Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has revealed the all-new Multivan, featuring a fresh design, more flexible interior, improved connectivity, and, for the first time, a plug-in hybrid option. The Multivan has been given a new name in the UK to reflect the complete overhaul of its predecessor while still providing the same versatility to the Caravelle’s loyal fan base. No longer built on the Transporter platform, the all-new model will be based on the Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform. The Volkswagen Multivan has an all-new exterior design that pays homage to the DNA of its predecessors, dating back to the 1985 Transporter T3, with a horizontal design line and full-width grille and headlights, to give it a modern and dynamic look. The A-pillars have been remodelled to improve visibility, while unique front and rear light signatures give it a fresh look. The front air intakes, painted in the same colour as the vehicle, have been reduced, paying tribute to the heritage of the rear air-cooled engines of the first three generations while showcasing the future of the hybrid powertrain. The VW Multivan is the replacement for the current Volkswagen Caravelle, providing customers with up to seven seats and the perfect combination of practicality, comfort, and safety for whatever their needs: from chauffeuring to the daily school run to holiday adventures.
Inside, the new Volkswagen Multivan is more flexible and spacious than ever, with a new modular, lightweight seating system and innovative table. With space for up to seven seats, the rear five seats, which are up to 25 per cent lighter, can be moved and removed to suit, while the second row can be moved 180-degrees to create a conference style seating configuration. The full-width bench seat for the third row has been replaced by individual seats to allow single seats to be removed for complete flexibility. An innovative multi-function table has been designed for the new Multivan. Using the central track, it can be moved between any of the seating rows, and for the first time can be used as a centre console between the front seats. The table, which is completely removable, features adjustable height, three cup holders, and a storage bin. Enabling the flexible seating and table track system is the completely flat floor from front to rear seats with no centre console, made possible by the removal of the traditional handbrake. Instead, the parking brake is activated electronically by button, or automatically. The new Multivan is offered only with an automatic DSG gearbox controlled via shift-by-wire technology, meaning the gearstick has been removed to further increase occupant space, with controls ergonomically integrated into the instrument panel.
The Volkswagen Multivan measures 1,941mm wide, 4,973mm long, up to 1,903mm high, and with a wheelbase of 3,124mm. A longer version, measuring 5,173mm is also available. In base version the Volkswagen Multivan offers 469 litres of luggage space behind the third row of seats, extending to 1,844 litres (1,850 litres with panoramic glass roof) behind the second row. Overall, it means the new generation has a longer wheelbase and wider, lower profile, all designed to improve aerodynamics, lower fuel consumption and increase range. The model is available with wheels up to 19″, and in three specifications: “Multivan”, “Life”, and “Style”. Optional is a panoramic glass roof, with LowE laminated safety glass to reduce incoming thermal radiation by 44 per cent, as well as an electrically-operated rear hatch and power sliding doors, which can be operated via gesture control for ease of entry. The VW Multivan is fitted with LED headlights as standard but can be upgraded to interactive IQ.LIGHT – LED matrix headlights, which offer a permanent full beam, without blinding oncoming drivers and dynamic cornering to provide precise illumination during bends. The IQ.LIGHT system also features an illuminated LED lateral bar in the radiator grille as a further element of the daytime running lights.
The front-wheel drive Volkswagen Multivan is also available with two four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engines: a 1.5 TSI 136 PS and a 2.0 TSI 204 PS. A four-cylinder turbo diesel, with a power output of 150 PS, will join next year. All of these are twinned with a seven-speed DSG gearbox as standard. Based on the Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform, the new Multivan, which has a towing capacity of up to 2,000kg, is available with three powertrains, including for the first time in a Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles model, a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) option. The new VW Multivan eHybrid combines a 1.4 TSI 150 PS engine with an 85kW electric motor to produce a combined power output of 160kW / 218 PS, providing silent, zero-emission driving when in electric only mode for short, urban trips while giving customers flexibility to enjoy longer journeys. The eHybrid uses a bespoke six-speed DSG gearbox. The 13kWh lithium-ion battery is housed under the Volkswagen Multivan’s flat floor, saving interior space and lowering the vehicle’s centre of gravity to improve handling. The charging point is located on the right-hand side of the front wing.
The Volkswagen Multivan also debuts IQ.DRIVE Travel Assist, which allows semi-autonomous driving by combining the predictive Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Assist to make long-distance journeys safer and easier. The VW Multivan features more than 34 driver assist systems enhancing safety, comfort, and convenience. Standard is the Front Assist area monitoring system, which includes City Emergency Braking, Dynamic Road Sign Display, and the Lane Assist system. Other new systems include Car2X – allowing local communication with other vehicles and the highways infrastructure in order to provide warnings of any danger, side protection, cross wind assist, turn-off assist, which warns of any oncoming traffic when turning across a carriageway, and an exit warning system, which warns when opening a door of any bicycles or vehicles approaching from behind. Also available on the new Multivan is Area View, a real 360-degree representation of the vehicle using four cameras, visible on the 10-inch infotainment display, to making parking and manoeuvring as safe and easy as possible.
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