Home » I Think The Cybertruck Will Make The VW Hormiga Cool Again: Cold Start

I Think The Cybertruck Will Make The VW Hormiga Cool Again: Cold Start

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The Cybertruck still isn’t out yet, and yet the hype around it is still powerful and even a bit unhinged, at least among certain dedicated Tesla hives. But what if you’re sick of waiting? What if you want your curve-free truck option now, and, even better, what if you want to spend a lot less money? In that case, you’re in luck, because Volkswagen made something that I think would work fantastic for you, way back in the 1970s: the Hormiga. It’s a truck that looks like a low-polygon video game that ran on an SNES with the SuperFX chip. What more do you want?

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Technically, the Hormiga is very interesting because it’s only one of two air-cooled VWs that placed the flat-four engine up front, driving the front wheels; the other is the original VW Gol. The Hormiga is even a bit different still, as it’s a cabover design, and you actually sit in front of the engine. The engine is still ahead of the front axle, so I don’t think that makes it mid-engined, but it’s definitely odd for an air-cooled VW. It’s also the only air-cooled VW to use leaf springs!

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These were designed to be as simple as possible to build, with no complex curves or stampings required, and all flat glass. You could get them with stakebed pickup bodies or a chassis-cab, like you see there, and from there it could become anything! Look at the little camper in the lower right! I’m not sure what those black deflector-looking things are on the corners; is that for some…aero purpose? Could that be? On something this crude? Maybe they keep some crazy wind noise within human tolerance levels?

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Look at how useful this thing is! It’s a multitool! And look how the rear window is off-center! And that it has at least one seatbelt! And that it can make both cowboys and construction workers smile!

Cs Hormiga Basistransporter

Most Hormigas were made in Mexico (the name means ant, which I love) but there was a variant built in Indonesia and Turkey and some other places called the Basistransporter that used some VW Type 2 Bus body parts for the body. But weirdly modified, as you can see. They just used the front panel/windshield, but added in some clunky air intakes and, in the case of that chassis-cab version on the left, even swapped out the turn indicator lenses with little off-the-shelf round ones!

Anyway, my advice to all of you waiting on a Cybertruck is to save money and be cooler and look for a good used Hormiga.

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Toyec
Toyec
10 months ago

That makes me remember the existence, or rather, the not complete existence, of the Gordon Murray Ox, which is a very saddening fact when you think about it. If only Tesla followed its example and used plywood instead of stainless steel, the Cybertruck would be so much cooler

Ben
Ben
10 months ago

If you want a boxy vehicle with an asymmetrical rear window you’re probably better off finding a Nissan Cube on a BHPH lot. 😉

J.O.
J.O.
10 months ago

Just registered so I can post this, but the little knob thingies that lock the vent windows say Sr. Hormiga on them instead of just Hormiga, so maybe at one point VW de Mexico was going to call this thing the Mr. Ant

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
10 months ago

The Cybertruck Will End Warfare and Hunger, can your Hormiga beat that?

Harmanx
Harmanx
10 months ago

Wouldn’t the VW Thing then also appeal to low-poly-style car enthusiasts?

Jim Stock
Jim Stock
10 months ago

Oh the heady days of function over safety when your kneecaps were the front line protection in crashes.

Clubwagon Chateau
Clubwagon Chateau
10 months ago

The Hormiga is already way cooler than the Cybertruck, even discounting for the fact that the Hormiga actually exists.

Gubbin
Gubbin
10 months ago

Imported/restored Hormigas sell for over $20k in the US, they’re already incredibly cool. Wonder how much you could get a runner in MX for?

Xpumpx
Xpumpx
10 months ago

I wonder what a modern version would look like…..(see Canoo truck)

Chris with bad opinions
Chris with bad opinions
10 months ago

The cybertruck will make everything cool because it isn’t that piece of shit.

AssMatt
AssMatt
10 months ago

Took me a minute, but this post is a gem. Nice work, Chris.

ElectricOffRoaders .com
ElectricOffRoaders .com
10 months ago

I took inspiration from the VW Hormiga and the Gurgel line of pickups and vans when imagining Hiccup the Pickup. I think you (Torch) introduced me to both.

I’d like to actually build Hiccup from the ground up at some point, so the straight lines were definitely appealing for that reason. Toying with the idea of doing an aluminum frame with 3/4” plywood body panels. But I’ll definitely need some help on the suspension side of things. It’s pretty much my dream truck.

