Following its reveal at the IAA Commercial Vehicle show in Hannover Germany, in August, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has divulged further specifications of its all-new and bigger Crafter range which launches locally sometime in 2017 (Volkswagen Group Australia hasn’t finalised details as yet).
With 69 variants covering four base models in three lengths and three heights, single-cab or double-cab, van or pickup, front-drive, rear-wheel-drive or 4MOTION all-wheel-drive it’s clear Volkswagen is determined to maintain its global strength in commercial vehicles.
Sharing some design cues from the smaller Volkswagen Transporter van, the all-new Crafter in van form delivers a cargo height of up to 2.7-metres and a cargo length up to 7.3-metres.
In front-wheel-drive, the all-new Volkswagen Crafter offers a cargo capacity up to 18.4 cubic-metres and a permissible gross weight of up to 4.0-tonnes (German regulations).
Loading should be straight-forward with the van version offering a 1.3-metre sliding side door and a sill height (front-wheel-drive model) of just 57cms. An optional rear door configuration provides a 270-degree opening.
Power comes from a range of Volkswagen MDB (Modular Diesel Platform) EU6-compliant 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engines (recalibrated for the all-new Crafter and with auto start-stop to deliver 15 per-cent better fuel economy) offering 75kW, 103kW or a BiTurbo version with 130kW on-tap.
Underneath is an all-new chassis which for the first time in this segment includes electromechanical power steering. At the front is a MacPherson strut suspension layout while the rear comes with a choice of five different rigid rear axles, some with progressive parabolic springs.
Inside, a comfortable driving environment can be catered with three versions of an ergonomic compression seat on the options list including adjustable lumbar support and a massage function.
Remote central locking and storage for a mobile phone, laptop and tablet are some of the features working operators will appreciate.
While local specifications are still being negotiated with head office in Hannover, European versions of the all-new Crafter come standard with Volkswagen’s Post-Collision Braking System, active lane-keeping, automated parking, Side Wind Assist and Trailer Assist (eases trailer maneuvering).
On the options list are adaptive cruise control including ‘Follow To Stop’, reversing camera, rear traffic alert and unique side protection using special sensors (very handy in tight CBD carparks).
In Europe, Volkswagen also offers the all-new Crafter with a universal cargo floor including shelving mounts so you can simply transfer your current cargo area fitout to the new model.
Other clever options for commercial and motor home operators include a second compressor for refrigerated vans, four variants of a second battery, a second air-conditioner and - for cold climates - a second heat exchanger providing a fuel-operated auxiliary heating system.