Volkswagen is ready to catch up with more popular brands in the LCV market with the introduction of the new generation Crafter. The all new generation has been redeveloped from the ground up with electromechanical steering, engines, loading and equipment.
The Crafter makes good use of the design structure of its “smaller sibling”, the sixth generation transporter offers the greatest possible payload, an ideal cargo volume of up to 18.4 m3 and a maximum cargo space height of 2,196 mm.
An extremely wide range of derivatives is offered for the new Crafter, including high tonnage versions. As a panel van and Kombi, the new Crafter is available in various lengths (5986 mm, 6836 mm or, for the panel van, 7391 mm as well) and heights (2355 mm, 2590 mm or, for the panel van, 2798 mm as well). On top of that come open variants as single or double cab versions with varying lengths and with or without superstructure solutions, e.g. as a pick-up, with a van body or a tip-up mechanism.
In the front-wheel drive version, it offers a maximum cargo capacity of 18.4 m3 with a permissible gross weight of 3.0 – 4.0 t. The cargo width between wheel arches of 1,380 mm and a maximum cargo compartment length of 4,855 mm give it the best package dimensions of its vehicle class. Loading the new Crafter is made through the 1,311 mm opening of the sliding door, a minimal sill height of 570 mm on the front-wheel drive versions and optional 270° opening of the rear doors. The new Crafter offers an ingenious solution for securing loads: the cargo can be secured “from all sides” in the most literal meaning of the words. Anchor tracks in the form of patented airline profiles are integrated on the sidewalls, the partition wall, in the roof and in the floor.
The chassis, which has been redeveloped from the ground up and tuned in detail, has a comfortable McPherson front suspension and five different variants of a rigid rear axle, and parabolic springs that are progressive springs in some derivatives. The electromechanical steering is provides for excellent handling, optimised manoeuvrability and safe driving properties in all load states. This improved steering precision and fine response also leads to a significant reduction in CO2 emissions due to adaptive energy consumption.
Pre-sales of the new Crafter begin in November 2016. UK launch is expected in Spring 2017.
From around mid-2017, the powertrains on offer will be supplemented by the 4MOTION all-wheel drive system with a transversely mounted engine and the rear-wheel drive system with a longitudinally mounted engine.