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1997 Karmann AFS

In 1997, we had the Karmann AFS. AFS stands, deliciously, for Aluminum Foam Sandwich, a novel new method of construction that Karmann was experimenting with. To show off their new AFS capabilities, they built a concept car.


Well, they built half a concept car since it only had half a body, the other half remaining open to see the novel AFS construction. The bodied half, though, was the clearest and obvious update to the original Karmann-Ghia ever seen from Karmann.


The line of the greenhouse and the distinctive rear quarter window/C-pillar is there (though now it looks like it sports a suicide back door), the rear lights are vertical like a K-G, there’s a detail on the trunk lid that suggests the license plate light housing of the original, upfront the shape of the nose and the presence of the whisker grilles are a dead giveaway. This looks like a modernized Karmann-Ghia. It’s a shame they only went halfway.


Image: Karmann