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New models - Volkswagen - Crafter

Volkswagen's Crafter takes on a bigger load

Hauler: All-new Crafter comes in two wheelbases and three roof heights.

Forget the LT: Volkswagen's all-new Crafter light commercial range has hit Oz

Volkswagen logo16 Mar 2007

VOLKSWAGEN Australia has officially released its new Crafter large van and cab-chassis range, which replaces the long-running LT series.

Launched in Europe in April, the Crafter is being touted as a new chapter in the 32-year history of the LT (for ‘Lasten-Transporter’, which translates as ‘cargo transporter’).

Although the three turbo-diesel engines available in the Crafter are Volkswagen’s own, the vehicle was developed in conjunction with Mercedes-Benz and is built by M-B alongside the second-generation Sprinter that was also launched in Europe last year and is already on the market here.

VW introduced the original LT in 1975 and, after a midlife upgrade, the second-generation was launched in 1996.

Crafter is regarded as the third-generation LT and completes an overhaul of VW’s whole light commercial vehicle range, which also includes the Multivan, T5 Transporter and Caddy delivery van.

The all-new Crafter bears little resemblance to its predecessor and offers a variety of wheelbases, load compartment lengths and roof heights.

3 center imageThe all-new hi-tech 2.5-litre five-cylinder common-rail turbo-diesel engine comes in three specifications, delivering 80kW, 100kW or 120kW of power depending on the application.

It meets Euro4 emission standards and has been designed with long scheduled maintenance periods in mind, with up to 30,000km between oil changes.

The standard six-speed manual gearbox is operated by a joystick-style gear lever mounted on the dashboard. There is also an optional semi-auto six-speed “Shiftmatic” transmission on the 80kW and 100kW models.

Crafter is designed to supplement the T5 Transporter in higher weight categories. With 3.5 and 5.0-tonne gross weight, the basic models (known as the Crafter 35 and Crafter 50) cover a wide range of uses.

It comes in two wheelbases (3665 and 4325 mm) and – a new introduction – also comes as a panel van option with an extended overhang.

There is similar expansion in the range of roof options. As well as the normal roof and high roof, the panel van is comes with a new super-high roof, with a floor-to-ceiling height of 2.14 metres in the load compartment.

The volume of the load compartment now ranges from 9.0 to 17 cubic-metres, outstripping its biggest predecessor by up to 25 per cent.

Volkswagen boasts a car-like seating position and a more comfortable, roomy interior with full trim, comprehensive instrument panel, electric windows, clothes hooks, heaps of storage spaces and remote central locking.

All Crafter models come with standard electronic stability control system (ESP) with new functions such as load recognition.

Also standard throughout the range are ABS, electronic brake-force distribution and electronic differential lock.

The outside mirrors have a large main mirror and separate wide-angle viewer, the side turn signals are integrated into the mirror housings and heated rear windows are standard, though rear wiper/washers are optional.

In terms of safety, all seats have height-adjustable headrests and a three-point safety belt with a pre-tensioner, a driver airbag is standard and there are an optional passenger airbag and head- and side airbags.

There are 55 model variations in the range, priced from $40,600 for a Crafter 35 medium-wheelbase single cab chassis with 80kW through to $61,850 for a Crafter 50 long-wheelbase van with overhang and a 120kW engine.

Automatic transmission where available costs an extra $2300 while the options list runs to a total of 93 items.

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