VW Bay Electrical Systems
A Short History Of The VW Type 2 'Bay Window' (cont.)
Production of these hybrid buses continued up until 1997, in the form of Panels, Kombi’s, Single and Double Cab pickups. In 1981 VWB introduced a new 1600cc diesel for the bays, based on a Mk1 Golf Diesel engine, offered only on the panels, single cabs and the newly introduced double cab pickup.
In 1983 the Brazilian buses were brought up to c.1973 European model specification with the addition of disc brakes and seat belts. 1985 saw the diesel and double cab models axed and in 2000 the pickup was removed from the lineup. In 1997 VWB announced the new Kombi, now recognizable as a European spec Bay. Save for a slightly raised roofline, a new steering wheel and some other detail changes.
Two engine options were available on the new bus, 1 fuelled by Methanol, the other being the venerable Type 1 1600cc mill. These revised Type 2’s were available in 5 different configurations; School Bus, Panel Van, Kombi Minibus, Kombi and an ambulance version. The Kombi can only be ordered in white, but once every two months, one day’s worth of production is finished in Silver.
.Taking the lions share of the light commercial market (around 40%) the Kombi has proved massively successful in Brazil, a lot of this is probably due to the vehicles fantastic value, at around 6500 Euros for a new one. December 23rd 2005 saw the end of aircooled Kombi production in Brazil, with a new “Total-Flex” engine being produced, based on a VW Polo 1400cc watercooled inline 4 cylinder unit, producing around 79bhp on pump petrol, and around 80bhp when run on ethanol (easily available in Brazil as a product of refined sugarcane), the necessitated the vehicle to have two fuel tanks (one on each side).
Currently these water-cooled Kombi’s are still available in Brazil. Mexican Bays VW de Mexico produced their first Type 2’s for the home market on October 1st 1971, in Puebla, one of VW’s largest overseas manufacturing plants. VW had been manufacturing the Beetle in Puebla up to 2003. From initial production the bay had been available in Kombi (called Combi in Mexico) and Panel van (Panel) in Mexico.
During a 25 year production period VW Mexico produced 250,000 Type 2’s. The Mexican Bay went through a similar development process to that of the Brazilian equivalent, with a water-cooled motor being offered in 1987, and the roofline changing to the more elevated design in 1991. In 1996 production of Bays in Mexico ceased, and until VW decided to discontinue the Type 2 in Mexico after 30 years in 2001 all remaining buses were imported from Brazil....back <<<