Volkswagen has pulled the covers off its sixth generation of Transporter van. Complete with new styling inside and out, along with a host of new safety features and a crop of new engine options, the T6 prepares for the 2016 model year.

Besides perhaps the Type 1 Beetle, the Transporter is Volkswagen’s most iconic family member. Originally getting its start back in 1950 as the Type 2, the Bus has done everything from deliver packages on local delivery routes to becoming a cultural icon during the 1960s Hippie movement.

Like the original Type 2 T1, the Transporter has continued offering multiple configurations, including a panel version with no side windows and the Kombi with side widows and a removable rear seat, used much like today’s SUVs with the ability to carry both passengers and cargo.

The sixth generation Transporter now carries the torch while also setting the bar much higher. And while it’s doubtful the T6 will lead any cultural movements, it’s nice to know the van’s lineage is full of history.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen T6.

  • 2016 Volkswagen T6
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Transmission:
    six-speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    150
  • Displacement:
    2.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    10.5 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    110 mph (Est.)
  • Layout:
    Front Engine; FWD, AWD
  • Price:
    23000 (Est.)
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

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2016 Volkswagen T6
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2016 Volkswagen T6 High Resolution Wallpaper quality
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Compare the new T6 to the original Type 2 and you’ll see nearly no family resemblance. However, compare the T6 to the outgoing T5 and even the T4, and the similarities start to emerge. The T6 unmistakably builds off VW’s current design language with its horizontal grille flowing into the jeweled headlights. Even the strong body line flowing rearwards from the headlights can be found on other current VW products.

As a whole, the van still maintains its quasi-forward-control design with the driver and front passenger hovering high over the front tires. Though offered in one wheelbase and body length, the T6 still comes with plenty of exterior options. Dual sliding doors can be ordered, along with the full window package. Wheels range from steelies to classy dual-spoke alloys.

Perhaps the most desirable version is VW’s limited edition “Generation SIX” package. It’s based off the Multivan “Comfortline” trim level and offers a throw-back, two-tone paintjob with retro-styled 18-inch wheels. The interior is covered in suede-like material and comes packing all the available safety options.

Interior

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Volkswagen has certainly spread its VW design love within the T6. It’s dashboard, steering wheels, switchgear, and shifter look as if they were lifted out of a Jetta. Undoubtedly, fit and finish will be on par with the VW lineup and offer the same smooth feel on high-traffic touch points.

The T6 is offered in four variations that include the base commercial van, the Caravelle, the Kombi, and the Shuttle. For those unfamiliar, the Caravelle model features two rows of rear seats with the middle row facing rearward. The Kombi offers the middle row of seating, but with a cargo hold in place of the third row. The Shuttle version includes all three rows, with each facing forward.

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Though the majority of T6 vans will pull working duty as commercial vehicles, VW added plenty of new tech, including a motion-based infotainment system that automatically switches from display mode to input mode when either the driver or passenger put their hand in proximity of the 6.3-inch screen. Niceties such as automatic climate control, power-operated rear doors, a heated windshield, and a speaker system that allows the driver to easily speak to the rear passengers are optional.

Safety features abound as well, and include Adaptive Cruise Control with VW’s City Emergency Braking function. The new function acts automatically to warn and then proactively slow the van down to avoid a crash when under 30 mph. VW’s Driver Alert System monitors the driver’s behavior, and if it detects the driver is drowsy, alters the driver that a break is needed.

Drivetrain

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Volkswagen is technically offering two engine options: a 2.0-liter gasoline engine and a 2.0-liter TDI, however each engine is available in multiple horsepower outputs. The TDI offers four options ranging from 84 horsepower up to 204 horsepower. The engines are based on a separate architecture from the ones found elsewhere in VW’s lineup and are codenamed “EA288 Nutz.” Two choices are offered with the gasoline engine – a 150 horsepower version and one with 204 horsepower. Yes, both the diesel and gas engines top out at 204 horses. There’s no official word on torque ratings for either powertrain at this point.

VW says fuel consumption is reduced by 15 percents across the board.

The new T6 also incorporates some nifty, high-tech features including the new Adaptive Chassis Control. The system offers three ride settings that include comfort, normal, and sort. The adjustable shock absorbers adapt to the different settings, allowing the driver to customize the driving experience.

