The Summer is a VW Camper remake we definitely didn't need
Yes, it's Chinese
The Beijing Auto Show came to a close on Monday, the 5th of October, ending a 10-day display not of new cars - or even cars that cause us to stop and think, "Now, where have I seen that before?" - so much as direct photocopies of other cars.
From a cheap photocopier, mind, where the ink doesn't adhere properly and somehow the picture is wonky.
I'm sure we've all seen the 'C1 Corvette'. As far as replicas go, I'll admit I may have found the Songsan Dolphin not too bad at all. After all, if you believe the advertising, George Clooney and Brad Pitt drive one.
But Songsan Motors have got a bit carried away. It turns out they also happened upon a picture of a Volkswagen Type 1 / Kombi / Samba / Microbus / whatever you want to call it and run it through the machine as well.
And predictably, it has come out poorly.
It's called the Summer and it is still in its prototype infancy, but even without squinting or smoking any weed, we can notice the two-tone paint scheme, the round headlights, the triangular bonnet, the chrome wheels, the pop-up canvas roof section, and how the front end sticks out like a clown shoe.
It is quaint and cheery in a cartoon kind of way, like what you'd expect to see when a kid draws a Kombi. The difference is that Songsan will be putting this into production later next year. Nobody at GM was reportedly too perturbed by the Dolphin, so here's hoping Volkswagen is the same, even if they are working on their own genuine Kombi re-make with the electric ID Buzz.
Either way, one of the downsides to old cars is that they're old, and therefore incredibly irritating to live with every day. But here is an old Volkswagen bus with modern conveniences.
The seven seats are fully adjustable and trimmed in plush, cream leather., while those in the middle are "captain's chairs" meaning they swivel all the way around. There is air-conditioning, a digital display, large infotainment system, and probably much more if the website wasn't in Mandarin.
Rumour has it that it will share its powertrain with the Dolphin Corvette; namely, a 1.5-litre engine coupled to a small electric motor and 16kWh battery. At least in the Dolphin, that's good for 0-100 km/h in 4.9 seconds, so there's no doubt the Chinese Kombi will be much faster too.