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New Volkswagen Transporter and eTransporter get big screens and a bigger load space

The next-generation VW Transporter van will be unveiled in September, and is expected to use the platform from the new Ford Transit Custom

The next-generation Volkswagen Transporter van isn’t being unveiled until September and won’t arrive with customers until sometime in 2025. But while the styling remains under wraps, it seems that VW is happy to reveal almost every other detail about its new medium panel van

The latest titbits relate to the interior and load bay. The new Transporter will feature a very tech-centric design for a van, with a 12-inch Digital Cockpit instrument panel and 13-inch central touchscreen standard on all models. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity are thrown-in too, while safety systems on offer include lane-keeping assist, autonomous emergency braking and traffic sign recognition. 

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A wireless charging pad for the cabin’s storage tray will also be offered, while the up to seven USB-C, USB-A and 12-volt sockets in the new Transporter will leave you with no excuses if your phone runs out of battery. More power will be available through a 400-watt (230-volt) power hub that can power larger electrical devices, but an inverter with an output of 2.3kW is being reserved for plug-in hybrid and all-electric models – more on those shortly.

The new Transporter will be available as a panel van in two different body lengths and heights, a Kombi with two rows of seating and a ‘dropside’ double cab – also with six seats. The standard Transporter will measure 5,050mm long – 146mm longer than its predecessor – while the wheelbase has been stretched by 97mm to 3,100mm. Longer wheelbase models grow even further, measuring 5,450mm from nose to tail. The new Transporter is also 128mm wider than its predecessor.

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VW says this growth spurt has helped increase space for both passengers and cargo, with the standard Transporter panel van set to offer 5.8 cubic metres of load space, plus there’s 1,392mm of room between the wheelarches in this new generation – an increase of 148mm.

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For maximum load space, VW says the new Transporter with the longer wheelbase and high roof can accommodate up to 9 cubic metres of cargo, and boasts a maximum load length of just over three metres. Payload for the diesel-powered models has risen from 1.2 to 1.33 tonnes, while the maximum towing capacity now stands at 2.8 tonnes. 

Due to the heavy camouflage worn by the van in the pictures so far released, it’s hard to pick out many visual details, but we can see that the T7 Transporter will feature a large Volkswagen badge on its nose, a rather happy, smiling grille design, relatively small LED headlight units and a simply enormous windscreen that will help with visibility. It also appears to be riding on some quite funky wheels, similar to those found on the all-electric VW ID. Buzz Cargo van. 

Engines and all-electric Volkswagen eTransporter

The new Transporter’s wide array of powertrains will kick off with a diesel engine producing either 109bhp, 147bhp or 168bhp, with all-wheel drive to be offered on the two more powerful variants. Next will be a plug-in hybrid model, the Transporter eHybrid, with 229bhp on tap. 

Finally, sitting at the top of the range, will be the fully electric eTransporter. Four versions will be available, with the entry-level eTransporter using a 54kWh battery and producing 114bhp. The other three models will feature a larger 83kWh battery, with power outputs of 134bhp, 215bhp and 282bhp to be offered. All four will use a single electric motor to drive the rear wheels, but a dual-motor, all-wheel drive version has been hinted at. 

No range figures have been revealed, but the new Volkswagen Transporter is expected to use the same platform as the latest Ford Transit Custom, thanks to an alliance between VW and Ford that started in 2019. This partnership has already borne fruit in the firms’ commercial vehicle ranges, as the new Ford Ranger pick-up truck served as the base for the second-generation Volkswagen Amarok, while (badges aside) the VW Caddy and Ford Tourneo Connect are essentially the same van.

Therefore, the plug-in hybrid Transporter eHybrid should offer a pure-electric driving range of around 30 miles – the same as the new Transit Custom PHEV. Meanwhile, the eTransporter should be able to cover over 230 miles on a single charge based on the figures for the new Ford E-Transit Custom. 

Van drivers will be interested to know that the new Transporter will not serve as the base for the next-generation Volkswagen California campervan that’s arriving in 2024. That role is going to the T7 Multivan MPV, as was previewed earlier this year by the aptly named ‘California Concept’.

Can't wait for the new Transporter? Read our review of the Ford Transit Custom...

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News reporter

As our news reporter, Ellis is responsible for covering everything new and exciting in the motoring world, from quirky quadricycles to luxury MPVs. He was previously the content editor for DrivingElectric and won the Newspress Automotive Journalist Rising Star award in 2022.

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