Highways in the Netherlands will be marginally safer thanks to some inventive thinking by a Dutch designer.
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Holland hippie community rejoice! As of last month, Volkswagen‘s Dutch operations has debuted the 2012 model Volkswagen Bus. No, it isn’t the Bulli concept we saw earlier at Geneva, but the original Volkswagen Type 2, commonly known as the Bus or Combi.
The popularity and desirability of the classic van isn’t surprising. Current asking prices for the Bus have risen up to ten times the price of its original MSRP 30 years ago. But what’s more surprising is that new Volkswagen Buses are still being manufactured in Brazil. Overall, little has changed since the Type 2 was first introduced in the early 1970s. The exterior panels are identical, and even the door handles and headlights are left unchanged. Its gearbox is an outdated 4-speed transaxle and the Bus still uses drum brakes in the rear.
However, a crucial modification from the original is a 1.4 liter water-cooled inline-4 engine replacing the Type 2′s original air-cooled boxer 4. What’s more, the spare tire mount out in front is actually a radiator in disguise. Also, thanks to demands in the Brazilian market, the new 1.4 liter engine is capable of taking both ethanol and gasoline.
Sold as a camper, the Bus comes fully equipped with a gas stove, a water pump, a mini fridge, and a built-in oven. Seats will be identical to the original but the dashboard receives a modern makeover featuring an updated instrument panel. Additional options that are available include flatscreen TV with a DVD player, but don’t get too crazy. Prices for the 2012 Bus will start at a precious 44,995€ to 55,995€ ($61,000 to $76,000).
Available only in the Netherlands, the 2012 Bus can be registered anywhere in the European Union.
GALLERY: 2012 Volkwagen Bus
[Sources: Left Lane News]
As Nissan strives to sell the Leaf electric car at an affordable price point, the company is expressing concerns that the current subsidies offered by governments to encourage EV adoption will expire after three years, hurting sales and pushing the cost of electric vehicles back into unattainable territory.
“My assumption is that they won’t be cut off but they might be pared back,” Nissan Vice-President Simon Thomas said. “There’s no obligation for governments to extend those programs beyond the definitive agreement — and in some countries we don’t have a definitive agreement.”
Nissan is struggling to keep the Leaf below 30,000 euros. The car will make its debut in Portugal and the Netherlands this December, because the two countries offer a 5,000 euro credit for electric vehicles. However, the company said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that the cars would turn a profit, likely around the third year of production.
[Source: Business Week]
A 20-year-old Dutchman borrowed his father’s Bugatti Veyron, only to have the car seized for going 50 mph over the speed limit. Michel Perridon, the director of Trust International BV, a former sponsor of the now defunct Spyker F1 team, leant the supercar to his son last Thursday, shortly before the car was taken by police. Perridon’s son was clocked going 100 mph in a 50 mph zone. The man also had to forfeit his license as a result of the speeding charge.
Dutch police have begun implementing aggressive campaigns against speeding, and vehicle seizures are an increasingly common method of punishment. While highway speeds are limited to 75mph, the 50 mph limit applies to most roads in the country. It was unclear if and when Perridon will be able to get his car back, which is known as the first Veyron in the Netherlands, and valued at $2.4 million (including taxes).
National Geographic’s Traveler magazine has put together a list of the 50 best road trips. Included in the list are perennial favorites like California’s Pacific Coast Highway; Cape Cod, Massachusetts; the Florida keys and the Arkansas Ozarks.
International drives include Provence, France; the Pirate Route in Jamaica; New Zealand’s North Island and the Flower Route in the Netherlands.
Canada also rates highly with five of the top 50 drives. Recommended are Banf and Jasper National Parks in Alberta; pretty much all of the province of British Columbia; the Manitoba prairies; the Montreal, Quebec area and (one of our favorites) the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.
And while we don’t want to call into question the talents of fine folks at National Geographic, Newfoundland’s Gros Morne National Park should surely be included a well.
[Source: National Geographic]