Big things with little cars

Continuing with the special VW Kombi series, today I’m showcasing the Kombi CD. CD doesn’t stand for compact disk, but for cabine dupla, or simply “double cab” in English.

Based on the T2, it combined the reliability of the VW Kombi, a car so omnipresent every mechanic knew how to fiddle with, with space for 6 passengers and a truck bed, for hauling cargo. This model is from the CD’s début year, 1981.

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It was, in reality, a T2 with some metal removed. It had the same front, seats and the same hinged door only in the right side. But being a car designed for work, it had only a single trim version, and only two available colors: White+Blue and cream.

It was a bit lighter, with a dry weight of just above 1160 kg, and it could haul one ton. It first came with a sucarcane ethanol powered engine that, with the car unloaded, could do only 7 km/l on the road, just 16.5 mpg!

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Those are pretty bad figures for a work vehicle, and way less than the gasoline-powered VW Kombi. However, the early 80's were the beginning of the Proálcool campaign, and sugarcane ethanol was so cheap on the pumps it was almost free.

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Mileage figures got better when, some months after it’s launching, VW introduced the diesel version, with the awful-looking radiator in the front. It managed to do 13.65 km/l on the highway loaded with a tonne of cargo, almost the double of what it could do with ethanol and not even a feather on the bed!

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It was produced until 2000, when much more advanced little double cab trucks were available.

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As something I want to know, due to the chicken tax, this double cab Kombi could be sold on US?

Hope you liked it, and stay tuned for the final and super-special episode tomorrow!

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BONUS 1: Most of Brazilian pickup Kombis (and double cabs) were fitted with those wooden beds, to make them able to haul even larger loads. Those kinds of wooden frames are actually immensely popular here, and were fitted to lots of different trucks:

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BONUS 2: It’s the second time I write about the radiator on the front... Welp, this is a Kombi Diesel. It used the same engine put on VW Passats made for exportation.

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