Lockdown launches: New VW Transporter range announced
From January next year, South Africans will be able to buy a face-lifted version of their favourite Volksie Bus or as it is called, the Transporter range.
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VW just announced a major facelift for the Transport T6 range, now known as T6.1. The facelift includes all versions in the Transporter range that consist of the Pick Up (Single and Double cab), Panel Van, Crew Bus, Kombi, Caravelle and California.
From the outside, the new front end cannot be missed. The new T6.1 boasts a new radiator grille that is larger and forms a single unit with the new bumper. All elements below the bonnet, like the headlights, are new. The higher specification models get a chrome strip on the bumper and there are newly designed wheels.
Jump inside and a new instrument panel with emphasis on digitalisation is visible. The air vents in the dashboard can now be adjusted in every direction and simultaneously opened or closed using one slider control. Previously, a second slider was needed. The steering wheel has been redesigned – on the new multifunction steering wheel there is now a ‘View’ button, which enables the driver to switch between the digital cockpit's different display configurations with just one click.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has reconfigured the entire range of infotainment systems in order to provide an unprecedented array of web-based functions and services. The offering now includes fully digital instruments, like the digital cockpit. All T6.1 models are equipped with a Composition Colour radio system as standard, whereas the Caravelle and California are equipped with the Discover Pro Media system with navigation as standard.
For the range-topping Caravelle Highline and the California there is a 10.25-inch digital cockpit where the driver can choose from different screen configurations which are selected via the ‘View’ button on the multifunction steering wheel.
On the mechanical side, the new range said goodbye to the hydraulic steering system in favour of a new electro-mechanical power steering. Benefits include reduced fuel consumption, and through its controllability it opens up access to numerous new driver assistance systems. A second-generation chassis control system (DCC), where the driver can set the desired level of damping, is now also available as an option. The new T6.1 version will boast a whole spectrum of safety and driver assistance systems, some standard other optional, depending on the model.
The three categories of the T6.1 will continue with the commercial vehicles (Panel Van, Pick Up and Crew, Bus); passenger carriers designed for private use (Caravelle and Kombi) and the recreational vehicle (California Coast). Along with the various engine combinations, the choice of short and long wheelbases offers flexibility and functionality.
At the bottom end is the 2.0 TDI with 81 kW and 250 Nm fitted with a 5-speed manual gearbox. This engine is followed by a 2.0 litre with higher power output, 110 kW and 340 Nm matched to a 7-speed DSG gearbox. But the real power will be delivered by Volkswagen’s 2.0 litre twin turbo BiTDI with 146 kW twin turbo engine with 450 Nm in combination with a 7-speed DSG gearbox.
Competitors include Mercedes-Benz’s recently updated Vito and V-Class, the Hyundai H1, even the Kia Sedona, Ford Tourneu Custom and the Toyota Quantum.
South African auto consumers rely heavily on dealerships for advice and support in their decision-making process, even though online platforms are rapidly changing the landscape, placing pressure on dealers to clearly define their role.
Road traffic and transport legislation consultant, Alta Swanepoel and LexisNexis have made available an online course to unpack the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences, or AARTO system, for fleet managers and executives.