Bad news for hippies. The Volkswagen Type 2, known throughout its many iterations as the Transporter, Kombi, Microbus, Bus and Camper, is to finally end production this year at the São Bernardo do Campo plant in Brazil, where more than 1.55 million units have been built since 1957.
Add to this the fact that the lovable van was born in 1950 and you have the longest continually-produced vehicle model in history, not to mention one of the most recognisable. But you know what they say all good things must come to.
Although the Kombi meets every single South American emission regulation, new Brazilian safety regulations which come into force next year require all new cars to have ABS, and airbags for the driver and front passenger.
VW Brazil’s product development chief Egon Feichter has told Autocar UK that in order to comply, the Kombi would have to become “a new car,” which simply isn’t financially viable – at least for now.
So it’s come to this – the Volkswagen Kombi Last Edition (they couldn’t have named it with more finality), of which only 600 will be made.
A water-cooled flex-fuel 1.4 litre EA111 straight-four sends 78 hp to the rear wheels (fill it up with ethanol for a whole 2 hp more!) via a four-speed manual ‘box.
On the outside, the nine-seater gets two-tone white and blue livery and whitewall tyres. Its interior boasts matching vinyl upholstery, curtains, connectivity for MP3 and USB, plus a numbered plaque (001-600) on the dashboard.
And with that, we bid adeus and auf Wiedersehen to a van-tastic icon as it chugs off into the sunset, hitting 100 km/h a very characterful 22.7 seconds later.