- Broad range of engines, derivatives and transmissions offered
- Higher equipment levels across the new range
- Five or six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG transmissions
- Short and long-wheelbase derivatives available
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, from a simple single cab Pick Up to the range topper Caravelle. 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 range topper is the Caravelle which can seat seven people and incorporates 360° swivelling and folding seats on the first rear row and a newly designed three-seat bench at the rear.
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 edgesrun 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.
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 Caravelle is only offered with 132kW engine.
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. The Caravelle only comes with 7-speed DSG. Customers requiring the additional ability of four-wheel drive can opt for Volkswagen’s 4MOTION system.
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. The Kombi and Caravelle are also equipped with the Fatigue Detection system.
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. Meanwhile, private customers buying the Kombi and Caravelle models get additional standard features such as electrically adjustable side mirrors, body coloured bumpers and height adjustable driver seat. The Kombi and Caravelle derivatives have also been rationalised through Trendline, Comfortline and Highline equipment lines.
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 (standard on Caravelle) 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.
Front: There are some fine differences between Transporter (Pick Up, Panel Van and Crew Bus), Kombi and Caravelle, as well as individual bodywork and trim versions. The bumpers on the Transporter and Kombi Trendline are, for instance, made of dark grained plastic. On Kombi Comfortline and Caravelle they are painted in the vehicle body colour. The radiator grilles, however, are always black – matt or gloss and with one or three chrome-plated cross-bars, depending on the derivative. On the Caravelle Highline a fourth chrome strip in the bottom air inlet grille adds to the differentiation from the Caravelle Comfortline.
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. The newly developed LED headlights, which are standard on the Caravelle Highline, give the new generation an unmistakable outer appearance, even at night.
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.
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. Customers opting for the Caravelle benefit from a leather multi-function steering with controls for the infotainment and vehicle information system on the spokes.
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 heightas 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.
The Caravelle features a different specification of dashboard with a contrast colour central strip, piano black covers for the upper glovebox and gearshift surround as well as chrome surrounds for the air vents and infotainment panel. A lockable glove compartment and higher grade seat fabrics complete the Caravelle interior package.
One series, THREE models, numerous specifications – variability of the highest level
In South Africa, the T-Series especially the legendary Kombi and Caravelle has been the best-seller for the past six decades. Over 280 000 units have been sold in South Africa since the production of Type 2 started at the Volkswagen manufacturing factory in Uitenhage. The local production of the T-Series in Uitenhage ended in 2002 at the end of the lifecycle of the venerable T3. The T6 will now continue the heritage and sales success story of the T-Series model range in South Africa.
Thethree basic categories of the T5 continue with the commercial vehicles (Panel Van, Pick Up andCrew, Bus); passenger carriers designed for private use (Caravelle and Kombi) and the recreational vehicle (California Beach – available late in 2016). Along with the various engine combinations, the choice of short and long wheelbases offers flexibility and functionality.
Commercial vehicles: It is a long-standing tradition that the Transporter is available as a Panel Van, PickUp – 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’.
Passenger carriers: Similarly to the T5, theKombi is offered in two equipment lines, Trendline and Comfortline. For the first time, Caravelle will be available with two equipment lines, Comfortline and Highline. The Kombi is fitted with ‘Kutamo’ fabric seat covers (Trendline) and ‘Pandu’ fabric seat covers (Comfortline). In the Caravelle, the Nappa leather upholstery is standard and Alcantara leather is optional.