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First look: VW Transporter to get hi-tech diesels, DSG

New power: Volkswagen's Caravelle people-mover and its cargo-carrying sister, the Transporter, are to get new diesel engines.

Upgraded VW Transporter and Caravelle emerge ahead of Frankfurt show debut

20 Aug 2009

VOLKSWAGEN has revealed the first official details of its upgraded T5 Transporter van and cab-chassis light commercials and the related Caravelle people-mover ahead of their official debut at the Frankfurt motor show next month and an Australian arrival in the first quarter of 2010.

Volkswagen’s best-selling model worldwide, and a significant contributor to its Australian sales success, the facelifted Transporter has, as expected, heralded a new range of common-rail turbo-diesel engines and other significant improvements in areas such as cabin comfort and refinement.

Also now powering the Caravelle, the new engine line-up is based around a 2.0-litre four-cylinder TDI now with common rail injection that sees fuel consumption and emissions fall 10 per cent on average. Economy improves by up to 1.9L/100km and CO2 emissions drop by 52g/km.

Four engine outputs will be offered in Europe – 62kW220Nm, 75kW/250Nm, 103kW/340Nm and 132kW/400Nm – with the 103kW version boosted by a turbocharger with variable turbine geometry and the range-topping 132kW engine featuring twin turbochargers. All engines meet the Euro V emissions standard, have a particulate filter and will be available with VW’s dual-clutch seven-speed DSG automatic transmission, the latter being a first for this class of vehicle.

VW’s 4Motion 4WD (with fourth-generation Haldex coupling) will continue to be offered as an option, both in manual and DSG diesels, while the 85kW/170Nm 2.0-litre petrol engine from the current range carries over – and also now complies with the Euro V standard.

3 center imageVolkswagen Group Australia this week confirmed that the facelifted Transporter and Caravelle will be launched here early next year, but told GoAuto that the model line-up was still to be determined.

The current Australian Transporter range is offered with the 2.0-litre petrol and either a 62kW/200Nm or 75kW/250Nm 1.9-litre four-cylinder TDI engine restricted to a five-speed manual driving the front wheels. It also offers a 128kW/400Nm 2.5-litre five-cylinder TDI with a six-speed manual or six-speed Tiptronic automatic, and with the option of 4Motion 4WD.

The Caravelle uses two versions of the 2.5: the 128kW (also with a 4Motion option) and a lower-output 96kW/340Nm variant restricted to front-wheel drive.

Other technical improvements in the 2010 Transporter/Caravelle range include the standard fitment of an optimum gearshift indicator, hill-start assist, revised ESP stability control, and emergency brake lights. New optional features include VW’s ‘Side Assist’ lane-change warning system, a reversing camera and tyre-pressure monitoring.

Cabin features include a redesigned instrument cluster, updated stereo and navigation systems, improved USB interface to connect external devices, a three-spoke steering wheel, and revised switchgear for the climate-control air-conditioning.

Side and curtain bags are now available for the driver and front passenger, depending on the variant, while a new double front passenger bench seat (with integrated folding storage compartment) has also been designed for the new series.

The additional airbags could see the crash-test rating of the Transporter and Caravelle rise from four stars to five (out of five) under the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), an accolade the Mercedes-Benz Vito and Viano achieved earlier this week.

The exterior includes a revised front grille and headlight design more in line with Volkswagen’s passenger cars, as well as more aerodynamic door mirrors and new wheel and tyre combinations.

Volkswagen has racked up more than a million sales of its current-generation Transporter since its 2003 introduction, and more than 10 million since production started in March 1950.

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