T6.1 is the name of the current generation of the flagship from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. In 2015 it came onto the streets as the T6, shortly afterwards it was marginally maintained as the T6.1, but was basically not much more than a visual and technical refreshment of the T5. And that had already started the journey in 2003. But now there is a real model change, and that is clearly visible. However, the ways separate. The T7 will do its rounds as a multivan for private customers and certainly also for commercial passenger transport or shuttle services. For really tough use in the construction industry or in agriculture, the T6.1 remains in the range. The new one should start in the second half of 2021, at what prices is not yet known.It will not get cheaper and will therefore continue to rank financially at the upper end of the model range in this class in the future.
The T7 changes shape in terms of functionality. Its windscreen is more inclined than before, the bonnet flatter and longer, the front more rounded, there are more similarities with the youngest Caddy than with the still coveted predecessor. A strip of lights runs horizontally across the bow as daytime running lights. The taillights are oriented horizontally and are kept narrow.
The new Multivan has grown considerably in terms of dimensions. Compared to the previous one, it is 3.7 centimeters wider and measures 1.94 meters without exterior mirrors. The wheelbase was extended by 12.4 centimeters to 3.12 meters and the body by 6.9 centimeters to 4.97 meters. The formerly completely flat roof shape has also changed, it now sinks slightly towards the rear and ends in a discreet spoiler lip at the rear. The cargo volume hardly restricts this, up to 4053 liters fit into the space behind the front seats, there are still 470 liters behind the last row of seats. The previous long version can also be found in the T7 Multivan. With the wheelbase now identical, however, it stretches to 5.13 centimeters and is 13 centimeters shorter than the previous version.
Up to 19-inch forged alloy wheels and a track width widened by three centimeters let the T7 sit well on the road. A two-tone paintwork that skilfully plays with the proportions is still on offer, as well as up to 29 driver assistance systems and an audio system from Harman Kardon with an output of 800 watts. VW has rearranged the equipment nomenclature. Instead of Trendline and Highline, the terms life and style will classify the different variants in the future.
The new Multivan is based on the modular system of the MQB platform from VW, which also creates a basis for the Golf.
Inside, the similarities with the Volkswagen passenger car range continue.
The dashboard no longer deserves its name; monitors with touch-sensitive screens largely replaced the switch and button landscape of the previous Bulli, similar to the one in the Golf.
A 10.25 inch screen represents the cockpit and is largely freely programmable.
To the right of this, a ten-inch diagonal touchscreen is used to control the infotainment system.
There is more space in the driver's cab
Two extra-wide individual seats or a variable seat trio are installed in the rear. It can be pushed forward on guide rails separately from one another in order to adapt the loading space volume to the transport tasks. And thanks to a weight reduction to 23 kilograms each, the seats are now easier and quicker to remove than before. There is more space in the driver's cab, the handbrake lever has disappeared and is being replaced by an electric parking brake. This makes walking backwards between the seats more comfortable. Passengers can get inside through the two wide-opening front doors or the sliding doors at the rear, which are always part of the team and electrically open and close.
Two turbo gasoline engines with 136 and 204 hp and a diesel with 150 hp are available at the start, and a plug-in hybrid with a system output of 218 hp is also available. When powered, it should cover a distance of 50 kilometers with its 13 kWh lithium battery. Another diesel engine with a higher output will be added later, a purely electric version is not planned. If you only want to drive electrically, you have to be patient until 2022 and use the ID. Buzz wait. However, Multivan owners can also enjoy the convenience of shift-free driving. All T7s are fitted with an automatic dual clutch transmission with six or seven gears as standard.
The Multivan was first available as the T3, back then with rear-wheel drive, and like the VW Transporter, it has always stood for wanderlust and a thirst for adventure. He was always the globetrotter among vehicles and was not unknown on any continent. There are certainly few people who have not had a large part of their experience traveling or in everyday life with the most homely Volkswagen to date. Since 1950 the Bulli (an abbreviation for bus and delivery van) has not only been the vehicle for transporting the economic miracle, but also for freedom and leisure. For camping enthusiasts, everything remains as usual, a California version with residential furnishings is not planned for the T7. This target group will have to continue to use the T6.1.