1980 Vanagon Model Summary

A Model Summary for 1980 VW Vanagons

Click here to view the VW brochure for this van:

1980 was the first model year for Vanagons in the U.S. Four models of the Vanagon were built for the US market for this model year.

Vanagon (7 & 9 seat versions)

Vanagon L

Vanagon Camper (P22)

Vanagon Camper (P27)


Colors available

The following colors were available for the Vanagon, Vanagon Camper (p22) and Vanagon Camper (P27):


Assuan Brown

Medium Blue

The following colors were available for the Vanagon L:

Ivory / Bright Orange

Guinea Blue / Cornat Blue

Samos Beige / Assuan Brown

Ivory / Bamboo Yellow

Distinguishing features

The new name “Vanagon” is a contraction of “van” & “station wagon”. Since this was the first year for the Vanagon model, there were numerous changes from the “Bus” or “Transporter” models of 1979. The most noticeable difference is the very square, sharp edged look of the body. There are simply too many changes to describe here, so I won’t even attempt it. One thing that did not change was the 2.0L fuel injected air cooled engine and its location at the rear of the van.

All 1980 Vanagons came with one grill at the front of the van, not for cooling air intake, but for interior ventilation. A pair of single round headlights are mounted in the grill. This one-grill look distinguishes all of the air cooled Vanagons from 1980 till 1983, when the air cooled Vanagons were discontinued, mid-year.

On the rear of the van was a “Volkswagen” logo on left side and a “Vanagon” or “Vanagon L” logo on the right side. The rear hatch does NOT have a “VW” logo. The cooling air intake grills on each side of the van, behind the rear-most windows were steel and an integral part of the body. Along with the 1981 models, this vent design distinguishes them from the later models that were equipped with removable black plastic grills.


Standard Features:


2.0 liter air-cooled horizontally opposed, 4 cylinder engine
Air Flow Control (AFC) electronic fuel injection
Power: 67HP @ 4200RPM
SAE net Torque: 101FtLbs @ 3000RPM
4 speed manual transmission
Rear wheel drive
Electronic ignition

Suspension, wheels, steering

Independent front & rear suspension
Power assisted brakes, solid front disks, rear drums
Rack & pinion steering
Steel belted radial tires, size 185SR14
14″ steel wheels, 5″ wide
Chrome hub caps
Spare tire (full size) stored under front of van

Exterior, body

Paint color choices: Medium Blue, Assuan Brown, or Ivory
Black painted steel bumpers
Dual outside mirrors, black
Sliding right side door
Sliding side windows
Opening wing windows
Electric rear window defogger
2-speed front windshield wipers


96.8″ or 2.46 meters

Front track:

61.8″ or 1.57 meters

Rear track:

61.8″ or 1.57 meters


179.9″ or 4.57 meters


72.6″ or 1.844 meters


77.2″ or 1.96 meters

Ground clearance:

7.5″ or 19 cm

Turning circle:

34.5 ft or 10.52 meters

Curb weight: 3087 lb 1400 kg
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR): 5072 lb 2300 kg

Padded strip on dash board
Fuel level gauge
Vanity mirror in front passenger sun visor
Front bucket seats with solid headrests
Two passenger center bench seat
Three passenger rear bench seat, backrest folds for cargo room
Van Dyck (brown) vinyl upholstery with Ivory paint
Black vinyl upholstery with Medium Blue paint
Gazelle (beige) vinly upholstery with Assuan Brown paint
Black rubber floor covering
Vinyl covered door panels
Armrest & door handles on front doors
Removable carpet over engine area
Passenger area fresh air vents above side windows (4)

Cargo capacity:

Behind rear seat:

49.7 ft3 or 1.408 meters3

Rear & center seat removed:

201 ft3 or  5.696 meters3


15.9 Gallon fuel tank mounted under center of van
17 MPG EPA city estimate
25 MPG EPA highway estimate

Optional Features:

9 person seating


Replaces front passenger bucket seat & aisle with 2 passenger bench. Replaces center 2 passenger bench with 3 passenger bench.

Air conditioning


Tinted glass


Auxiliary gasoline fueled heater (BA-6) located under center of van


Rear window wiper with intermittent cycle feature