Also working separately and slowly on a more passenger-friendly but still very utilitarian dream van, which I hope to share more details on soon.

https://www.electricoffroaders.com/post/truck-bed-covers-are-about-to-change-forever

Scone Muncher
Scone Muncher
10 months ago

✅ skateboard chassis, just slap a bed on it
✅ simple, distinctive design
✅ probably possible to meet crash standards???
✅ cheap???

If I were a startup I’d run with this so hard as a local delivery machine. But I’m not, alas.

Jbavi
Jbavi
10 months ago

Wondering how much weight you’d need in the cab to pop a reverse wheelie with that thing. Without the racks, I bet a couple of big guys, one of them reaching down for a dropped Jarritos bottle, could do the trick

Hotdoughnutsnow
Hotdoughnutsnow
10 months ago

Wow; this is a fun google image search rabbit hole. Talk about a minimalist interior; it’s barren. Love the camper.

Clark B
Clark B
10 months ago

Can you imagine how loud that thing must be? Even with the engine in the back and most of the factory sound deadening hanging in ther, my Beetle is one noisy car. Now picture sitting on top of that little engine, running at full tilt to carry some heavy cargo. None of those things would keep me from owning one though. I bet it doesn’t need a heater, with the engine right under you and all. Maybe the first air-cooled VW with a heater that actually works. (In VWs defense, the heater does work fairly well if everything is hooked up correctly. Well. Only on the floor vents. Forget about defrost.)

Trust Doesn't Rust
Trust Doesn't Rust
10 months ago

The prototype design was constructed out of Lego’s.

Seriously, look at Lego tow truck set 6656 and tell me that’s not a Hormiga.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
10 months ago

Just what makes that little old Ant,
Think he can cool the Cybertruck cant.
Everyone knows an Ant can’t,
Cool the Cybertruck cant.

No he’s just high on dope,
He’s just high on dope.
He can’t vie with the Cybertruck guy, no, nope.

So any time you think know
How to spoil Tesla’s show
Just remember you can’t,
‘Cause Elon Musk will crush you like that Ant

Collegiate Autodidact
Collegiate Autodidact
10 months ago

Would the rear window be off center due to the rooftop air intake tube? A vehicle as relentlessly rational (!) as this surely would have had a good reason for such fenestration, one would think.

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
10 months ago

The Cybertruck makes every other truck look cool LOL

Tesla should’ve made a Teslamino out of one of their existing models. IOW, it should’ve just been a pickup that’s also a Tesla.

Jonathan Hendry
Jonathan Hendry
10 months ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

Simone Giertz did it first: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R35gWBtLCYg

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
10 months ago

+1 that’s more awesome than the cybertruck

Collegiate Autodidact
Collegiate Autodidact
10 months ago

“I Think The Cybertruck Will Make The VW Hormiga Cool Again”
“Again”? When did the Hormiga ever stop being cool? The Cybertruck can only dream of even starting to be cool.

Last edited 10 months ago by Collegiate Autodidact
StillNotATony
StillNotATony
10 months ago

They should call the bare cab and chassis version the VW Endo.

A. Barth
A. Barth
10 months ago

I believe those black pieces on the front corners of the cab are there to provide some impact protection: they resemble the square-tube bumper immediately below.

the other is the original VW Gol.

I think it would be fun to have one of those and add GTI badges to it to mess with people.

Nick Fortes
Nick Fortes
10 months ago
Reply to  A. Barth

The black pieces are definitely a mystery just by looking at online photos. This one photo I found is from such an angle that they appear to be rudimentary air curtains due to the radius of the piece and you can see daylight between the body and the part from this angle. Plus they look like they are just bolted to the body panel and not the frame. I still can’t decide if it’s impact protection or air curtain. https://images.app.goo.gl/y7GnM2u8BTVTfKgW6

Vanillasludge
Vanillasludge
10 months ago

The Cybertruck is the antithesis of cool, therefore making everything else cooler.

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
10 months ago
Reply to  Vanillasludge

+1 came here for this

Nlpnt
Nlpnt
10 months ago

The rear window isn’t just off-center, it’s off-center the wrong way! With it offset to the left as it is on a left-hand drive truck, it’s perfectly positioned so it can still sunburn the back of the driver’s neck while the extra-wide right pillar blocks over-the-shoulder visibility.

Flyingstitch
Flyingstitch
10 months ago
Reply to  Nlpnt

Take out that panel and flip it around? The whole thing feels modular enough, it might work!

Chronometric
Chronometric
10 months ago

Not only cooler, but air-cooler!

Dead Elvis, Inc.
Dead Elvis, Inc.
10 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

Definitely cooler, but ackshually air-warmer.

/endpedantry

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