Porsche, Volkswagen and Audi Bring Emotion and Creativity to 2022 SXSW

Porsche Unseen Featured Image

Bringing personality, emotion and entertainment to technology on wheels.

The overriding theme of South by Southwest (SXSW, as it’s known) for 2022 is meta: being there virtually. Eventually, everything you want or need will be in the metaverse even if it doesn’t exist in the actual-verse. It’s our future: virtual reality, crypto currency, NFTs, digital everything. 

But we still need to look each other in the eye, to touch, to feel, to connect as humans.That connection to each other often happens in cars: they take us places, they are our private space, our escape hatch, our haven.

The Porsche Unseen Exhibit Features Concept Cars Like This One, The Vision Gran Tourismo

The Porsche Unseen exhibit features concept cars like this one, the Vision Gran Tourismo. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Porsche Celebrates Creativity, Real and Imagined

For SXSW, which finally returned to Austin, TX, after a two year hiatus, Porsche took a look at the creative process and the 20 year anniversary of the the heroine of the movie Cars, Sally Carrera, based on the Porsche 911. The brand’s “Unseen” exhibit features a group of concept models as well as the only life-size version of Sally Carrera, all amid a display designed to look like an oversized designer’s desk replete with oversized pencils, erasers and tape. The exhibit will be open to SXSW attendees and the pubic, capacity allowing, through March 20th. 

Related: Pixar Partners with Porsche to Create a Real Sally Carrera 911, and She Could Be Yours

VW Showcases its Future with the ID.Buzz

Volkswagen is in the midst of a transition… adding to the sporty cars and SUVs we love electric cars and vans that are the future of transportation. Designated “ID,” the ID.Buzz van is a bit of a “Back to the Future” as the company is rolling out an all electric version of the famed VW Bus from the 1960s and ’70s. These busses are so popular that pristine ones routinely sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars and cause a stir everywhere they go; everyone wants to hop into one for a ride.

But they also present a unique opportunity for the future: With an electric motor and batteries that are housed under the van, the company was able to design a van that harkens to the vintage van, with space for passengers and gear, great visibility and a fun, whimsical approach to transportation. The ID.Buzz will roll out in Europe later this year as a 5 passenger or cargo van, and will make its way to the US in 2023 as a 3-row, 7 passenger van with all wheel drive.

Related: We’re absolutely Buzzing about the World Premiere of the Volkswagen ID. Buzz!

Posing With The Idbuzz With Vw'S Sarah Harrison

Posing with the IDBuzz with VW’s Sarah Harrison. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Taking the ID.Buzz for a Spin

We got to take a spin around Austin in the ID.Buzz and it is impressive. With 200 horsepower, it had ample power and acceleration, and when it goes on sale in the US it’ll have even more power— likely about 300HP due to an all wheel drive system. The ride was comfortable and the cabin was quiet; conversation in the car was easy.

VW isn’t calling this ID.Buzz a minivan, probably because they see it as beyond the minivan for it’s nostalgic appeal and colorful, creative design. But, for those who want or need van capability, it’s all that we love in a minivan: Flexible interior space, sliding doors and room for 6 or 7 passengers. Van, yes. Mini, yes. Typical for this category? Not in the least.

Related: The Audi Phone Box Will Amaze You. And it Comes With This Lovely Audi Q3 SUV Attached

Audi and VR App Holoride Bring New Life to Time in the Car

Audi gave SXSW attendees an opportunity to try out a novel concept in in-car entertainment: Holoride, an app-based VR experience that turns a back seat passenger’s ride into a virtual + real thrill ride. The app, paired with a pair of VR glasses, allows passengers to play a game, participate in an experience or watch a movie. 

Put on the glasses and a simulated airplane taking off will feel real as the system adjusts your view based on the bumps or hills, direction and speed of the car. In my Holoride test drive I was able to sit back, relax and play a video game while the drive took us around the block. With each speed bump the feeling of motion was amplified by turns and climbing hills in the video game; it was really very cool. 

I also tried a movie demonstration; that was less impressive, but I can imagine movies like Speed or Fast and Furious taking on a new thrill, even if the car is only traveling at 25 MPH or so. I can also imagine all the battles for the rear seat that will be a part of the future of family road trips; this system was pretty fun. And when cars truly are autonomous? Or when we give over time in the car to time on a bus or train? Well, Holoride will be there to make it all the more entertaining. 

Austin'S Music Scene Is Marked By Vibrant Local Art

Austin’s music scene is marked by vibrant local art. Photo: Scotty Reiss

It’s So Good to Be Back at Festivals!

The mission of SXSW is to alight the path to the future and give us guidance — as well as a fun couple of weeks filled with conference sessions, music, art and film. And, to connect our tech experience tour human ones. 

Sally On Display At The Porsche Unseen Exhibit At Sxsw

Sally on display at the Porsche Unseen exhibit at SXSW. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss