Volkswagen have today launched the sixth generation of their successful Transporter van that is produced in Hannover, Germany. Key updated technical features offer better safety, improved comfort and convenience and greater driving dynamics in combination with improved fuel economy and lower entry-level prices when compared to the previous model.
Its predecessor sold some 2 million units around the world across eleven years – or around 12 million vehicles over the entire model series’ 65 year history. Each individual generation of the van has led the way in terms of technology and precisely meeting the needs of the market at the time.
Like its predecessors the new Transporter is immediately recognisable, while the two-tone paint scheme and chrome-centred rims hark back to the original T1 “splitty” Transporter from the 1950’s. But VW won’t go as far as to call it a “retro” vehicle, but rather one which has “heritage”. Based heavily on the now 11-year old T5 generation, the new series of Transporter, Caravelle and Multivan variants will bring a selection of Euro 6-compliant engines, revised styling and new driver assist features to keep Volkswagen competitive in the local commercial vehicle scene. There is a possibility the T6 model will come down in price in the Australian market, as it has in Germany.
The line up will almost certainly be exclusively turbo-diesel, but in numerous states of tune. We may not see all the different outputs of diesel engine available around the world, but the 150kW bi-turbo 2.0-litre is a certainty. At the other end of the scale, the 75kW Bluemotion engine appears to offer enough real-world performance to be a starter for courier companies in Australia.
The T6 range will comprise of a panel van, Kombi (windowed van) and pick-up commercial variants, plus the nine-seat Caravelle and high-spec seven-seat Multivan people movers. All will receive new driver assist technology, including Front Assist, City Emergency Braking (AEB), Automatic Post Collision Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, Light Assist, Driver Alert System, Rear Assist, Hill Descent Assist and Trailer Stabilisation. In Germany the Front Assist system is standard for the Multivan Business, but is an extra-charge option for the lower-spec Multivan, Caravelle and Transporter variants. Adaptive Cruise Control will bring the vehicle to a complete halt and City Emergency Braking will automatically handle emergency stops at speeds below 30km/h.
A new feature, DCC, is a system that electronically adjusts damper settings on the fly. Three modes are available: comfort, normal and sport. Somewhat confusingly, DCC stands for Dynamic Cruise Control.
Volkswagen is rolling out new infotainment systems across the T6 range. The new infotainment screen employs a proximity system that displays menu options with prompting by placing a finger close to the screen where the menu option should display.
Finally, available from launch is the Generation Six package, which is a retro-look dress-up kit comprising two-tone colour scheme, 18-inch alloy wheels in a ‘Disc’ design, tinted windows, LED headlights and rear lights, fog lights with cornering light and a ‘chrome package’.