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Volkswagen Transporter ready to lock horns with Ford Transit later this year

Date: 20 April 2015   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

Volkswagen has revealed its sixth-generation Transporter medium van ahead of its debut later this year with UK pricing and specification being confirmed nearer to the launch.

It will be powered by Volkswagen's new generation of diesel engines, which are Euro 6 compliant. The 2.0-litre unit comes with a range of power options from 84hp to 204hp with 102hp and 150hp options also being made available. Euro 5 engines will be available from launch until September 2016 when Euro 6 technology becomes mandatory.

Efficiency figures, load volume and payload figures have not been revealed yet, but Volkswagen claimed the new engines would save a litre of fuel per 100km compared to the previous generation of engines.

Currently the most efficient diesel is the 2.0-litre 114hp Bluemotion model, which returns 44.8mpg and emits 166g/km of CO2. In comparison, the cleanest Ford Transit Custom is the 2.2-litre 100hp Econetic model, which emits 162g/km of CO2 and returns 46.3mpg.

Two power options are offered - 150hp and 204hp - by the 2.0-litre petrol unit although VW has not confirmed whether these will come to the UK. All of the Transporter's engines have Bluemotion technology fitted as standard, which includes stop/start.

VW said the Transporter's design has been "carefully updated". The new model now features a sharper contours. As before, a panel van, Caravelle, Kombi and Shuttle options will be available from launch.

The German manufacturer was keen to hammer home the model's heritage. The current fifth-generation Transporter sold more than two million units around the world during its 11-year run. During that time, it won many accolades including the 2015 What Van? Used Van of the Year Award. VW claimed that over 300,000 Transporters have been sold in the UK since 1954.

The new vehicle is equipped with adaptive chassis control, dynamic cruise control and electrically adjustable shock absorbers are offered as standard allowing the vehicle to adapt to varied road conditions according to VW.

It is also equipped with a frontal radar feature, which monitors critical distances to vehicles ahead. VW said the system helps to shorten the stopping distances and in dangerous situations it will warn the driver visually and audibly, while the adaptive cruise control feature measures the distance to the vehicle in front and the relative speed between the two.

Inside, a 6.3-inch infotainment system is offered with a Bluetooth hands-free system and a proximity sensor whereby when a person moves their hand close to the screen it changes from display to input mode bringing up several options, while a USB port is also fitted.

The T6 will enter a competitive market, locking horns with rivals such as Ford's Transit Custom, the Mercedes Vito, Vauxhall's Vivaro and the Renault Trafic.

In 2014 Volkswagen registered 17,360 Transporters compared to 33,516 Ford Transit Customs so the Wolfsburg brand will be hoping the introduction of the new model can close the gap to the market-leading Ford model.