Rebirth of cool: get ready to meet the new generation Kombi 38



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Is there are more enduring symbol of the free-lovin’ 60s than the Kombi van? Officially known as the Volkswagen Type 2 (Type 1 was, of course, the Beetle), the Kombi represented counter-culture, freedom… and surfing.
Volkswagen Transporter
Today, (most of ) those shaggy-haired hippies have grown up, had lives, children and haircuts. But that doesn’t mean we don’t still long for the open road – just with a few more safety features and comforts than in the old days.
This September, at the Frankfurt motor show, it is expected Volkswagen will release the new generation Kombi van, designed with us old hippies in mind.
Building on this prototype released in 2011, which was called Bulli in deference to Germany’s nickname for the van, the spiritual successor to the Kombi will be all-electric, will retain its iconic boxy shape and will adhere to today’s vastly improved safety standards.
New Bulli Kombi
Best of all, the hippy van will be compact but still have plenty of room for a mattress and a couple of surfboards in the back (or a fully kitted out convertible campervan).
For years, the Kombi’s legion of fans has been calling for a rebirth of the van, but Volkswagen has fallen short of bringing a new vehicle to market.
L.U.C. Chopard Classic Weekend Rally 2013
But Senior Volkswagen board member, Dr Heinz-Jakob Neusser, revealed that work is already underway on a long-awaited grandchild of the Type 2 Kombi or Microbus.

Dr Neusser says they are closer than ever to resurrecting original icon’s look.

Volkswagen Transporter

One of the reasons for shunning a petrol or diesel engine is because a compact electric motor can be positioned low in the body. This allows a lower bonnet line that will more closely match the old Kombi’s boxy proportions without compromising crash safety.

We are pretty excited to see the new-generation Kombi, although it will probably come with a price tag that suits our generation rather than the 20-somethings on their own spiritual journeys today.

But that’s unlikely to stop true the Kombi lovers who are willing to embrace the new version.

In February this year, this rare split-screen, two-toned original Kombi sold for more than $200,000 to an anonymous buyer:


What memories do you have of Kombi vans? Did you ever own one? Would you consider buying a new one?

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  1. I remember the kombi/micro bus mainly from doing an apprenticeship on the VW range in the 1950s. Basic, but Ferry Porsche’s design was one of the all-time classics because of its simplicity. Drive in, replace a clutch, drive out again in 45 minutes (25 for the car!) Loved them then, still do.

  2. Yes! We bought a yellow Kombi when we were expecting our 4th child in 1976. She turned 39 a week ago! Many happy memories of family trips in the Kombi. I would love a new Kombi camper.

  3. My boyfriend had the pictured model in a powder green and with a sunroof. We were cool before the times.

  4. A great little van i have never owned one but i can remember them on the roads like campervans are today i say bring em back they are an icon off the WORLD,,,,,,,,

  5. I bought an old dinged-up fowvay (german pronunciation) kombi in Athens – with a recon.engine – drove it up Italy, through Switzerland to Munich where I stayed for 9 months – slept in it in winter with condensation icicles forming inside the roof – pity the air-cooled engine required revving to warm up the heater – bit dangerous on icy roads – and a slug at max 80kph on the autobahn – couldn’t move out to pass a slower truck without a hard-braking 180kph Mercedes suddenly appearing out of nowhere flashing its headlights in my rearview mirror !

  6. Yes we did own one. Dad bought it as we were moving from Bakers Hill in WA to Qld and there was 8 children and two adults. I was about 6yrs at the time(1956).
    My cousin drove the truck with our furniture and my oldest brother rode with him. It took us about 3-4 weeks as we stopped over at Engonia NSW to see dads sister.
    Our combi bus broke down on the way to Murgon. The steering shaft broke. It was a great time for us kids.

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