Bentley, Bugatti, Porsche, Audi and Volkswagen – these brands of the Volkswagen Group are all living legends of the great Mille Miglia tradition. Even in this, the event’s 84th year, the Group will once again have a host of historic cars in the starting line up: 14 classics will join the race from Brescia to Roma and back. In the driving seat will be several high-profile personalities from the Volkswagen Group.
Volkswagen Classic will take part in the race with two faithful Beetle replicas. The originals caused a sensation at the Mille Miglia in the 1950s – and commanded respect from the mostly larger, more powerful competitors. Porsche will be fielding a 550 Spyder, which achieved sixth place in the overall placings in 1954, despite technical problems. Although the car’s engine was a relatively low performer, the intense focus on lightweight construction gave it a very favourable power-to-weight ratio. Of course, no race would be complete without a Porsche 356 at the start either – and this marque also ran up a whole series of successes at the Mille Miglia.
Audi will be presenting a chapter of their history with five DKW models from the 1950s, including a rare DKW 3=6 Monza: its streamlined sports body shell is made of plastic – at the time, an innovation in German automobile construction. Bentley will be gracing the course with a supercharged 4.5-litre model built in 1929, which took part in the legendary and long-distance classic 24-hour race of Le Mans in 1930. Bugatti will be entering a Type 35 T, a car that experts say is the world’s most successful racing car of all time – its Roots-compressor-supercharged, eight-cylinder engine delivers 135 hp.
The driving seats will be occupied by high-profile individuals: several of the historic cars will be commanded by members of the management boards of the Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Porsche and Volkswagen brands.
As well as paying tribute to the past, there will also be a nod to the future at the Mille Miglia: the Volkswagen Group will present the public with a range of current models – surprises included: the new Golf Cabriolet, the Audi R8 and the Porsche 911 Carrera will be on display, among others.