The van is also available with VW’s 4MOTION AWD system. It includes Hill Descent Assist, a program that controls braking on individual wheels to keep the van’s speed in check. The system also helps with towing. The trailer stabilization function uses the bakes and electronic stability control to keep the trailer from swaying and possibly causing the van to crash.

Prices

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There’s no word on pricing at this point, but figure VW will keep the T6’s price close to the outgoing T5. Starting prices there begin at €23,035, or roughly $24,828 as of April 2015.

Competition

Mercedes Vito/Metris

2016 Mercedes-Benz Metris High Resolution Exterior
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Mercedes’ competitor to the T6, the Metris – or for the majority of the world, the Vito – is also revised for 2016. The van packs a punch, competing with the T6 on all levels, from the base cargo hauler to the swanky passenger version. Unlike the T6, however, the Mercedes only offers one engine option. The 2.0-liter gasoline four-cylinder is turbocharged and makes 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Prices start at $28,950 for the cargo version and $32,500 for the passenger variant.
Read our full review here

Ram ProMaster City

2015 Ram ProMaster City High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Also hailing from Europe and available on U.S. shores (unlike the T6), is the Ram ProMaster City. The rebadged Fiat Doblo offers similar accommodations as its competition, including the base cargo version and the higher-spec passenger van. The Ram comes powered by the 2.4-liter Tigershark four-cylinder making 178 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. Prices start at $23,130 for the cargo van in Tradesman trim and top out n the upper $20,000 range for the Wagon version in SLT trim. Currently the ProMaster City does not offer a third row of seat, leaving its max seating capacity at five occupants.
Read our full review here

Conclusion

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Volkswagen might not be resetting trends or recreating a pop culture icon with the new T6 the way it did with the original Type 2, but the revised van does offer plenty of compelling reasons why a business would lay down the cash. A slew of new features not typically found on vans, along with its swanky design and upgraded powertrain top that list.

Set to go on sale in the latter part of 2015 as a 2016 model, the T6 appears to have the right credentials for the job – whatever it might entail.

  • Leave it
    • * A few underwhelming powertain output options
    • * Not the icon the Type 2 was
    • * Won’t be sold in the U.S.

Press Release

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has presented the sixth-generation of its highly successful Transporter model. Updated key technical features offer better safety, improved comfort and convenience and greater driving dynamics in combination with improved fuel economy.

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Volkswagen’s T-series has been the number one light commercial vehicle in Germany for decades. Its predecessor sold some two million units around the world during its 11 years in production. Since the launch of Transporter in 1950, around 12 million vehicles have been produced. Although the Transporter went on sale in Germany and the rest of Europe 65 years ago, right-hand drive versions were only available to special order until 1954 when they became standard production line models. Since then, more than 300,000 Transporters have been sold in the UK.

Design: the T-series is a design icon which has evolved for more than six decades. The sixth-generation Transporter has been carefully updated, offering a sharper appearance that exudes quality. The lines and edges run continuously from the front to the rear of the vehicle and the entire body now has the appearance of being milled from a solid block of metal. Like its predecessors, the new Transporter remains immediately recognisable. As with the previous generation, the new Transporter is offered in different forms. The solid foundation on which all Transporter models are based, the commercial vehicle, is subjected every day to the hardest of tests and is developed for business professionals. Next is the Caravelle range. Businesses, families and outdoor sports enthusiasts alike value its flexibility. Then there’s the Kombi and Shuttle variants. Created both for commercial and private use, these spacious multi-purpose vehicles are as highly versatile as ever. Designers and engineers have also covered a broad spectrum inside and developed high-quality interiors for the various derivatives: highly practical in the case of the Transporter van – very bespoke and refined in the case of the Caravelle, Shuttle and Kombi, satisfying the requirements of Transporter’s different customer groups. The arrangement of storage trays and compartments also depends on the model. Everything here has its place. Be it a folding ruler, coffee mug, mobile phone or tablet. Form follows function. In best of Bauhaus tradition.

