On 15th April, Volkswagen took the covers off its brand new T6 Transporter family, which ranges from the very basic CV to the luxurious Multivan. It’s a very special vehicle that offers an alternative to the Mercedes V-Class, but does so in an understated manner.
What’s interesting is that even though the T6 is about being practical, economical and safe, some people dream of going fast in it. While Volkswagen has offered hot versions of its Transporter commercial vehicle in the past, these were never badged higher than “Sport.”
But take this rendering made by X-Tomi Design, which adds the GTI bits we all know and love.
These include a distinctive red stripe, which used to go around the grille, but now travels through both headlights since the Golf 7. Below that, we have a special honeycomb grille, a spoiler and some tiger claw strikes on the daytime running lights.
Of course, it’s fun to dream of a 500 horsepower Transporter, but is such a things even possible? Well, yes and no. The Transporter’s arch rival, which is the Ford Transit, has been turned into a V8-powered drag racing machine and there was also a Transit Connect with a Focus RS engine a few years back.
But you see a lot more hot vans in America, where it’s not unusual to turn a VW Bus into some 2 million horsepower monster that can pop wheelies on command.
Volkswagen may own the second largest automotive group in the world, but it has the largest parts bin and could easily find something good to throw under the T6’s nose. We’re thinking something along the lines of a supercharged V6 or the 4.2-litre V8 TDI from the Touareg would work great
Generation SIX: world premiere of the new T series
Classic Transporter design is even sharper, more precise, higher end
Better fuel economy – new engines with stop/start function as standard
Better safety – latest driver assistance systems
More comfort and convenience – adaptive chassis, electrically adjustable seats and electric tailgate
More information – new radio-navigation system with integrated online services
Prices start below level of previous model
Hannover/Amsterdam, 15 April 2015 – Today, the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brand presents the sixth generation of the successful Transporter model series that is produced in Hannover. 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.
It is the new edition of a hugely successful model: for the T series from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has been the number 1 in Germany for decades. Its predecessor sold some 2 million units around the world within eleven 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.
Design: the T series is a classic in design. It has therefore been modernised cautiously, but has become even sharper, more precise and thus enhanced still further in quality. The lines, beads and edges run continuously from front to back. The entire body now has the appearance of being all one piece, as if milled from a solid block. Like its predecessors, the new T generation, too, thus remains immediately recognisable. The extremely solid foundation on which all T series models are based: the commercial vehicle. Subjected every day to the hardest of tests and developed for professionals. Robust and reliable. Forming the top of the range, however, 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 use, this spacious multi-purpose vehicle has also been upgraded once again and is now for the first time available as a Highline model as well. 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. The arrangement of storage trays and compartments also depends on the model. Everything here has its place. Be it a folding ruler, coffee mug, mobile phone or tablet. Form follows function. In best Bauhaus tradition.
Engines: 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 forwards by eight 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 likewise a four-cylinder engine with a displacement of 2.0 litres. It delivers either 110 kW / 150 PS or 150 kW / 204 PS. Across the whole model series, the new engines save a litre 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% 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 programme. 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 engage 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 metres above the ground when open.
Safety: by means of radar, the ‘Front Assist’ area monitoring system (optional for the Transporter, Multivan and Caravelle; standard on the Multivan Business) recognises 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 km/h 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 minimise 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, recognises any deviations from normal driving behaviour and recommends the driver takes a break. During the journey the optionally available electronic voice enhancement helps drivers to keep their eyes focussed 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 stabilisation also utilises the components of the electronic stability control system and thus contributes significantly to safety while driving. A feature recommended in particular for cold, snowy regions is the new heated windscreen that ensures a clear view.
Infotainment: 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 is for the first time using a display that works by means of proximity sensors: as soon as the driver or front-seat passenger moves 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 & Inform services.
Generation SIX: exclusively at market launch, 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 colour 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. Meanwhile, heated seats and the Climatronic system ensure comfortable temperatures.
Prices: Customers will be able to order sixth generation T series vehicles within the next few days. Prices will be on a par with the previous model or slightly lower. For a few models, the prices are even considerably below those for the comparable prior versions. The price list for the Transporter, for instance, starts at ¤23,035 (plus value added tax for the 62-kW TDI/ Euro5), while entry into the world of the Multivan begins at ¤29,952 for the Multivan Conceptline with 62-kW TDI (incl. value added tax, Euro6). The previous Startline entry-level model is replaced by the upgraded Trendline trim level at a price of ¤34,301 (gross).
