Teaser pic: VW’s new-generation Caravelle is ditching its commercial genes

By Jason Woosey Time of article published Mar 26, 2021

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HANOVER - Last year Volkswagen’s Commercial Vehicles division announced that its van range would be diverting, with Ford taking responsibility for the next-generation commercial models such as the Transporter, and VWCV keeping the passenger versions such as the Multivan, Caravelle and California in-house.

We speculated at the time that this would result in the next-generation bus range taking a more car-like direction and that now certainly appears to be the case following the release of the first teaser image this week.

What we see in the picture is the Multivan variant, but as is the case in the current range you can expect the Caravelle and California versions to closely resemble it, while only differing in specification. The new van certainly has a sleeker front end, and there’s an interesting LED light signature that spans the headlights.

VWCV isn’t saying much about it for now, but the division has all but confirmed that its underpinnings will be more car-like:

“This is a paradigm shift in our ‘Bulli’ world,” VWCV said. “We have further enhanced a popular base concept without any holding back: the comfort and dimensions of a car, plus the space and flexibility of a van.”

There you have it, folks, a more modern and luxurious Caravelle is coming your way, and it will also be available as a plug-in hybrid, the company has confirmed. Those looking for a fully-electric offering will be able to opt for the MEB-based ID.Buzz, which is expected to surface next year with retro styling inspired by the T1.

However despite the release of all these new van variants, VWCV is not done with the current T6.1 just yet. The company has referred to the new Multivan range as a “broadening” of its offering in the van segment, wherein the T6.1 would continue to be sold as “a robust commercial and all-wheel drive vehicle.”

However, given what’s been mentioned so far about the Ford partnership, it seems inevitable that these commercial versions will eventually be replaced by something based on Ford’s midsize Transit offering. Interestingly, it appears as thought the next-generation Ford Transit Connect compact van will be based on VW’s new Caddy.

What all this means is that in years to come you can expect something of a mixed gene pool when you enter your local Ford or VWCV dealership to buy a commercial vehicle.

This partnership, of course, will also result in a Ford Ranger-Based VW Amarok being built right here in South Africa, and you can read more about that here.

IOL Motoring

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