Clever Crafter - VW's van range for 2006

Time of article published Dec 1, 2005

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Volkswagen South Africa has announced the Crafter, the replacement for its LT panel van, and it'll be available on the local market towards the end of 2006.

The Crafter completes the renewal of the Volkswagen light commercial vehicle range. This began with the LT Transporter in 2003, followed by the new Caddy in June 2004.

Two versions of Volkswagen's five-cylinder TDI engine will be available, rated at 101kW and 120kW. Each has common rail fuel-injection and a diesel particulate filter.

The Crafter comes with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard - an automatic transmission will be optional in Europe but is unlikely to be available in SA; a VW SA spokesperson told there was little or no call here for an auto transmission on diesel light commercials.

The Crafter's brakes and suspension have been designed with reserve capacity even when the vehicle is fully loaded and it has anti-lock brakes and an electronic stability programme as standard.

Remote-controlled central locking and power windows are also standard, as is a driver's crash bag, while front passenger, curtain and side bags are extra-cost options. A fascia-mounted gear lever gives increased comfort and extra cabin space.

A choice of three wheelbases and three roof heights will be available; the biggest version will have a 17m³ capacity (that's 17 000 litres in case you want to compare it with the boot of your family car) and the five-tonner has a 2670kg payload.

The load bay is wide enough for two Euro pallets side by side and all but the short-wheelbase models have a sliding door that opens to 1.3m wide and 1.8m high - big enough for a Euro pallet.

The Crafter has been designed for a strong visual presence, says VW, with strong lines, vertical clear glass headlights and robust side protection strips.

  • It will be seen in public for the first time at the Birmingham, England, commercial vehicle show in in April 2006.

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