It is true that everyone loves the VW Campervan, being a universally appreciated vehicle that has stood the test of time. Being such an iconic car the VW Camper has stayed in the hearts of the British for many years, seeing us always keeping our eye out for cheap ones for sale online.
At Limo Broker we were overjoyed to come across this beauty, a VW Campervan limousine!
First generation VW Bus/Van/Type 2 values have spiked over the last decade, with the vintage cars being greatly sought after. Originally associated with surfers and travellers it now seems that everyone wants a VW on their drive, whether it be just to look at.
This car truly is the Limo Broker dream, so we thought we would enquire about the price. Situated in America we quickly learnt that this was no ordinary vehicle, learning that it sported a $220,000 price tag.
Although the medium-range wood and tobacco interior is fantastic it does not justify this price, so what does?
Well, after much investigation it seems that the seller is not only looking to part ways with his creation but is selling his business along with it.
Tej Randeva, owner of Transport Broker Group, thinks this would be a great business to purchase.
‘Having worked with so many operators starting out there is always a worry that they will not earn back their investment, skeptical about outlaying so much money at once. With such an incredible, unique vehicle I have great faith that whoever takes up this opportunity will make their money back within the year’.
‘People would pay great sums to experience the greatness of such a car.’
A father and son from California drove through the night. A retired couple form Glendale joined like so many years past. A club from San Bernardino, nearly a dozen in all, staked out valuable lakeside property. And a lone Canadian and his dog, Baby, pulled in with a bedframe holding his engine in place.
They came from near and far, but they all had one goal – make it to the Buses by the Bridge. They joined hundreds more this weekend, camping, swapping road stories and showing off their treasured Volkswagen buses.
Stewart, 32, pictured above, left his home in Nova Scotia nearly six months ago and skirted down the coast of the eastern United States – as close to the water as he could manage all the way to Key West. He had nothing but his dog, Baby, a van full of supplies and a picture of the old friend he split his first VW with.
He and his friend were sixteen when they split the van and spent most of their time driving around town, wreaking havoc and getting into trouble.
After the friend died recently, Stewart paid of his mortgage and debts and set off on the trip of a lifetime. “Keeping the dream alive.”
“We’ve got a story behind us, that’s for sure,” he said, standing beside his 1975 VW camper, chipped yellow paint and a dead Christmas wreath hanging from the front bumper that made it all the way from New York. He bought the bus for about $5,000.
Along the way, Stewart has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and at a dog shelter in New Orleans. After staying at Key West for two weeks, he made his way along the Gulf Coast to New Orleans, blowing out his engine somewhere in Louisiana.
“It’s actually a Beatle engine,” he said. “I’ve got a bedframe holding it in there.”
Stewart was enjoying the company of fellow campers that gave him a meal as they peaked into his messy home on wheels. The sun and lake view didn’t hurt either.
“It’s snowing and blowing where we come from,” he said. “Snowin’ and blowin’… oh yeah.”
And Stewart had a word of advice for people who think they might not be able to handle night after night on the road.
“They think you are downgrading,” he said. “But I’ve never slept so good in my life. I never slept so good.”
Jeff and Easton Landon
The father and son pair of Jeff and Easton drove through the night from their home in Lancaster, Calif., to make it to the Havasu campout by Friday morning. They put a new motor in the car at 5 p.m. and left at 7:30 p.m. and arrived in time for lunch.
Jeff fell in love VW buses as a high school student, spending his summers living on the beach out of one near Ventura, Calif.
“Back then, you could by one for $50 and tow it home with a garden hose,” Jeff said. “Once you do it once, you can’t give it up.”
He has owned one ever since and now so do his two daughters and 16-year-old son Easton – five in all.
“I haven’t talked the wife into it, yet…” said Jeff, who sells airplane radios to independent pilot. “We have a hangar full of buses.”
Jeff said he enjoys the campout and catching up with old friends and looking in on familiar buses. He said he saw one that he remembers from nearly 30 years ago. “It’s almost the exact same.”
