In a sweeping range refresh that covers 15 derivatives, the entire Volkswagen T-Series has been refreshed and will now be known as as T6.1.
The facelifted Transporter range consists of the Pick Up (Single and Double cab), Panel Van, Crew Bus, Kombi, Caravelle and California and will go on sale in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia from January 2021.
In South Africa the T-Series, especially the legendary Kombi and Caravelle, have been the best-sellers for the past six decades. Now in its sixth generation, the Transporter range has sold around 12-million units worldwide and in South Africa, 10 097 units of the T6 range have been sold since its launch in 2015.
Up front, the radiator grille is now significantly larger and forms a single unit with the new bumper. All elements below the bonnet, such as the headlights, are new. On all versions two chrome-plated cross-bars link the new headlights to the radiator grille. The lines of the two cross-bars are continued as LED daytime running lights, extending all the way into the housing units of the headlights, which depending on the specification can also be LED.
Six newly designed wheels, six new exterior colours and seven newly combined two-tone paintwork finishes round off the new exterior updates to the range.
The new instrument panel not has been equipped with an additional shelf in front of the driver. Also new is a larger tray for a smart phone with, an inductive interface for charging which is an optional feature.
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 for opening and closing.
The steering wheel has also 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.
With the T6.1, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is offering a vehicle equipped with fully digital instruments. 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 and on the Kombi Trendline Plus, it is available as an optional feature.
Electro-mechanical power steering is being used for the first time in the T6.1,which required the tuning of the conventional and regulated chassis versions in the direction of driving comfort and handling. With the introduction of the optional second-generation chassis control system (DCC) the adjustment options have increased.
Standard driver assistance systems include Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Automatic Post-Collision Braking, Hill Start Assist, Hill Descent Assist (for 4MOTION all-wheel drive), the Tyre Pressure Loss Indicator, lane change assistant Lane Assist, the standard cruise control system inclusive of speed limiter and parking assistant Park Assist.
Optional safety systems include Trailer Assist and the advanced main-beam control system Light Assist.
The Pick Up, which can be ordered as a single or double cab variant, is the workhorse of the Commercial Vehicles range. The Pick Up is available only 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 the double cab there is storage space under the rear bench seat.
The Transporter Panel Van 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 1 700 mm and maximum load height of 1 410 mm, the Panel Van is designed to make work easier. All Panel Van derivatives provide a spacious load compartment with volume of 6,7 sqm.
The biggest difference between the Crew Bus and the Panel Van is the Crew Bus has a single front passenger seat as well as removable rear seating for a further three passengers, whereas the Panel Van only has seats for the driver and front passenger.
The Transporter Crew Bus offers three options of engines in addition to the choice of wheelbases.
Access to the rear passenger area is through a double near-side glazed sliding door, while at the rear there is a glazed tailgate with heated window and wash-wiper and it can be transformed in seconds from a comfortable five, six, eight or 10-seater, into a spacious delivery van.
The T6.1 Kombi, the best-seller in the range, is being offered in two model lines: the Trendline and the top-of-the-range Trendline Plus. The Kombi’s interior trim is in Titanium Black in all model lines, as are the seat covers in the standard version.
The T6.1 Caravelle Highline leaves the factory in the German city of Hannover with a chrome-look trim (in the air vents, the spokes of the multi-function steering wheel and as edging around the gear lever), black sun visors, decorative strips in the Pewter Wave Grey pattern (instrument panel and door panels) and leather seats in Nappa leather.
Standard features of the Highline include; 17-inch Woodstock black diamond-turned alloy wheels, electrically adjustable, heated and folding exterior mirrors, digital cockpit, ‘Discover Pro’ with 10,25-inch touch screen, Wireless App-Connect and USB, Crosswind Assist, Side Assist (blind spot monitoring), centre table and Trailer Assist with Park Distance Control in front and rear and a rear view camera.
Optional features include the cooler box with additional battery and Adaptive Chassis Control.
More than 18 000 California’s are sold internationally each year, thus making the California the number 1 camper van. Both a camper and a van, it is ideal for big trips and daily journeys. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has further refined the top seller; the living and sleeping areas of the camper van have been carefully enhanced and optimised.
The T6.1 range will launch with three 2,0-litre turbo diesel (TDI) engines with common rail injection that are both economical and sustainable. The four-cylinder engines deliver between 81 kW and 146 kW of power.
The 2.0 TDI develops a power output of 81 kW. The maximum torque of 250 Nm is already available at the very low engine speed of 1 250 r/min. It is fitted with a 5-speed manual gearbox and has a fuel consumption 7,9 l/100 km in the Pick Up Single Cab and Double Cab, 7,5 l/100 km in the Panel Van and 7,3 l/100 km in the Crew Bus and Kombi.
With a power output of 110 kW (as of 3 250 r/min to 3 750 r/min) the front-wheel drive T6.1 with a 7-speed gearbox reaches an impressive top speed of 172 km/h. Mmaximum torque of 340 Nm is consistently available between 1 500 r/min and 3 000 r/min. In the Pick Up Single Cab, Panel Van, Crew Bus and Kombi, the powerful engine consumes 8,3 l/100 km.
The model with the top engine specification is powered by a 146 kW twin turbo engine, which is supplied as standard in combination with 7-speed DSG. The TDI delivers its highest power output between
3 800 r/min and 4 000 r/min. The engine develops its maximum torque of 450 Nm between 1 400 r/min and 2 400 r/min. The derivatives that are offered with this engine are the Pick Up Double Cab, Crew Bus, Kombi, Caravelle as well as the California Coast.
The Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Pick Up, Panel Van and Crew Bus range comes standard with a 3-year/60 000 km Easy Drive Service Plan, 2-year/unlimited km manufacturer warranty. The Kombi, Caravelle and California range comes standard with a 5-year/ 60 000 km maintenance plan and a 3-year/ 120 000 km manufacturer warranty. The entire T6.1 range comes standard with a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty. The service interval is 15 000 km.