RAC Cars News


VW Kombi Type 2 Takes a Bow

By raccars Published

Volkswagen's long running camper van has finally reached its last hurrah, after remaining in production for 56 years. The classic Kombi will bow out with a final special edition.

Production on the Kombi started in Germany in 1950, then moved to Brazil in 1957, where it has remained ever since. VW claims the Transporter, otherwise known as the camper van, is the longest running production vehicle in automotive history. The Type 2 Kombi has changed very little since the original versions rolled off the production line on 2nd September 1957. The vans were powered with the VW Beetle's flat four, air cooled engine until 1982, when a water cooled unit took its place.

It's not fashion or lack of demand that has seen the end of the Kombi. Rather the old fashioned van has fallen foul of modern environmental and safety regulations. Brazilian legislation requires all vehicles to be manufactured with a minimum of one airbag and ABS from 1st January 2014. These cannot be integrated into the Kombi in its current form – at least not cost effectively.

More than three and a half million models of the camper van were made and sparked a massive fan following. The UK is supplied with its Kombis as imports from Brazil, which are then treated to a camper van conversion process by Danbury Motor Caravans. Prices start at £26.999.

The 56 Anos Last Edition will have a production run of 600 units with a two tone colourway, unique design elements and a numbered plaque placed on the fascia, along with a matching certificate of authenticity. The special edition will take cues from a number of different versions of the van, made since production moved to Brazil. Atlanta Blue and white bodywork with matching striped vinyl upholstery and interior panels, 'Kombi' branded blue curtains, whitewall tyres and white wheel cap centres give a retro feel, while special features include privacy glass. A central speedometer and retro instrument panel help the Kombi keep its traditional charm, despite the addition of modern accessories, such as an MP3 stereo with auxiliary and USB inputs. The Last Edition seats nine.

Power comes from a 77bhp 1.4 litre engine with a four speed manual gearbox, in traditional position to the rear. Petrol or ethanol, which is popular in Brazil, can be used. The Kombi's performance matches its laid back character, with 0-60mph taking a 16 second stretch and an 85mph top speed.

Unfortunately, the Last Edition will only be sold in Brazil.

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