We’ve spied the upcoming next-generation Volkswagen Transporter T7 in its production panelling, ahead of the van’s scheduled launch next year
Our spy photographers have snapped the new Volkswagen Transporter T7 completely uncamouflaged, giving us our best look yet at the new van’s styling. The next-generation model will go on sale next year, in both panel van and people carrier body styles, providing fresh competition for the Ford Transit, Mercedes Sprinter and Vauxhall Vivaro.
The Transporter T7’s styling is an evolution of the outgoing model, albeit with a few design touches lifted from Volkswagen’s latest range of passenger cars. Major changes over the previous model include slightly more rounded corners, a wider glasshouse and a slightly lower window line – but it’s basic shape isn’t too far removed from the T6.
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Volkswagen has given the van’s front end styling a tweak, though, pulling its design into step with its current range of hatchbacks and SUVs. So, the winged LED headlamps, bumper contours and radiator grille mimic that of the Mk8 Golf, while the van’s front quarter light is similar to the same window used on the pure-electric ID.3.
Inside, we expect the Transporter T7 will feature a similar range of technology upgrades to the Mk8 Golf, with the range topping model receiving a digital instrument cluster and a fresh 10-inch infotainment system – along with the usual driver assistance technology, such as lane-keeping assist, cruise control and a blind-spot monitoring system.
Our previous spy shots hinted that the next-generation Transporter will also gain a new plug-in hybrid powertrain. The main giveaway was an extra filler door on the van’s front right quarter panel, in addition to the usual fuel filler door at the rear, which hides the system’s charging socket.
The images also offered further substance to the rumours that the new Transporter will make the shift to Volkswagen’s MQB underpinnings. All of the company’s current PHEV models are based on this platform – and Volkswagen is unlikely to develop an all-new chassis to house the technology in the Transporter, due to the high development costs involved.
As such, the new plug-in hybrid Transporter should feature the same powertrain as the Mk8 Golf PHEV. That powertrain comprises a turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and a 113bhp electric motor, for a maximum combined output of 242bhp and 400Nm of torque.
The rest of the Transporter’s engine range will be made up of the Volkswagen Group’s familiar range of turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engines, which are used in cars such as the Tiguan and SEAT Ateca SUVs. Like the T6.1, this new model should be offered with either front- or four-wheel drive, too.
The previous-generation Transporter T6.1 was also available with an all-electric powertrain, which was developed collaboratively with the German tuning company, ABT. The system comprises a 109bhp electric motor and a 37.3kWh battery pack, offering a claimed range of 83 miles. As such, an all-electric version of the new T7 is a probability in the van’s lifetime.
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