New Volkswagen T-series

VOLKSWAGEN Commercial Vehicles presents the sixth generation of the successful T-Series model. The T6 offers improved safety features, comfort, convenience and greater driving dynamics.

Its predecessor (T5) sold about 2 million units (over 23 400 sold in South Africa) around the world in eleven years. Nearly 12 million vehicles have been sold worldwide since the first model was introduced 65 years ago. In South Africa about 280 000 units have been sold since the first unit rolled off the assembly line at the Uitenhage manufacturing factory in 1955. Type 2 was one of the first models to be produced in Uitenhage. The production of the T-Series in South Africa ended in 2002.

Variability of the highest level

The new T-Series is available with a range of body styles. The Transporter Pick Up is offered as a single cab or double cab with a long wheel base. The Transporter Panel Van seats up to three people and is available with a short wheel or long wheel base. The Transporter Crew Bus is the most diverse model of the new T-Series range as it offers customers all the available engine options, transmissions as well as wheelbase (short or long) in the range. The popular people mover Kombi seats up to eight people and is also offered with an option of short wheel or long wheel base. The sixth-generation model is as striking to look at as it is practical. The front end has been redesigned with a sharper, more precise look while lines, beads and edges run continuously from front to back. The entire body has the appearance of being all one piece, as if milled from a solid block.

The interior has also been extensively updated with a luxurious new look and full integration of new touchscreen infotainment systems that offer smartphone connectivity. Incorporating a host of significant changes, from new steering wheels to additional and redesigned storage areas, the cab area of the T6 raises the segment standards once again.

Engine range

The entire engine range remains unchanged from the previous model. The line-up consists of 2.0 TDI and 2.0 BiTDI engines with the power output ranging from 75kW to 132kW.

The Transporter Pick Up and Panel Van are offered with the 75kW and 132kW engines. The Transporter Crew Bus is available with an option of 75kW, 103kW and 132kW engines. The Kombi comes with the choice of engines with the power output of 75kW and 103kW.

The 75kW engine is fitted with a five-speed manual gearbox as standard. The 103kW is equipped with either 6-speed manual gearbox or 7-speed DSG gearbox.

New safety systems

Occupant safety has always been a cornerstone of the T-Series model range and the T6 takes protection to a new level. In addition to existing features such as Electronic Stabilisation Programme (ESP), driver and passenger front airbags and electric seatbelt tensioners, all sixth-generation derivatives are equipped with the Multi-Collision Braking System fitted as standard.

Extensive range

The T-Series model range is structured to equally appeal to both commercial and private customers. For commercial customers, the Transporter Pick-Up, Panel Van and Crew Bus come standard with a raft of safety and convenience features such as ABS, ESP, Hill Hold Control, Electric Windows (optional with the Pick Up), Composition Audio Radio with LCD screen, Bluetooth and a Climatic manual air conditioning system.

Design

Just as its five generations of predecessors have done, the T6 seamlessly blends form with function. Combining bold new shapes with intricate details, the front end styling of the sixth-generation model is in line with that of the latest Volkswagen passenger cars, and is instantly recognisable with bold, angular headlamps, grille emblem and crisp, horizontal lines.

The headlights feature daytime running lights, below which the bumper includes the option of fog lights with integrated cornering-light function to illuminate the direction in which the vehicle is turning. The updated radiator grille also comes with a new chrome strip that neatly meets the internal edges of the headlights to create a single flowing line across the front of the vehicle. The rear of the T6 continues the crisp, precise feel with new tail light clusters and a re-profiled bumper.

Exterior Design

Front: Starting from the headlights, which are halogen or LED lights depending on derivative specification, striking lines run across the front and side. Particularly eye-catching here is the soaring V-line, which extends across the whole bonnet.

Rear: The rear view is distinctive as well. With a horizontal bead, it highlights the vehicle’s width in a striking fashion. That is further underlined by the wide rear window and the low reaching number plate recess, which is clearly delineated in its geometric division, along with LED lighting of the number plate. The horizontal division is also adopted by the rear bumper, which with several flat areas adds further expressive contours to the back of the vehicle.
Side: Other eye-catching features include the lowered wing mirrors and the indicator lights set dynamically within the bead. In addition, numerous newly designed wheels define the view from the side. The standard/optional spectrum which starts with 16 and 17-inch steel rims, includes the new 16 and 17 inch alloy wheels called Clayton, Cascavel and Devonport.

