Volkswagen Microbus gets special edition before retirement

Posted By KRISTEN BUTLER,  |  Aug. 20, 2013 at 4:46 PM
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The Volkswagen Microbus is about to officially go out of production, but before it does, a limited Last Edition will commemorate the iconic VW Bus.

The Microbus, known to Volkswagen as Type 2, (after the Type 1 Beetle), was originally introduced in 1950, and the carmaker ended production in 1979.

But in a licensing deal similar to the one that allowed Mexico to produce the Beetle until 2003, Brazil has been producing the bus under the name Kombi since 1957.

A primary people-mover for decades in South America, the bus went on to become the oldest continuous production vehicle in the world, selling more than 1.5 million units.

But the Kombi's cab forward design doesn't meet safety requirements scheduled for next year. Although the Kombi can't stand up well to a crash test, its cab-over-driver design influenced automakers for years to come.

The latest Kombi has a water-cooled 1.4-liter engine that runs on sugar cane ethanol and puts out 80 horsepower, a bit of an improvement over its original 28-horsepower punch.

To celebrate 56 years of the Kombi before it is permanently retired, Volkswagen partnered with its Brazilian arm to produce 600 Last Edition Kombis with famously powder blue paint, whitewall tires and a reworked interior.

For those who want to catch the last bus, the Last Edition will run $36,000, or about twice what a regular Kombi costs in Brazil.

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