Volkswagen’s next Transporter has a lot of Ford DNA baked in, with the Blue Oval having led development of the project that has spawned the new Transit Custom and VW’s next-gen van.

    “You’ve seen with Ranger that Ford has this alliance on commercial vehicles with Volkswagen,” said Peter Watt, Ford Pro Europe communications manager.

    “The [Transit] Connect van product [a restyled Caddy] is led by Volkswagen, the Ranger and this product the engineering and the manufacturing are led by Ford, so all the content that you see in this product is Ford content.

    “The high-level product content was conceived through Ford, and the Volkswagen product was evolved from that.”

    Ford executives said they weren’t aware of any learnings taken from Volkswagen for the new Transit Custom.

    Volkswagen has had a team in Dunton embedded in the UK, where the Transit Custom was developed, to keep tabs on where Ford has been taking the product.

    “The benefit for both partners of this relationship is the scale that you get from partnering together,” said Mr Watt.

    “Both companies are very strong with engineering and manufacturing capabilities.”

    Volkswagen has yet to reveal the new Transporter, though it has released some teaser images showing that it has given the van quite different front- and rear-end styling to align it with its other vehicles.

    That’s in contrast with other vans developed in partnership across brands, like the Renault Trafic and defunct Mitsubishi Express.

    It appears to have received arguably a more extensive makeover than, for example, Stellantis gave to its Citroen Jumpy, Fiat Scudo, Peugeot Expert and Opel/Vauxhall Vivaro vans to distinguish them from each other.

    However, it hasn’t been differentiated as much as the Amarok ute was from the Ford Ranger.

    The Amarok has unique sheetmetal, as well as a different interior design.

    The Transporter’s interior is much the same as the Transit Custom’s, though the screens have received Volkswagen-specific graphics.

    While the new Transit Custom is already in Australian showrooms, the new Transporter won’t arrive until 2025.

    As before, there will be a people-carrying version called the Caravelle, which will now face competition from Ford in Australia in the shape of the Tourneo.

    Volkswagen Australia has also previously said it’s keen to introduce an electric version, the eTransporter, which will be the German brand’s version of the Ford E-Transit Custom.

    The eTransporter will be offered with a range of variants, ranging from 85kW to 210kW, with a standard battery size of 83kWh (gross) for all but the base version, which gets a smaller 54kWh (gross) battery.

    The E-Transit Custom has 100kW, 160kW and 210kW tunes, all using a 64kWh (useable) nickel manganese cobalt lithium-ion battery.

    WLTP electric range is up to 337km.

    The new eTransporter and Caravelle models will have some internal competition.

    The Caravelle will be sold alongside the Multivan, which is now a separate vehicle based on the MQB passenger vehicle platform, as well as the MEB-based ID. Buzz people mover.

    The eTransporter will be sold alongside the MEB-based ID. Buzz Cargo van.

    MORE: Everything Ford Transit Custom
    MORE: Everything Volkswagen Transporter

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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