As for Easton, he wasn’t planning on ditching school and hitting the road anytime soon, but he does enjoy being the only kid at his school who gets to roll up in a 1960s VW van each morning.
Mullaney joined nearly a dozen other VW bus enthusiasts from San Bernardino, Calif., at the campout over the weekend – the club staked out a maze of tents and vans on prime lakefront real estate.
He said has had VWs since he was 16, beginning with Beatles but moving onto the vans after a friend let him enjoy a test drive.
“It feels like you are sitting in the cockpit of an airplane…” he said of the feeling he gets when he sits in the driver seat of his VW. “I drove the bus of a friend’s and three months late I had my own one.”
And he has a tattoo that runs from his ankle to his knee, nearly the entire length of his leg, of his first bus. His aunt gave him the bus he drove to the Havasu campout. The 1966 still contained all of its original parts, he said.
His aunt’s bus, which he has had for four years now, got stolen after about a year. The police eventually recovered it, but it had been severely damaged. The other members of the bus club pitched in to help him bring it back to its natural state.
“That’s what it’s all about,” he said. “It’s a big community.”
Every year, my neighbor knows spring is almost here because he sees me lying under my 24-year-old VW Vanagon looking for the latest leak from my “wasserboxer” engine.
It’s like Groundhog Day. If the thing starts, spring comes early. If not, we’re all one mail-order part away from warmer weather. So when that VW parts place in California sends me the new hose/temp sensor/gasket/fratastat, I fire up the van and summer starts.
I’ve been lucky. I’ve kept the thing going. The van still has Fahrvergnügen. And we get to park it in places like this:
So far (fingers crossed) my van is not like many vans of its vintage – up on blocks in a backyard – a dream deferred – “far from movin.’”
Part of what keeps my van going is a community of other Vanagon owners on an e-mail list. If I have a problem, the hive responds. Heck, sometimes one of them even sends me a tool to fix it with.
But as these vans grow older, parts get harder to find. And on the list, we hear about one VW Vanagon lover or another dropping from our ranks.
So when we hear about a brand new van from VW, we get excited.
We got excited in 2001 when VW brought this concept van to the North American International Auto Show.
The closest that van got to being built was in toy form.
And we got excited again when VW released this concept in 2011.
Again, nothing doing. VW is not going to build this van.
So, I’m spending my winter looking for the next part to keep my 1990 Vanagon going.
In the meantime, VW is spending its time talking up its latest model for the U.S. Market – the Cross Coupe GTE.
So what gives? Why no van? VW vans are iconic. They brought the Beetle back with great fanfare. Why not the bus?
Basically, VW says there’s no market for it. Those of us who still drive the old vans are a small group, they say. Not enough for them to justify the expense.
This week, I caught up with “Pressesprecher bei Volkswagen AG” Christian Buhlmann at the North American International Auto Show.
Here’s my Q &A with him about why VW isn’t planning to bring a van back to the U.S. (You can listen to our discussion by clicking on the file below.)
Q: What are the challenges of bringing something like an old Vanagon or an old bus back to the U.S.?
A: The SUVs in the recent year has become the strongest segment. We are selling 2.8 million cars in our industry just in that one single segment … Unfortunately the MPV segment (multi-purpose vehicle or van) is shrinking in volume …
The problem is for us with Volkswagen, we are car enthusiasts at the one thing, but we also do it to be profitable and make money, because we are a shareholder company …
We offer four different vans in Europe where this market is still strong. We do have vans in Asia and other parts of the world. But here for North America, right now, the market is not too big. Instead we need to comply with market and bring SUVs.
A: It’s either love ’em or hate ’em. People who nowadays still drive a T2, T3, T4, you name ‘em – those vans that we used to have until the 2000s – most of them are enthusiasts that run these vehicles in perfect weather conditions. Those are people who are hard core fans for this segment, but they’re just too few to justify making a new version of this only for this market.
“We are selling vans, very well-equipped vans with four-wheel-drive, with kitchenette, with everything that you want for prices of $50,000 and up, which is not where the market here is…”
The second problem is currently we make those vans in Europe, and even with the rising dollar and weaker Euro share, it is not enough units to make up for a reasonable price. We are selling vans, very well-equipped vans with four-wheel-drive, with kitchenette, with everything that you want for prices of $50,000 and up, which is not where the market here is, or where the camping market is. There is an RV market, true, but those RVs are much larger in size than what we currently offer.
