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30 January 2017

Volkswagen’s New Silver-Layered Climate Windscreen Reinvents Heated Windows

Img: Volkswagen, Press Release 
In the depths of winter, frozen-over windows provide immeasurable frustration for motorists. De-icer and scrapers help, for sure, but nobody enjoys that ten minutes stuck out in the cold, your arm growing steadily numb as you gradually chip away at the thick layer of ice, more reminiscent of an igloo than a vehicle at this point.

Heated windows designed to counteract this problem are nothing new; making use of fine heating filaments, this kind of technology has been available for decades, but it does have issues in terms of visibility. Particularly in low sunlight, or when facing oncoming traffic on a dark evening, these thin heating elements become visible and can be highly distracting for the driver.

Seeking a way to eliminate this problem, German automotive manufacturing company Volkswagen has announced the ‘Climate Windscreen’. The new windscreen uses a wire-free heating system, instead passing a current through a conductive layer of silver contained within the laminated glass. This silver layer is not externally visible, thus removing the primary issue found with the form of filament-fed heated windows typically used in the automotive industry.

The Climate Windscreen also boats a few more features, such as some small filaments in the lower section of the window which prevent the wiper blades from freezing to the glass. They are also infrared-reflecting, and can serve a valuable purpose in the warmer summer months by acting as a passive heat shield, reflecting up to 60% of the sun’s heat away from the vehicle. According to Volkswagen, this can result in an internal temperature up to 15 degrees cooler than that possible using conventional glass with green tinting.

The Climate Windscreen is available as an optional extra for the Golf, Golf Sportsvan, Tiguan, Sharan, Passat and Passat Variant models. Prices start at €340, depending on model.

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.