Interior design

The T6 is packed with features that offer comfort, convenience and new levels of assistance for drivers and operators on the move. At the heart of the T6’s new look is a completely redesigned dashboard that delivers both in terms of style and functionality. The new layout further refines Volkswagen’s acclaimed ergonomics and adds a host of additional storage areas, including a new cupholder.

Storage areas fitted as standard across the range include compartments in the driver and passenger doors, both capable of accommodating a 1.5-litre bottle and an A4 folder. In addition, there are storage pockets at each end of the dashboard beneath the air vents, an open storage space on top of the dashboard and others near the gearlever, as well as integrated within the overhead roof liner.

The centre console houses the ventilation controls along with the new range of infotainment systems. Bluetooth is fitted as standard from the Panel Van derivative. The new touchscreen audio and navigation systems are available as standard and option across the range.

A new range of three-spoke steering wheels also make its debut in the new T-Series.

The seats offer exceptional levels of comfort even on long journeys: with the exception of the Transporter Pick Up, the driver’s seat has adjustment for height as standard. A dual passenger seat with storage box and folding backrest (fixed backrest with optional bulkheads) is standard on the Panel Van, while a single passenger seat is standard on the Crew Bus.

One series, three models numerous specifications

Commercial vehicles: It is a long-standing tradition that the Transporter is available as a Panel Van, Pick Up – single or double cab and Crew Bus. All versions without side windows are fitted as standard with a sliding door on the passenger side. Driver and front-seat passenger in the Transporter sit on hard-wearing fabric seat covers in the ‘Austin Titanium Black’ design. Optionally available, in addition to other fabrics, are ‘Mesh’ artificial leather upholstery and for tough courier use an especially hard-wearing robust fabric appropriately called ‘Marathon’.

Transporter Pick Up

The Pick Up is the workhorse derivative of the commercial vehicles of the Transporter model range. It can be ordered as a single or double cab variant. In addition, the commercial customers can opt for a cab with a low-loader or the chassis. Transporter Pick Up is only available with a long wheelbase which offers a sizeable cargo loading bed of 5.7 square metres for a single cab. The height of the aluminium side panels, which can be dropped down on every side, is 39 centimetres. The double cab provides a cargo bed of 4.2 square metres. In addition to the storage compartment under the standard front passenger bench seat, in the double cab there is another storage space under the rear bench seat.

Transporter Panel van

Such is the strength and rigidity of the Transporter’s body that it can be fitted with two sliding doors. A left-hand door is standard, with a right-hand door available as an option.

With a low load bed, maximum opening width of 1,473mm and maximum load height of 1,299mm, the Panel Van is designed to make work easier. All Panel Van derivatives provide a spacious load compartment with volumes ranging from 5.8m3 for the short wheelbase low roof to 6.7m3 for the long wheelbase. Up to three euro pallets can be accommodated in long wheelbase models, while multiple load-lashing rings and sturdy painted load floors.

Transporter Crew Bus

The Transporter Crew Bus offers more options of engines in addition to the choice of wheelbases. It has a single front passenger seat and removable rear seating for a further three passengers – all fitted with three-point seatbelts and height-adjustable head restraints. Access to the rear passenger area is through a single near-side glazed sliding door, while at the rear there’s a glazed tailgate with heated window and wash-wiper.

Featuring a robust rubber floor covering throughout the cab and cargo area, as well as four load-lashing rings in the cargo area, the Crew Bus’ flexible interior can be transformed in seconds from a comfortable five or six-seater, into a spacious delivery van.

Technology

The sixth-generation T-Series introduces new technologies in all key areas – from safety to in-car entertainment.

Designed and engineered to provide drivers and occupants with maximum protection and comfort, the new technologies fitted to the T6 make it the most advanced T-Series model Volkswagen has ever made.

Driver assistance systems

The T6 is equipped with a number of new, sector-first safety systems – all of which are activated in critical situations as a preventative measure. These are offered alongside a new range of innovative driver assistance systems designed to provide convenience and even greater levels of occupant protection.