Q: I think there are a lot of people in the U.S. who would be interested in having a camping unit that wasn’t as big as they are now. They’re huge. There’s not a smaller option for people. So what price point would you be looking at to sell something like that in the U.S.?
A: As I said, what we currently offer in Europe is $50,000 and up, and I personally just don’t see enough customers for brining such a vehicle where people would say, “O.k., $50,000. How much RV can I possibly get for that kind of money, in terms of length and equipment?” And that just wouldn’t be an adequate offer for this market.
Q: Is there something different about the European market and why that works in the European market, and why that doesn’t work here in the U.S.?
I would say it’s due to size. Let’s say you’re taking your average camper van and you’re going to Italy, take a U.S. van, you wouldn’t be able to access all these little alleys, these streets that they have – you would be stuck.
So you need something compact in order to get where you want to go. Over here, where everything is accessible, even for large RVs, there is just not this demand. Therefore, people in the majority would rather go for something bigger, if they’re looking for RVs.
The new VW camper van sold in Europe – the “California.” VW says selling this van in the U.S. would not be profitable for them
Q: When the microbus concept came out there was a lot of passion about it, people were really excited about it. There are people who buy old Vanagons for $70,000 – $80,000 that are redone. So they say there is a market for this, so how did you guys determine that there isn’t really enough volume for that?
A: In the volume car business, as we are not a premium brand, it’s quite simple. If you have a model where there’s no derivative that you can share costs or build up more scale, you need at least 200,000 units per year to make it feasible.
We are a company that offers 300 different model lines over 12 brands, and having sold more than 10 million cars last year.
Among these cars there are also some cars which are not making 200,000 units, but they’re not in the volume market anymore.
Whereas if you want to meet this price point, you need to be in the volume market, and there’s just no other car that you can share components with if you’re making this van, because they’re not compliant with the other models such as hatchbacks, sedans, and so on.
So we’re really looking at supplying for a huge market that just isn’t there in the van market.
Q: And how do you know the market isn’t there, surveys?
A: Yes. By market surveys and we obey what’s happening in the market and track that constantly. And that’s why management decisions went toward SUVs.
Whereas us coming from the van segment, we had a hard time of adjusting our model line here. And that is why we are very successful with the vans in Europe, but over here, everything is going towards the SUV segments.
Q: Are you guys watching what is going on with the Ford Transit at all? They released a van here that seems fairly popular.
A: And by the way, the Transit isn’t something that has been invented over here. The Transit is a transition from a European vehicle that has been there as a competitor to our vehicle for decades.
So they jump into that niche that is existing, but of course, they are coming from a different basis, because Ford is one of the “Big Three,” whereas we are a carmaker with currently a 2% market share here in the U.S.
So it’s much easier for them to take a product and bring it to their home market and then get some of the share, but of course it’s not their main product either.
Q: So their other Ford products support that endeavor, I imagine…
A: They jump into the niche just because it’s possible, and it’s feasible for them, but it wouldn’t be for us.
Q: Is that the final answer, would it ever be feasible here?
A: We never make any predictions on what the future is. Who would of thought what the current gas prices – one year ago. You just cannot predict what it is. And a year from now, if the situation is different, we’re going to talk it over.
volkswagen T1 superhero posters fashion VW vans for comic characters
images courtesy of chung kong
the ‘volkswagen T1 superhero’ poster series by designer chung kong, fashions what the rides of comic characters such as spiderman, the hulk and wonder woman, would look like if they owned a classic VW van. the collection was kickstarted by the realization that superman is even more fortunate than his compatriot heroes because he can fly where ever he wants. the others use many types of vehicles to travel around and in contrast to the fancy, high-tech batmobile and iron man suit, chung imagines them in the much loved T1 automobile.
captain america’s version of the VW T1
the spiderman poster
even though superman can fly, this would be his van
wonder woman’s wagen
the iron man edition
in contrast to christian bale’s vehicle, this is batman’s less high-tech batmobile