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Volkswagen Bus History

Oct 25, 2012

Volkswagen Bus History

Volkswagen Bus History & Story

Here's the first minivan created on earth....? Ha.. ha.. of course not... if it's a microbus absolutely yes.

The Volkswagen bus is a big box on the Beetle chassis. They have designed so strong and made it legend till today. The original design of the first generation was created in 1949, it's the icon for this vehicle model.

After the beetle's successes on the market and Volkswagen was healthy enough to create the second model, it was the Bus type, known as the Type 2. And for note this bus was developed without input from Ferdinand Porsche who designed the original Beetle, so who did it?

Let's take a look historical development of the Volkswagen bus design.

He was never fast, but it did carry generations of dreams, belongings, and families.

First Generation (T1)

1949 Type 2 Transporter Cargo (Prototype)

1100cc Engine with air-cooled same like engine the Beetle. Early versions had 25 horsepower. Launched to the market 8 th March 1950

1950-1960 Type 2 Kombi

1950-1960 same base powered by a 1100cc Engine had 25 horsepower. 1951 for the first-time passenger microbus relieve 2 variants, Kombi and Deluxe to the market.

  • 1956, the engine has grown to 36 horsepower at 3700 rpm and 56 pounds/feet of torque at 2000.

1960-1967 Type 2 Microbus

During this period Volkswagen Bus gained new features and more power.

  • 1960, on the interior side, the bus got real split front seats to create a narrow aisle that allowed movement through the interior, and front-seat riders began to enter and exit through the side door rather than climbing over those high wheel arches / Walk-through.
  • 1961, engine side has upgraded, 1200cc engine had 40 horsepower.
  • 1963, 1500 cc engine, which at its most powerful, made 53 horsepower at 4200 rpm.
  • 1966, the air-cooled engine had grown to 1500cc and made 44 brake horsepower. had a safe cruising speed of 55 mph and could eventually reach an unsafe 70 mph.
  • 1967, a dual-circuit braking system was introduced in which front and rear brakes were independently pressurized hydraulic. But he has a problem hydraulic circuit and Volkswagen pull all from the market and redesign it for fixed.

From 1950 until 1967 no design changes. Minor design changes only in the lights indicator on the front and rear lights on the back, bumper, mirror, and then many variations on the passenger door and the window.

1966 and 1967 would be the golden years for the split window Type 2 These were truly the best years from a modern sense for the old Splitty

Second Generation (T2)

1968-1972 Early Bay (T2A)

Totally design changes but still, on the same base, have a rear engine and same beetle chassis, but more larger, sleeker, and more powerful than its predecessor.

Gone was the 11, 13, 15, 21, and 23 window design, In its place was a body with big and long windows on the front, rear, and either side. And no more the split window.

Passenger versions dumped the double doors, and replace them with a single right-side sliding door. The face has changed, the new bus had a flatter brow with less character but stronger bumpers and better headlamps.

The second-generation VW Bus retained an upright driving position but gained some front crush space for better crash protection.

All second-generation Type 2 models used the latest Beetle's 1600cc engine, 57 horsepower at 4400 rpm of torque at 3000. Horsepower was up over the first generation, but so was curb weight, so the second-generation Volkswagen Bus was not faster than the last of the first-generation 1967s. From 0-60 mph still took about 37 seconds and the top speed remained at 65 mph.

1973-1979 Late Bay (T2B)

There are two different styles of this generation, models before 1973 are often called the Early Bay (T2A), while models after 1972 are called the Late Bay (T2B), and both are known as Bay window models.

Third Generation (T3)

The Third Generation T3 1980-1992

Larger and heavier come with more squared and less rounded styling. Why do I call the third generation the last generation? Because this generation is still on the same base, same layout with a rear engine and rear-wheel drive so the T3 was the final generation of rear-engined Volkswagens.

  • 1986, a larger engine 2109cc with water-cooled and high-tech traction-enhancing all-wheel drive (4WD) option, known as the Syncro was released.
  • 1986-1992, where all Syncro's has been built at Puch in Graz/Austria.
  • More details about Syncro.

Fourth Generation (T4)

The New Generation T4 1993-2003

This new generation has a new layout, front-engine, and front-wheel drive configuration.

Fifth Generation (T5)

The Current Generation T5 2004-present

The most pupolar name is Multivans / Caravelle. The fifth generation of the VW Transporter hit the market in Europe late in 2003. It is a direct successor to the T4 in its looks and utility value.

Volkswagen has cost problems, T5 Transporter is not available in the United States and Canada in any form. Instead, Volkswagen offers the Volkswagen Routan, a passenger minivan based on Chrysler LLC's Dodge Caravan, but T5 Transporter is still sold under the Eurovan nameplate in Mexico.

+ In Mexico, the Volkswagen T2 Kombi and Panel were produced from 1970 to 1994.
+ Volkswagen has factories in Brazil and he's still make and producing T2 (VW Kombi) so far, until right now ^_^. (Update)
+ South African production of the T3 continued, for regional market only, until 2002.
+ And I am still waiting for new Volkswagen Microbus at 2014-2015, and I hope this not rumors.
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