New VW Transporter available with up to 286hp

Pre-sales of the next-generation model have already kicked off in Germany

By PH Staff / Thursday, 14 December 2023 / Loading comments

We’re still some way away from being properly introduced to the new Transporter – the successors to the current Transporter 6.1 and Caravelle 6.1 aren’t expected to launch till 2025 – and yet it’s a measure of how crucial the next generation model is to Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles that in Germany customers will be able to pre-order one from today. ‘Early birds can benefit from a lower starting price’, its maker suggests, excitedly. 

That there will be many birds, both early and late, is a measure of the Transporter’s success – not least its capacity for generating a sizeable cult following. The new model is doubly important because it really is all-new: underneath it will get a platform co-developed with Ford to offer not only more load capacity and a higher payload, but also the option of diesel, plug-in hybrid and electric powertrains for the first time. 

Additionally, Volkswagen says that the decision not to use the Transporter as a basis for ‘purely privately used vehicles and recreational vehicles’ – i.e. the new California – has helped to maximise its capabilities as a commercial vehicle. The latest model will be longer, wider and with a wheelbase increased by 97mm over the outgoing version, allowing for more cargo (up to 1.3 tonnes on the standard TDI) and additional space for occupants. 

It will be available in a wide range of body styles, including as a panel van, panel van Plus (i.e. with a second row of seats), a Kombi and a double cab. There will also be a new Caravelle, although not till a later date. Some variants can be optioned with a higher roof and extended wheelbase, and all will come as standard with a new digital cockpit that features a 13-inch infotainment touchscreen alongside a 12-inch instrument cluster display. 

The pre-sales of the Transporter will kick off with the diesel variants, available in 110hp, 150hp and 170hp outputs. All are front-drive as standard, though the more powerful versions offer all-wheel drive as an option. VW says these will be followed by an as yet unspecified plug-in hybrid system with an outright output of 233hp, as well as four derivatives of the all-electric eTransporter with 116hp, 136hp, 218hp and what sounds like a decidedly punchy 286hp. 

Aside from the base model – which must make do with a 54kWh battery – all will come with an 83kWh battery. No word on range just yet, but VW says that every eTransporter will be rear-drive from launch (with a 4Motion option planned for a later date). No word on UK availability either, but expect to hear a good deal more about the incoming Transporter in the new year. If you’d like a hint on pricing, Germany’s so-called ‘early birds’ will benefit from a starting price of 36,780 euros (around £32k) for a standard entry-level diesel model. 

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