There’s been a fair amount of speculation in Germany recently about the launch of the Volkwagen T6 van, the successor to the T5 which has been in production now since 2004. Autobild is reporting (or see here for Google Translate’s attempt at an English translation) that the new model will be launched sometime in 2015.
It’s likely to be an evolution of the T5 design, sharing several key components both with the T5 as well as sourcing infotainment and assistance systems from the Golf and Passat.
Engine options remain unconfirmed but will reportedly include a 2.0-litre petrol with 224 HP (165 kW) and a 2.0-litre diesel with 231 HP (170 kW). Front-wheel drive will be standard but all-wheel drive should be optional.
VW has been experimenting with some concept vehicles lately, including the e-Co-Motion concept which was unveiled last month at the Geneva Motor Show. There’s a suggestion that while some styling details would likely be dropped, the front and rear fascias could carryover relatively intact.
There’s been a lot of speculation that VW will bring out an electric or hybrid van – and if the T6 doesn’t feature an electric motor then it’s likely that the next model – the T7 – will be electric in around 2020. VW describes the e-Co-Motion concept vehicle as an “electrically-powered city delivery van“. Interestingly, harking back to the rear-engine T1 and T2 vans, its electric motor is mounted to the rear axle and works together with a single-speed gearbox.
It can reach an electronically-limited top speed of 120 km/h (74.5 mph) and can be driven for about 100 km (62 miles) when fitted with the 20 kWh battery. Volkswagen says with a larger 30 kWh battery the concept will do 150 km (93.2 miles) before running out of power, and around 200 km (124.2 miles) with a 40 kWh battery.
The e-Co-Motion features a simple interior focused on functionality. It comes with a modular and movable centre console with computer, while a rotary gear selector switch is introduced for the first time.
If the final version of the T6 looks anything like these pictures then to my mind it’s a relatively significant departure from the current T5 (certainly, there were minimal changes between the original T5 in 2004 and the ‘facelift’ (or T5.1) which came out in 2010). The headlights are definitely in the style of the current Golf and Passat and I think the front end is pretty stylish. I’m just not that keen on the rear – there’s something of the ‘boxy’ Mercedes Vito about it. Will it grow on me ? Yes, probably.