots and may change by becoming just another
big time show. While I think there is some truth in that, I also
believe that Worthersee is getting bigger every year, and as more
crowds come, the harder it is to run the show and to keep the town and
government happy – which could ultimately lead to the show’s demise.
With Volkswagens more official involvement, it opens up a lot of
funding and political pull to keep the show growing and running as
usual. It’s on this foundation that lets Volkswagen feature the text
“See You in 2009” on the exit of Reifnitz.
Volkswagen stage was massive this year featuring over a dozen modified
rides presenting the modification possibilities with each model. The
booth also featured the unveiling of the new Studie Passat R36 and the
all new Scirocco. Alongside these new models, the Tiguan, Toureg and
Passat could all be seen outfitted with in the stylish R Line package.
It is doubtful that many of these beautiful models and options will
make it to the states, but there is always hope!
not to be forgotten also made a big impact this year, with a booth
erected similar in style to Volkswagen. Audi unveiled its R8 V12 TDI,
alongside the all new Audi A3 Cabriolet. The stage was quite a marvel
of design as it featured a built in “test drive” for people to test out
the awesome grip of Audi’s Quattro system. People were able to enter
the cars, and go on a short drive that took them both up and down a
very steep slope. Not to be undertaken by the sea of dubs, Audi’s
booth also featured an S5, R8, and the TT club sport.
Beyond the official arrangements, the show went on as usual. Between
the looming rain clouds overhead, and the sporadic showers, the people
and cars started to arrive in waves. Starting several days before the
official show, the true enthusiasts rush to Worthersee to get the
coveted spots in downtown Reifnitz. From the enthusiasts, every model
was represented from the mk1 to the mk5; each with a different unique
style and theme. Some of the major themes this year seemed to be taking
a few pages out of the American styling book; Big Wheels! Cars that you
can recall seeing over the last several years appeared to have sized up
on the rims and fit a good stance with some air.
When it comes to a show like Worthersee, it is difficult to report
on new styles or trends, since there is so much! No matter where you
look there is a car with some something you have never seen before;
some that you like, some that you hate, but all representing the owner
to his own style. Air-ride is one trend that has also taken off and is
soon becoming the standard by which a stance is created. A few years
ago a car with Air-ride would be pulling much more attention, and now
it seems that every other car is on air, all competing to see who can
roll lower than the other.
The one thing that is always changing from year to year is seeing
the new models on the circuit with the likes that have never been seen
before. The Audi A/S 5 is a beautiful sight to behold, especially when
wearing a set of custom wheels and a stance to make Audi engineers
cry. Several cars were also seen wearing parts from newer models, such
as this mk4 gti with a set of EOS taillights and an audi front end –