Volkswagen has unveiled the sixth generation of the successful Transporter model series that is produced in Hannover, Germany. The all-new Transporter now offers key technical features for better safety, improved comfort and convenience and greater driving dynamics in combination with improved fuel economy and lower entry-level prices.
It is the new edition of a hugely successful model, for the T series from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has been the number one in Germany for decades. Its predecessor sold some 2 million units around the world within 11 years. Across the entire model series’ 65 years, the figure is around 12 million vehicles, which means 65 years of experience with customers and 65 years of contemporary transport solutions. Each individual generation led the way in terms of technology, and was precisely meeting the needs of the market.
Classic in design
Although the model T has undergone extensive improvements, the all-new model has become even sharper, more precise and has been of much improved quality. The lines, beads and edges run continuously from front to back. The entire body now has the appearance of being all in one piece, as if milled from a solid block. Like its predecessors, the new T generation thus remains immediately recognizable. The extremely solid foundation on which all T series models are based, the commercial vehicle is subjected every day to the hardest of tests and developed for professionals.
Robust and reliable
At the top of the range is the Multivan. Families and outdoor sports enthusiasts, in particular, value its proverbial flexibility. In between comes the Caravelle as the joining link. Created both for commercial and private uses, this spacious multi-purpose vehicle has also been upgraded once again and is now available as the Highline model. Designers and engineers have also covered a broad spectrum inside and developed high-quality interiors for both versions of the vehicle – highly practical in the case of the Transporter versions, very bespoke and refined in the case of the Multivan, satisfying the requirements of its different customer groups.
In the T series, a completely new generation of TDI engines is being launched for the EU6 markets. Internally, it answers to the name EA288 Nutz. This engine has been developed specifically for the tough requirements of a commercial vehicle. Longevity and ruggedness were thus the top priority. The TDIs available are transversely mounted and angled forward by 8 degrees. They have a cubic capacity of 1,968 cm3 and deliver 62 kW/84 PS, 75 kW/102 PS, 110 kW/150 PS and 150 kW/204 PS. The petrol option is also a four-cylinder engine with a displacement of 2.0 liters. It delivers either 110 kW / 150 PS or 150 kW / 204 PS. Across the whole model series, the new engines save a liter of fuel compared to the previous generation. All Euro-5 and Euro-6 engines have a stop/start system as standard. Thus, overall fuel consumption could be reduced by 15 percent on average.
Comfort and convenience
The new adaptive chassis control, Dynamic Cruise Control (DCC), for so-called enclosed superstructures works in an even more bespoke fashion. It enables the vehicle to be adapted to three driving modes: comfort, normal and sport. In each case, the electrically adjustable shock absorbers adapt to the chosen style via a preselected program. DCC thus makes the already exemplary handling even better.
The variability of the seating layout makes the back a veritable playground in terms of reconfiguration. From normal boot to large cargo space – everything is possible. Opening and closing the tailgate is now especially easy. Aside from purely manual operation, the first level up from the basic version provides an automatic closing aid. It enables the tailgate to be closed with much less effort and has the latch engaged in the lock with a significantly less obtrusive sound. Even easier to operate is the new, completely electrically operated version. It opens automatically via the tailgate handle, and it closes by pulling a loop or by pushbutton.
Alternatively, it can be opened by pressing a button on the driver door or on the remote control integrated within the vehicle key. That makes it easier, in particular, to close the tailgate, which is about two meters above the ground when open.
By means of radar, the “Front Assist” area monitoring system recognizes critical distances to the vehicle in front and helps to shorten the stopping distance. In dangerous situations, the system warns the driver visually and audibly, as well as with a slight jolt of the brake.
With adaptive cruise control (ACC), a sensor measures the distance to the vehicle in front and the relative speed. In combination with the DSG, the ACC system can also slow the vehicle down, for example in queues or traffic jam situations, to a complete stop.
Depending on the situation, ACC then starts up again automatically after a predefined period. An integral component of “Front Assist” and “ACC” is the City Emergency Braking function, which provides assistance at low speeds of under 30 kilometers per hour and thereby offers significantly improved safety, especially in dense city traffic. If the driver fails to see an obstacle, the system automatically applies the brakes and ensures that the collision-speed is reduced. In order to minimize the risk related to this scenario, the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System is provided as standard in the Transporter. Another option is “Light Assist” that performs automatic, camera-controlled switching on and off of the main beam. The “Driver Alert System,” which is standard in vehicles with a multifunction display, recognizes any deviations from normal driving behavior and recommends that the driver take a break. During the journey, the optionally available electronic voice enhancement helps drivers to keep their eyes focused on what is happening on the road. Without any turning of the head, the driver’s voice can be automatically amplified and played back to the passengers over the radio system’s loudspeakers.
For all vehicles with 4MOTION, Hill Descent Assist is available as an option. By targeted application of the brakes to individual wheels, which the driver is not able to do singularly using the foot brake, and by cutting the engine speed, it ensures a safe, controlled hill descent. During towing operation, electronic trailer stabilization also utilizes the components of the electronic stability control system and thus contributes significantly to safety while driving.
For safety while driving, all devices are fitted with a Bluetooth hands-free system. In the case of the 6.33-inch screen, Volkswagen commercial vehicles are for the first time using a display that works by means of proximity sensors as soon as the driver or front-seat passenger move their hand close to the touchscreen, the system automatically switches from display mode to input mode. The displays also have a function that lets users use wiping motions to scroll through lists or browse CD covers of their own media library that could be stored on an SD card, for example. Depending on the range of features, there is also the “Comfort” mobile phone interface. It provides an inductive link to the vehicle’s mobile phone antenna, an auxiliary USB port and an ergonomic storage compartment for the mobile phone. Over recent years, use of the Internet on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet PCs has grown significantly. This resulted in growing demand for instant information everywhere. Following this trend, the “Discover Media” and “Discover Media Plus” navigation systems are equipped with Car-Net’s Guide and Inform services.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is offering the “Generation SIX” special edition. It is based on the Multivan Comfortline and is enriched by a number of exclusive features that upgrade it significantly. Tinted windows, LED headlights and rear lights, fog lights with cornering light and the chrome package are, for instance, all included as standard. Also exclusively available as options are a total of four two-tone paintwork finishes with colour-coordinated decorative elements on the dash panel, plus 18-inch retro-design “Disc” alloy wheels in two different color patterns. The special edition is extremely comprehensively equipped with electronic aids. ParkPilot front and rear, Side Assist with electric folding mirrors, cruise control and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) are included as standard. Also standard is the Composition Media radio system. In the vehicle’s interior, alcantara seats in an independent two-tone design, contrasting stitching for the leather trim of the multifunction steering wheel and gear lever, plus fabric floor mats with contrasting edging are a feast for the eye.