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Crafter updates

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles will unveil an all-new Crafter heavy van range later this year, with the first vehicles arriving early in 2017. There is an obvious family resemblance with the smaller Transporter T6 range and drivers will find the interior a familiar place if they have driven any current VW car or van.

Following the split with the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter the all-new Crafter will, for the first time, be available with front, rear and all-wheel drive. There will be three wheelbases and three panel van roof heights on offer, along with single and double cab chassis models. Those chassis cabs can be ordered in three platform lengths. VW will also offer ready built Dropside, Tipper, Luton and Caged Tipper models, with further conversions expected.

All Crafters will be powered by VW’ s Euro 6 compliant 2.0-litre diesel engines, with both six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic transmissions available on all three drivelines. Front drive models will arrive first and be offered with 102hp, 140hp and 180hp. The 4Motion all-wheel drive vans, based on the front drive chassis, will get the 140hp and 180hp motors. Front and all-wheel drive vans will have maximum gross weights up to 4.0-tonnes.

Rear drive vans, which will arrive later next year, will be offered with 122hp, 140hp, 163hp and 180hp, using single or double rear wheels. Gross weights will extend to 5.5-tonnes for rear-driven vans and towing capacity has been increased to 3.5-tonnes.

Crafter will benefit from an array of electronic driver assistance systems from the firm’s cars and smaller commercials. This includes options such as park assist and lane keeping assist, along with side wind assist and sign assist. Also available will be emergency e-Call functions, rear traffic alert and blind spot detection, tyre pressure monitoring systems, adaptive cruise control (ACC) and automatic post-collision braking.

The big VW will be available with pre-installed mounting points for racking systems from Sortimo, Bott, Wurth, Aluca, module systems and Flexmo, allowing rapid installation for existing customers. Volkswagen has big plans for new Crafter, having captured only around 7% of the market in the UK at this size. That’s a market segment that has grown by 40% over the last four years, demonstrating the opportunity that should be available.

The van will be unveiled at the IAA commercial vehicle show in Hanover at the end of September, with orders being taken from November. Deliveries of front drive models will commence in the first quarter of 2017, with rear drive and automatic transmission models joining the line up in the second half of next year.

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Written by Alex Grant

Trained on Cardiff University’s renowned Postgraduate Diploma in Motor Magazine Journalism, Alex is an award-winning motoring journalist with ten years’ experience across B2B and consumer titles. A life-long car enthusiast with a fascination for new technology and future drivetrains, he joined Fleet World in April 2011, contributing across the magazine and website portfolio and editing the EV Fleet World Website.

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