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The Volkswagen Type 2, known officially, depending on body type as the Transporter, Kombi and Microbus, and informally as the Bus (US) or Camper (UK), is a panel van introduced in 1950 by German automaker Volkswagen as its second car model – following and initially deriving from Volkswagen's first model, the Type 1 (Beetle), it was given the factory designation Type 2.
As one of the forerunners of the modern cargo and passenger vans, the Type 2 gave rise to forward control competitors in the United States in the 1960s, including the Ford Econoline, the Dodge A100, and the Chevrolet Corvair 95 Corvan, the latter adopting the Type 2's rear-engine configuration. European competition included the 1960s FF layout Renault Estafette and the FR layout Ford Transit. The FF layout Citroën H Van though, pre-dated the VW by three years. As of January 2010, updated versions of the Type 2 remain in production in international markets— as a passenger van, as a cargo van, and as a pickup truck.Like the Beetle, the van has received numerous nicknames worldwide, including the "microbus", "minibus", and, due to its popularity during the counterculture movement of the 1960s, "Hippie van".Autocar magazine has announced the T2 will cease production on December 31, 2013, due to the introduction of more stringent safety regulations in Brazil.
In late 1967, the second generation of the Volkswagen Type 2 (T2) was introduced. It was built in Germany until 1979. In Mexico, the Volkswagen Combi and Panel were produced from 1970 to 1994. Models before 1971 are often called the T2a (or "Early Bay"), while models after 1972 are called the T2b (or "Late Bay"). This second-generation Type 2 lost its distinctive split front windshield, and was slightly larger and considerably heavier than its predecessor. Its common nicknames are Breadloaf and Bay-window, or Loaf and Bay for short. At 1.6 L and 35 kW (48 PS; 47 bhp) DIN, the engine was also slightly larger. The new model also did away with the swing axle rear suspension and transfer boxes previously used to raise ride height. Instead, half-shaft axles fitted with constant velocity joints raised ride height without the wild changes in camber of the Beetle-based swing axle suspension. The updated Bus transaxle is usually sought after by off-road racers using air-cooled Volkswagen components.