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Iconic VW Bus Finally Goes Out of Production

8/23/2013
Did you know that the classic Volkswagen Bus is still produced in Brazil? It's true, at least through the end of 2013. New Brazilian vehicle safety regulations that go into effect on January 1, 2014, mean the Microbus, known as the Kombi in Brazil, is finally being laid to rest after 63 years of production.

Though Americans called this model the Bus, it was officially named the Volkswagen Type 2. The original Type 2 debuted in 1950 with an air-cooled, rear-mounted, boxer-type 4-cylinder engine and what the automaker terms a "forward-control" design that placed the driver at the very front of the vehicle. During the years since its debut, it was sold as a van, pickup truck, and a camper with a pop-up sleeper. The Bus departed U.S. showrooms when the 1979 Volkswagen Vanagon replaced it.

While it was no longer sold in the United States, the classic Type 2 Microbus continued to be produced in other global markets. In Brazil the model retained its air-cooled powertrain until 2006, when new emissions regulations forced a switch to a water-cooled 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that also provided much more horsepower (increase to 68) and torque. Vehicles equipped with the water-cooled engine wore a large, black radiator grille on their noses.

Brazilian production of the Volkswagen Kombi began in 1957, and the country produced more than 1.5 million units since then. To celebrate the end of production, Brazilian Volkswagen dealers are offering a special 600-unit run of Kombi Last Edition vehicles with unique 2-tone white-and-blue paint and matching vinyl seats, whitewall tires, and tinted windows with privacy curtains. It will also have an iPod connection, a feature German engineers certainly would never have anticipated when they originally developed the Type 2.

The Kombi Last Edition will be available at the end of August, and when they're gone, so too will be the iconic VW Bus.

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