Volkswagen in Europe has pulled the covers from a new ‘T7’ Multivan people-carrier. It’s less van-like and more SUV-like than its predecessors.
The new Multivan rides on the MQB architecture that underpins the vast majority of Volkswagen’s passenger car range. Thus for the first time the Multivan isn’t directly related to the Transporter commercial van.
The current T6 Transporter will continue in production, and is expected to be replaced in the not-too-distant future by a model based on the Ford Transit.
Measuring 4973mm long, 1941mm wide, up to 1903mm tall, and riding on a 3124mm wheelbase, the Multivan should have plenty of space for seven passengers and all their gear.
Even with all three seating rows in place the Multivan has 469 litres of luggage space. Folding down the last row allows the car to carry 1850L of stuff. Removing the second row entirely boosts capacity to 3672L.
A extended model that’s 5173mm long is also available. This variant can carry up to 4053L with only the front row in place.
Volkswagen says the seats in the second and third row are 25 per cent lighter to make seat removal a less back-breaking process. As the second row can swivel up to 180 degrees, passengers in the back can face one another.
An available table mounted on a central track completes the mini-boardroom feel.
For those sitting up front there’s a 10.25-inch instrumentation display, a 10.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and two USB-C ports. Available features include wireless smartphone charging, and a 14-speaker Harmon Kardon sound system with a 840W amplifier.
Standard safety items include autonomous emergency braking, road sign recognition and lane keeping assist. A semi-autonomous driving mode that uses the adaptive cruise control and lane keeping systems is an option in Europe, as is a surround-view camera setup.
The headline drivetrain option is a new plug-in hybrid setup, dubbed eHybrid, which mates a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder with a 85kW electric motor and a six-speed dual clutch transmission.
A 13kWh lithium-ion battery mounted under the floor should provide enough juice for emissions-free city driving, although Volkswagen hasn’t provided a WLTP range figure.
There are two other four-cylinder turbo petrol drivetrain options: a 100kW 1.5-litre, and a 150kW 2.0-litre. Diesel buyers are served by a 110kW 2.0-litre.
These three engines drive the front wheels via a seven-speed dual clutch transmission.
After a number of teasers and spy photos, the Multivan’s design isn’t a huge surprise.
In a break with earlier models, the base of the A-pillars have been moved forward and the bonnet flattened out. Thin LED lights are standard at both ends, and matrix LED headlights are available on high-end models.
“We don’t have an ETA but we are interested. The T6.1 still has a lot of life yet and it’s doing very well for us,” a company spokesman told us today.