By Khulekani Dumisa
The Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles T-Series range has been refreshed. The facelifted Transporter range consists of the Pick Up (Single and Double cab), Panel Van, Crew Bus, Kombi, Caravelle and California. In South Africa, 10 097 units of the T6 range have been sold since its launch in 2015.
The refreshed looks make the range appear more assertive. Noticeably, the radiator grille is significantly larger and forms a single stylistic unit with the new numbers which it is drawn out into. All elements below the bonnet, like 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. On the higher specification models, a chrome strip is added to the numbers.
Six newly designed wheels, six new exterior colours and seven newly combined two-tone paintwork finishes are also part of the new exterior updates to the range.
VW has sought to improve practicality and digitisation in the new interior. The panel in front of the driver has been equipped with an additional shelf. 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.
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. At the same time, the electro-mechanical power steering is being used for the first time in the T6.1 and brings more benefits than the hydraulic steering wheel that it replaces like reduced fuel consumption.
The VW digital cockpit will make its debut in the range. Additionally, 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.
A 10.25-inch digital cockpit in the T6.1 is fitted as standard in the Caravelle Highline and California. VW says the graphics of the high-contrast display have a clear, high-quality look. The driver can also choose between different screen configurations which is done via the ‘View’ button on the multifunction steering wheel.
The following driver assistance systems are available in the T6.1: Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Automatic Post-Collision Braking (also standard), Hill Start Assist, Hill Descent Assist (for 4MOTION all-wheel drive), the Tyre Pressure Loss Indicator, lane change assistant Lane Assist, cruise control system with of speed limiter and Park Assist. Optional safety systems include Trailer Assist and the advanced main-beam control system Light Assist.
VW SA says 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, there is a choice of short and long wheelbases.
The T6.1 range will launch with three 2.0-litre turbo diesel (TDI) engines with common rail injection. The four-cylinder engines deliver between 81kW and 146kW of power. The 2.0 TDI develops a power output of 81kW and 250 Nm. 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.
Above that is a 2.0-litre TDI delivering 110kW of power and 340 Nm of torque. It is paired with a 7-speed gearbox reaches a top speed of 172 km/h. In the Pick Up Single Cab, Panel Van, Crew Bus and Kombi, this engine consumes between 8.0 – 8.3 l/100 km.
At the top of the engine rage is 2.0-litre BiTDI delivering 146 kW of power and 450 Nm of torque. It is paired with a 7-speed DSG transmission and can reach a top speed of up to 191 km/h. 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 refreshed T6.1 range is priced as follows:
T6.1 Pick Up
Single Cab 2.0 TDI 81kW LWB R412,800
Single Cab 2.0 TDI 110kW 4MOTION DSG LWB R466,100
Double Cab 2.0 TDI 81kW LWB R485,300
Double Cab 2.0 BiTDI 146kW 4MOTION DSG LWB R590,800
T6.1 Panel Van
2.0 TDI 81kW LWB R530,600
2.0 TDI 110kW DSG LWB R568,700
T6.1 Crew Bus
2.0 TDI 81kW LWB (10-seater) R612,000
2.0 TDI 110kW 4MOTION DSG LWB (5-seater) R639,000
2.0 BiTDI 146kW 4MOTION DSG (5-seater) R710,500
2.0 BiTDI 146kW 4MOTION DSG LWB (8-seater) R752,700
2.0 TDI 81kW Trendline R697,700
2.0 TDI 110kW DSG Trendline R726,000
2.0 BiTDI 146kW 4MOTION DSG Trendline Plus R871,800
Highline 2.0 BiTDI 146kW 4MOTION DSG R1,149,400
California Coast 2.0 BiTDI 146kW 4MOTION DSG R1,196,500
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/60,000km maintenance plan and a 3-year/ 120 000km manufacturer warranty. The entire T6.1 range comes standard with a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty.
Pricing is correct as at the time of publication (26 August 2020).
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