Volkswagen's brief CES teaser video suggests that its EV concept really could be a revival of the classic Microbus because some of the styling cues evoke the vintage model.
Sub-brands are emerging as the latest trend, particularly among German automakers. BMW has rolled out its new i family of electric vehicles. Audi looks poised to spin the TT off into its own line with added bodystyles. Mercedes-Benz is expected to bring the Maybach name, once its own brand, back as a model designation at the top of the S-Class range. And now Volkswagen is rumored to be planning more retro models to follow in the footsteps of the Beetle.
Brazil: the country of carnivals, indescribable beauty adjacent to abject poverty, Ayrton Senna and old Volkswagen models. Only they're not old – they're new, they're just based on old designs. The original Beetle continued production there long after it had been phased out elsewhere, but the original Kombi van has lasted much longer. That ends today, however, with the iconic VW Microbus ambling out of production on the last day of 2013.
Manufacture of the longest-produced model in the global automotive industry, the Volkswagen Type 2 Microbus, is finally coming to an end in Brazil after 56 years in production, which started in September 1957. The blue VW Kombi Last Edition you see here (click on the image above to enlarge) is one of 600 that will be produced before new safety regulations in the country force Volkswagen to phase it out.
Volkswagen is one of those brands that evokes a lot of nostalgia. The Who is an iconic band from the 60's. That's why when Volkswagen decided to revisit the Microbus concept they looked to members of The Who for guidance. While not only playing a song titled Magic Bus, The Who also used a VW Camper for touring in their early years of existence. They encouraged Volkswagen by expressing interest in a more economical and safer update of the Camper.
You may remember our post on the 24 Hours of LeMons last October, but if not we'll refresh your memory. The 24 Hours of LeMons (pronounced like "lemons" if you didn't get the joke yet) is an endurance race of cars purchased and prepped for $500 bucks or less. The entire event is perhaps the greatest automotive parody we've ever encountered, with the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans being the subject of its satire.
What do the 1980 Chevy Monza and the 1973 VW Microbus have in common? They are among Car Talk hosts Tom and Ray Magliozzi's Top 10 Scariest Cars list. Of the Monza they say, " Whenever one of these beauties reared its ugly grille in front of the garage, every mechanic with more than six weeks' experience would go running for the men's room and lock the door." Another car on the list, the 1987 Ford Festiva, gets this derision from the brothers: "We once got in trouble for saying this car came rig