Multi-Collision Braking System

The Multi-Collision Braking System automatically brakes the T6 after it has been involved in an accident in order to reduce the risk or severity of a secondary collision. This innovative system is fitted across the model range.

Triggering of the system is based on detection of a primary collision by the airbag sensors. Vehicle braking is limited by the ESP control unit to a maximum deceleration rate of 0.6g. This value matches the deceleration level of Front Assist and ensures that the driver can take over handling of the car even in case of automatic braking.

The driver can ‘override’ the Automatic Multi-Collision Braking System at any time; for example, if the system recognises that the driver is accelerating, it is disabled. The system is also deactivated if the driver initiates hard braking at an even higher rate of deceleration. Essentially, the system applies the brakes until a vehicle speed of 10km/h is reached, so this residual vehicle speed can be used to steer to a safe location after the braking process.

Driver Alert system

This system monitors and registers deviation from normal steering patterns and uses visual and acoustic warnings to recommend that the driver takes a break.

Fog lights with integrated cornering lights

Rear-view camera  – this uses a wide-angle camera located in the rear number plate surround to display a clear view of the area behind the vehicle on the infotainment screen. The rear view camera is available as an option.

Engine and chassis

The engine line-up of the T6 has been carried over from the T5. The 2.0 litre displacement turbocharged diesel engine delivers the power output that ranges 75kW to 132kW.

Depending on power output, they are coupled with a 5- or 6-six-speed manual gearbox or with a 7-seven-speed DSG. In addition, the engine with 132kW power output is available with an option of 4MOTION all-wheel drive.

TDI with 75 kW

The base engine of the range delivers 75 kW and is combined with a 5-speed manual gearbox. It develops a maximum torque of 250 Newton metres from 1500 rpm up to 2500 rpm. It has a maximum top speed of 157 km/h. Its average fuel consumption for every 100 km is a frugal 7.3 litres. The 75kW engine is available with the Pick Up, Panel Van and Crew Bus.

TDI with 103kW

The four-cylinder 103kW common rail turbodiesel engine develops a maximum torque of 340 Newton metres from 1750 rpm. It reaches its top speed at 172 km/h. The 103kW engine can be coupled with 6-speed manual or 7-speed DSG transmissions. It is on offer with the Panel Van, Crew Bus and Kombi.

TDI with 132kW

The 2.0-litre Bi-Turbo engine delivering 132kW of power is the highlight of the range. The highest performance of 132kW is reached at 4000 rpm. At engine speeds as low as 1500 rpm, the bi-turbo delivers an impressive maximum torque of 400 Newton metres which remains constant at this level up to 2000 rpm. Depending on the body and drive version, this engine gives the T6 a maximum speed of 191 km/h. The 132kW Bi-TDI can be ordered as a front-wheel drive or 4MOTION all wheel with the 7-speed DSG transmission. It is available with Pick-Up Double cab and Crew Bus.
Chassis

The T chassis from Volkswagen has always been highly acclaimed. In its development, safe and excellent handling has always been the top priority. Even with maximum payload and at full engine capacity, the front-wheel or all-wheel drive T6 impresses with outstanding dynamism and stability. These extraordinary driving dynamics are further supported by the great rigidity of the vehicle body. The independent wheel suspension with MacPherson struts at the front and a semi-trailing arm rear axle with separate springs and shock absorbers help the T6 to handle like a passenger car. Unlike in the case of most MacPherson axles, the transverse links and anti-roll bar are not connected directly to the vehicle body, but are attached to an auxiliary frame, which in turn is bolted to the bodywork via vibration-reducing bearings. That leads to extremely effective vibration decoupling, which enhances driving comfort. In addition, anti-roll bars on both axles suppress the vehicle’s sideways lean in corners, while load-sensitive shock absorbers, which depending on the spring’s level of compression dampen to harder or softer degree, increase the suspension’s comfort.

Further contributing to well-balanced driving comfort is the servo-assisted rack-and-pinion steering, which excels through effortless operation and high precision. With a gear ratio of 1:15.8, just 3.3 rotations of the steering wheel are needed from one stop to the other. Despite the wheelbase of at least 3,000 millimetres, the front-wheel-drive vehicle’s turning circle is no more than 11.8 metres.