Volkswagen windscreen de-icer hot stuff
- Credit: Andy Russell
With drivers tackling frosty car windscreens with de-icer sprays and scrapers at this time of year, Volkswagen has released a clever new heated windscreen that doesn't need the use of filament wires.
Called the Climate Windscreen, the new optional extra uses an incredibly thin electrically conductive layer of silver within the laminated glass to convert electric current into heat.
With a power consumption of between 400 and 500 Watts, the windscreen quickly warms up and defrosts.
While Volkswagen admits heated windscreens are nothing new, the filament wires that are used within the windscreens can often become visible to the driver when facing oncoming traffic or when the sun is low in the sky.
The German manufacturer claims that its new Climate Windscreen will also come in handy in the summer months, as the layer of silver acts as a passive heat shield.
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It is capable of reflecting up to 60% of the summer heat, and can reduce the car's inside temperature by as much as 15 degrees more than conventional glass with green tinting can manage. As a result, the air-conditioning system is able to cool a car that has been parked in the sun down to a comfortable temperature much more quickly.
Although the main body of the windscreen does not need filaments, the bottom portion, which cannot be seen from outside the car, does contain heating filaments that act as wiper heaters. This is to ensure the blades do not freeze to the glass.
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The Climate Windscreen is available as an option on Golf, Tiguan, Sharan and Passat and Passat Variant models, with prices starting from £290.