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Engines: a completely new generation of TDI engines are being launched for the EU6 markets. These engines have been developed specifically for the tough requirements of a commercial vehicle. Longevity and ruggedness were top priorities. The TDIs available are transversely mounted and angled forwards by eight degrees. They have a cubic capacity of 1,968 cm3 and deliver 62 kW / 84 PS, 75 kW / 102 PS, 110 kW / 150 PS and 150 kW / 204 PS.

The petrol options are four-cylinder engines with a displacement of 2.0 litres and are offered with 110 kW / 150 PS or 150 kW / 204 PS. Across the whole model series, the new engines save a litre of fuel per 100 km compared to the previous generation. All Euro-5 and Euro-6 engines have a stop/start system as standard meaning overall fuel consumption could be reduced by 15% on average.

Comfort and convenience: the new adaptive chassis control, Dynamic Cruise Control (DCC), enables the new Transporter to be adapted to three driving modes: comfort, normal and sport. In each case, the electrically adjustable shock absorbers adapt to the chosen style via a preselected programme.

The variable seating layout makes the back passenger area a playground in terms of seating configuration options. Opening and closing the tailgate is now especially easy; aside from a purely manual operation, Transporter now provides the option of an automatic closing aid. It enables the tailgate to be closed with much less effort and has the latch engage in the lock mechanism, meaning significantly less obtrusive sounds. Even easier to operate is the new, completely electrically operated version. It opens automatically via the tailgate handle, and it closes by pulling a loop or by push-button. Alternatively, it can be opened by pressing a button on the driver door or on the remote control integrated within the vehicle key.

Safety: by means of radar, the ’Front Assist’ area monitoring system recognises critical distances to the vehicle in front and helps to shorten the stopping distance. In dangerous situations the system warns the driver visually and audibly, as well as with a slight jolt of the brake. With adaptive cruise control (ACC), a sensor measures the distance to the vehicle in front and the relative speed. In combination with the DSG, the ACC system can also slow the vehicle down, for example in queues or traffic jam situations, to a complete stop. Depending on the situation, ACC then starts up again automatically after a predefined period. An integral component of ’Front Assist’ and ’ACC’ is the City Emergency Braking function, which provides assistance at low speeds of under 30 km/h (19 mph), significantly improving safety, especially in dense city traffic.

2016 Volkswagen T6
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If the driver fails to see an obstacle, the system automatically applies the brakes and ensures that the collision-speed is reduced. In order to minimise the risk related to this scenario, the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System is provided as standard in the Transporter. Another option is ’Light Assist’ that performs automatic, camera-controlled switching on and off of the main beam. The ’Driver Alert System’, which is standard in vehicles with a multifunction display, recognises any deviations from normal driving behaviour and recommends the driver takes a break.

Available as an option is an electronic voice enhancement system which helps the driver to communicate with rear passengers while keeping their eyes focussed on what is happening on the road in front. Without any turning of the head, the driver’s voice can be automatically amplified and played back to the passengers over the Transporter’s radio system loudspeakers.

For all vehicles with 4MOTION, Hill Descent Assist is available as an option. By targeted application of the brakes to individual wheels, which the driver is not able to do singularly using the foot brake, and by cutting the engine speed, it ensures a safe, controlled hill descent. During towing operation, electronic trailer stabilisation also utilises the components of the electronic stability control system and contributes significantly to safety while driving. A feature recommended in particular for cold, snowy regions is the new heated windscreen that ensures a clear view, not matter the weather.

Infotainment: for safety while driving, all devices are fitted with a Bluetooth hands-free system. In the case of the 6.3-inch screen, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is for the first time using a display that works by means of proximity sensors: as soon as the driver or front-seat passenger moves their hand close to the touchscreen, the system automatically switches from display mode to input mode. The displays also have a function that lets users use swiping motions to scroll through lists or browse CD covers of their own media library that could be stored on an SD card. Depending on the range of features, there is also the ’Comfort’ mobile phone interface. It provides a link to the vehicle’s mobile phone antenna, an auxiliary USB port and an ergonomic storage compartment for the mobile phone. Over recent years, use of the internet on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet PCs has grown significantly. This resulted in growing demand for instant information everywhere. Following this trend, some of the Transporter’s navigation systems are equipped with Car-Net’s Guide & Inform services.

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UK details: The sixth-generation Transporter will arrive in the UK later this year. Specification and pricing will be confirmed in the near future.

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