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The Kombi has been around since before people-movers got the name, or became a cult, but the big German remains the one that started it all.And the one which, dynamically, still sets the pace.It is also the safest of the people movers, with noticeably more sheet metal and legroom ahead of the driver and front-seat passenger than any of the Japanese family vans.What wasn’t familiar, after driving the L300, Tarago and Mazda Traveller in recent weeks, was the relative austerity of the VW; no twin sunroofs, no twin air-conditioning, no cooler box, no mega sound system, no power steering, no electric mirrors or windows.The basic 4x4 system is very simple, easy to service and is weight saving.Volkswagenwerk have used a version of the Fergusson fluid coupling system, manufactured and installed by the Austrian firm of Steyr Daimler Puch who have also produced the Haflinger and Pinzgauer vehicles.
People who attended the motor show would have seen it on display at the VW stand.
VW Australia decided to do a pre press release demo to VW dealers and selected Government bodies such as the Army, Water Resources Commission, Forestry Commission and so on.
The area chosen for the test drive (fun ride) was Duffy’s Forest, north of Sydney.
Power is now 70k W, up from 63, and torque is 160Nm, up from 140; proof that VW’s German engineers have been hard at work to make worthwhile improvements to the motor.
Otherwise the Caravelle test vehicle was very familiar, with comfortable seating for seven – including armrests to prevent driver and passenger moving around – good luggage space, and the familiar walk-through area between the front seats.