Luke Wilkinson 2020-02-07 15:00
Volkswagen will launch an all-new version of the Transporter van this year, just 12 months after revealing the facelifted version of the T6
Our spy photographers have caught the next-generation Volkswagen Transporter van during winter testing, spied here in Caravelle guise.
The seventh-generation model is expected to make its debut in 2021, sporting a fresh range of powertrains, updated styling and technology lifted from the all-new, Mk8 Golf.
The styling of the new Transporter will be an evolution of the previous-generation model but with touches taken from the brand’s latest passenger car range. It now has slightly more rounded corners and a wider glasshouse. The front end styling also mimics that of the new Golf, sharing a similar radiator grille, bumper shape and LED headlamp design, with winglets that extended into the front quarter panel.
Most importantly though, the proportions of this Transporter mule have changed over its predecessor. The front door is no longer cut into the front wheel arch, while the driver sits further back and lower in the cabin – like a conventional passenger car – suggesting the new Transporter will be based on a new platform.
Volkswagen has also extended the Transporter’s dashboard and windscreen over the front axle and slimmed down the A-pillars. The German firm has added a new quarter light window above the A-panel in a similar fashion to the Citroen C4 Space Tourer, too, in an effort to improve visibility and allow more light into the cabin.
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Some rumours suggest the new Transporter will make the shift to Volkswagen MQB underpinnings. If so, it will also use Volkswagen’s familiar range of turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engines, which are currently found in other VW Group products such as the Tiguan SUV and Skoda Octavia. Like the T6.1, this new model should be offered with either front- or four-wheel-drive, too.
The previous-generation Transporter T6.1 was also available with an all-electric powertrain, which was developed collaboratively with the German tuning company, ABT. The system comprises a 108bhp electric motor and either a 38.8kWh or 77.6kWh battery pack, with the latter cell offering a claimed range in excess of 250 miles. As such, an all-electric version of the new T7 is a probability in the van’s lifetime.
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