I was struck by this pair of vans I saw at a traffic light, separated as they are by 50+ years. The van on the left is a 2015 Hyundai iLoad, while alongside is a 1974 Volkswagen Type 2 van. Coincidentally both are the second-generation of their type, but otherwise the differences outweigh the similarities.
I assume there is no need to go into the history of the VW, but the first generation Hyundai was a wider variation based on the fourth-generation Mitsubishi Delica, and was built from 1999-2007. This van in turn replaced earlier cab-over models, much the same as the T4 generation VW Transporter had done from the earlier rear-engined vans.
The Hyundai is also known as the H-1 or H200 in other markets, and iMax or Starex in passenger form, and is rear-wheel drive with a 2.5L dohc diesel, which with the 5-sp automatic transmission has a variable-geometry turbo and 125 kW/170 hp and 441 Nm/330 lb-ft. The 6-sp manual version is detuned and lacks the VGT turbo, presumably to cut cost. The second generation grew significantly in width, up from 71.7 in/1821 mm to 75.6 in/1920 mm. Note the original 4-gen Delica was the ‘standard’ Japanese 66.7 in/1695 mm width.
Not bad compared with the 1600/1800 VW that had something in the order of 45 kW/60 hp – the 2-litre engine was still a year off when this van was originally built. But more than specifications, it is the layout that is different – for a cargo vehicle the engine really is in the way!