He 1967 It was launched second generation VW Bulli. Now marks the 50th anniversary and we did not want to miss the chance to ride on one of the best Bulli of all time. And we are here in the Black forest, 6,000 square kilometers of peaks of sandstone, gneiss and granite. I finally find the hiding place of the second gear in the rearmost shift lever angle. T2 straightens the nose, and tilted behind flees a hammering bóxer about 18 degree slope of the slope of Oppenau, an operation boldly boarded and sunroof deployed.
But before proceeding with the route, we will begin by telling the adversities that we had to overcome to access the test car. We were in the VW Commercial Vehicles plant in Hanover and we asked if we could leave a minibus for a test. The kids VW Commercial Vehicles Classics drawn back door of a ship the size of a stadium, filled to bursting with buses T1, T2, T3, T4 and T5. "See if you do well no". So we set out to find one that we were right. Have passed 70 years after the importer will outline the idea VW Bulli T1, Y 50 years after the start of its second generation, T2.
Days later We receive the special model VW Bus T2 L, nicknamed Silberfisch ("silver fish"). It went on sale in 1978 alternatively parting T2, with boxer engine cooling two liters air under the hood, sunroof steel and silver paint everywhere. Let's look at propeller bóxer: its first version, 1.7 L, VW premiered at 411. Later, Porsche technicians trimmed the injection pump, higher compression ratio and 300 cubic centimeters of volume the VW-Porsche, to achieve 100 hp. Version T2 is fed through a system two carburetors, It is adapted to regular gasoline and generates modest 70 hp.
He T2 occupant positions one meter above the road and directly facing the front axle, thereby maximizing space. Although today we have a variant of the Golf measuring a thumb longer and wider than him, the T2 offers space for up to nine people, 1,000 liters of luggage Y 871 kg load. However, the design direction of the front axle causes a disadvantage of not inconsiderable VW not disposed to 1990, with T4: in case of frontal impact, the pilot and copilot are part of the affected area.
However, the T2, with its 70 hp boxer, is not going to race to seek accidents. The night is still hovering over the field when we set off. It took half a day to master the technique of engaging the second gear with that thin shifter rods commanding three meters. Because the engine is so elastic (Between 1,300 and 3,800 revolutions always reserved at least 125 Nm), scale with ease to the third gear. Thus we reached the highway, where the small microbus pursues the thick traffic on the way to work, but without quite reach. From 100 km / h, power begins to languish, not least so that drilling costs headwind with its three square meters of frontal surface.
It does not run as much, we must not tolerate too many noises. And what a way to smooth the asphalt, with that so soft suspension! When crossing bumps, the front axle heads gently, and the rear axle the plate. Moreover, with its high sides and heavy engine, it is quite sensitive to crosswinds, swinging from side to side as it moves. At first try one correct with the steering wheel, but without much success: among other things, because the direction is incredibly vague, hard and little direct, besides fond difficult to maintain the path with a quarter turn of the wheel as a game. Soon, one pulls the towel and let him do. And we must recognize that, after 150 kilometers, we were in the right lane (at least half).
Up and down
We threw gasoline. To be more exact, rather than in the tests we have measured 12.8 l / 100 km average consumption. However, with how slowly it moves, you have one gasoline for awhile. We washed and planted us in the test circuit. First, the scale: 1,379 kg, 573 front and 806 rear. Then we measure generous turning radius (13.1 m to the right, left 12.7). We take the meter and we stand at the beginning of the line 2.4 kilometers.
First we measured values of significant internal noise. Once the brake system (with discs front and drums behind) Manages to stop the microbus after 47.5 meters from 100 km / h, touches measure acceleration. The rear wheels are driven on asphalt, and gives one the impression that the bus will not be able to boot. However, moments later it gets on its way to 100 km / h. Shortly before noon we see the end of the line on the horizon. Shortly after flashing the mark of 100 km / h on the meter. From there, the microbus increases tenth-tenth speed. 120 km / h does not reach them until the last moment before it has to slow down.
Now for the dynamic: slalom and lane change. The first attempt to regulate slalom leave us, because the momentum of the direction T2 entangles first soft suspension and shock absorbers, and only then reaches the wheels, which take time to think about changing direction. Microbus when the turn comes up, the slalom and appears in the rearview mirror.
The second time we do best, and T2 display achieved even oversteer and understeer while: The front wheels are still straight, while the rear is already off the road. Nevertheless, it is an experience to walk a contraption and 50.3 km / h for the slalom course. Double lane change, which simulates an evasive maneuver at highway speeds, absolves the microbus to 99.7 km / h, equivalent to its real potential constant speed.
However, the T2 It never gives the impression of being slow or really old. If you put your mind, road You can flow as fast as today's cars, Y City shown surprisingly agile and nothing capricious. Even now, when a hill stands before its headlights. The engine attacks the first ramp up speed. Third gear. We keep it for the next six kilometers. The road narrows, it steepens and bumpy, but the Bulli forward courageously, and is making its way through the forest.
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