Volkswagen at Britain's CV Show
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25th April, 2006
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles achieved its sixth consecutive year of growth in 2005 with a record of 23,065 registrations in the UK. This represents an increase of 11 per cent on the previous year’s figure and early indications suggest this success looks set to continue in 2006.
A key factor in Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ success has been the renewal of its van range, which will be completed with the arrival of the Crafter. Replacing the LT, the Volkswagen Crafter is making its World public debut at the CV Show and will be taking centre stage on the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’s stand.
Dr Bernd Wiedemann, Chairman of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brand, will officially launch the vehicle with a short speech on the Volkswagen stand on the opening day of the show.
Alongside the Crafter will be the Caddy and Transporter. Both vans have been a commercial success with sales increases of 26 per cent and ten per cent respectively in 2005. Last year also saw Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles launch the Caddy with a DSG automatic gearbox, the first time this revolutionary transmission has been used in the van sector. The Transporter Sportline will also be on display at the CV show, demonstrating that vans can be distinctively styled and fun to drive.
Following two generations of LT – the first of which came into being 31 years ago – the Crafter will go on sale in the UK in September 2006 and in Australia during the first quarter of 2007.
The largest van in the range, the Crafter is designed and built to meet the ever-increasing demands of a modern load carrier. It comes with a choice of four five-cylinder engines. Each offers the twin benefits of fuel efficiency and low emissions. A six-speed manual gearbox is fitted as standard, although an automated manual transmission will be optional.
Just as the Transporter brought car-like standards of ride, noise levels and refinement to the van market, the Crafter also moves the benchmark upwards for larger vans.
The spacious cabin is ergonomically designed for comfortable and safe driving. Features include a dash-mounted gear lever, excellent storage space and a driver’s airbag fitted as standard.
The three wheelbases, four load compartment lengths and three roof heights highlight the Crafter’s versatility, which is further enhanced by its availability as a panel van, chassis cab and double cab van. The Crafter has a maximum load capacity of 17 cubic metres, allowing the five tonne panel van to carry a weight of approximately 2,670 kg.
Visually more striking than its predecessor with strong lines, vertical clear glass headlights and robust side protection strips, the Crafter has a distinctive appearance and strong road presence.
At the show
There will be five left hand drive Crafters on the Volkswagen stand at the show, with a variety of wheelbases and bodies including a 5.0 tonne 136 PS ShiftMatic panel van with super high roof; a long wheelbase window van 3.5 tonne 136 PS with high roof; and a 3.5 tonne long wheelbase 136 PS double cab van.
The award-winning Transporter continues to be Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ biggest selling van with over 12,700 UK registrations in 2005. Combining Volkswagen’s legendary qualities of reliability, economy and efficiency with all-round versatility, the Transporter is proving the ideal vehicle for an increasing number of businesses.
Available as a panel van, window van, a passenger-carrying shuttle, chassis cab and double cab van, the Transporter is more than capable of meeting the challenges of modern businesses. Furthermore, there is a choice of two wheelbases, three roof heights and four gross vehicle weights ranging from 2.6 to 3.2 tonnes.
The Transporter’s power is provided by a range of economical diesel engines featuring Volkswagen’s award-winning ‘Pumpe Düse’ unit injector technology, while long service and maintenance intervals contribute to low whole-life costs.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has recently revealed a new addition to its UK Transporter line-up: the range-topping Sportline. With distinctive styling, and yet retaining all the practical qualities for which the Transporter is renowned, the Sportline demonstrates that vans needn’t be all work-horse and no play.
The Sportline is available with short and long wheelbase options, and with power provided by the most powerful diesel engine in the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles range. This advanced 2.5-litre five-cylinder TDI unit produces 174 PS and 400 Nm of torque from just 2,000 rpm.
On the outside, the Transporter distinguishes itself with a number of distinctive styling cues. At the front, you can’t help but notice the colour-coded front bumper and lower spoiler combined with chrome grilles. The polished theme continues with chrome side rails and body-coloured mirrors and door handles. At the rear is a roof level spoiler, colour-coded bumper and unique Sportline badging. Just three colour options are available: black, red and silver.
A sporting stance is achieved with a combination of Eibach suspension springs, which lower the Sportline by 30 mm compared with the standard Transporter. Imposing 18" ‘Borbet’ five-spoke alloy wheels and low profile tyres complete the look.
Inside, the Sportline is generously equipped with a height and reach adjustable steering wheel; comfort driver’s seat with armrest; electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors; electric windows; ABS; air conditioning; remote central locking; stereo with CD player; and special Sportline gearshift cap fitted as standard. Among the list of options and accessories are many items you would expect to see in a car, including a Golf GTI style leather interior. An iPod adaptor will also be offered later.
Available from early May in the UK, Sportline will appeal to user-chooser van operators, allowing them to select a more dynamic form of transport. The model is also expected to appeal to bikers, surfers, snow boarders and skiers who want to move their equipment in something a bit different from the usual run-of-the-mill van.
At the show
There will be five Transporters on display during the show including a T32 long wheelbase window van; a long wheelbase eight-seater Transporter shuttle; and a Transporter 4MOTION chassis cab.
The latest Volkswagen Caddy van went on sale in the UK in 2004. This vehicle built on the many virtues of the model it replaced, yet is a significantly different concept. Rather than being a car-based hi-cube van, the Caddy is a distinctive design in its own right with a ‘monobox’ appearance.
Compared with the model it replaced, the Caddy is bigger, offers more loadspace and higher payloads, has greater versatility, is equipped with more powerful and more fuel-efficient engines and features as standard many safety and luxury items which are far from commonplace in its market segment.
The Caddy is available with the choice of two sophisticated diesel engines, and since October 2005, with the option of Volkswagen’s revolutionary DSG automatic gearbox. This is the first time this technology has been seen in the commercial sector and demonstrates Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’s commitment to developing vans for the future.
Caddy van DSG
The Caddy van is now offered with the option of the Volkswagen Group’s revolutionary DSG gearbox. Available with the 1.9-litre TDI 104 PS engine, the semi-automatic DSG gearbox provides the best of both automatic and manual worlds with a super-quick and smooth gear change providing an economical or sporty drive, depending on the driver’s preference.
The DSG transmission operates with two automatic clutches – while one clutch is engaged, the second is poised, ready to accept the drive for the next gear. This unique twin-clutch design means gear changes are completed in under four hundredths of a second – in the blink of an eye. The driver can leave the transmission in ‘drive’ mode (similar to most automatic transmissions) or can elect to change gear manually, via the gear lever, pushing forwards to change up and pulling back to change down.
The clutches are wet clutches running in oil and using friction material similar to those found in a standard automatic transmission. Automated operation means they cannot be abused by the driver and are designed to last the life of the vehicle.
Using DSG technology, drivers can arrive at their destination less tired and more alert thanks to the absence of a manual clutch. Independent research has revealed some startling statistics around driving in central urban areas:
This research was carried out over a five hour period, between the hours of 11:00 and 16:00 in central London. However, it is likely that these figures are replicated every day within town centres all over the UK.
The availability of DSG on a commercial vehicle offers van operators the flexibility and options they need to choose the right tools for their trade and environment. Combining economy and a significant reduction in the driver’s workload, the DSG transmission and its multiple functions are ideally suited to use in the Caddy.
At the show
Two Caddy vans will be on the stand at the show: one 1.9-litre SDI and one 1.9-litre TDI with DSG.
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