The Perfect Kombi-Nation: Last Edition For VW Brazil's Classic Camper

Camping, surfing, hippies at Haight-Ashbury: All have been associated with Volkswagen's Type 2 van over the years, but its biggest impact has been sociological, rather than cultural.

For the last 56 years, Volkswagen do Brazil has produced the classic Kombi, but that production run is coming to an end this year - calling time on the longest produced model in automotive history.

To celebrate the Kombi's life, Brazilian VW fans will receive a limited run of 600 Last Edition models, featuring trim touches and stylistic flourishes to commemorate the myriad versions sold over its incredible life.

VW Kombi Last Edition rear

Just as the classic Beetle was to Mexico - where it was produced up until 2003 - the Kombi is an integral part of Brazilian life. Vans start at just 46,740 Real (around 12,400) and 9-seat passenger vans at around 13,300, making them an incredibly affordable way of transporting people or goods.

For some comparison, a Volkswagen Transporter van will set you back around 20,000 in the UK. Okay, it's quicker, safer and more voluminous, but the Kombi's customers don't need those things - they just need a van to be simple, rugged and easy to mend.

The Last Edition's 1.4-liter water-cooled four-cylinder engine (the old flat-four aircooled units were dropped years ago) will certainly be easy to mend. It can run on petrol or the ethanol fuel popular in Brazil - producing 78 PS on the former, and 80 PS on the latter. Transmission is an old-school four-speed manual (remember those?) but the rest of the van is a little less utilitarian than its brothers.

VW Kombi Last Edition interior

Each comes in a two-tone white and blue colour scheme with special side decals and a numbered plaque to assure its heritage. Whitewall tyres, white centre wheel caps and tinted rear windows all feature, and sections of the grille, headlights and indicator surrounds are body-coloured.

The interior isn't half bad for a 56-year old either - blue and white striped two-tone upholstery and a set of blue curtains add a touch of class, and echo the sort of features you might have found on a well-specified camper from the 1960s and 1970s. Atlanta blue vinyl features throughout and the cabin and boot floor are neatly trimmed in carpet - a luxury denied to more basic vans.

Some modern tech has inevitably crept in over the years. Don't worry though, it's not LED daytime running lights (or even an airbag), but an MP3 sound system complete with red LEDs, and auxiliary and USB ports.

VW Kombi Last Edition badge


The closest we can get to imagining the impact the Kombi has had on Brazil is remembering how we felt when the original Mini left us in 2001. Even then, we had only 42 years of Mini production - a full 14 years less than VW Brazil has produced the Kombi - and our Mini became little more than a plaything after its initial years of faithful service.

In Brazil, Kombis work hard - but we hope owners of the last 600 models will treat them with the dignity they deserve, as we'll never again see a vehicle like it.

You can check out the UK's slightly less emotive range of VW products using the carwow Car Chooser... or check out VW's more modern range of California campers here.

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