the water cooled kombi
So you've probably heard by now that VW Brazil discontinued the air-cooled engine, but they didn't discontinue the Kombi.
VW Brazil is a few years behind the times. You could get a "spit window" bus there until the late-70s - the rest of the world saw the last one in 1967. So its not too surprising that the "bay window" style of the VW bus, which was discontinued in 1979, is still is built in Brazil.
Some people thought this would change with the discontinuing of the air-cooled engine in December of 2005. The 2006 Brazilian Kombi could just adopt the style of any of the 80s water-cooled buses, which can still be seen on the road around here. I'm sure all the dies are sitting around in a VW warehouse somewhere in Germany. But no, the Brazillian's like their "bay windows" - so they re-engineered the bus to accept a water-cooled power plant. They changed a few other things along the way, but it pretty much looks the same.
The water-cooled engine is less polluting than its air-cooled father (one of the catalysts for the change), so I wonder if they can now be imported in the NA. Only time will tell I guess. Check out all the new 2006 Kombi at my flickr gallery.