The second generation of the Volkswagen Crafter goes on sale in April next year.
Key changes include the arrival of new digital instruments for the first time, providing a Digital Cockpit instrument display that comes as standard. This enables the driver to select different displays and adapt them to suit needs, all controlled via buttons on the new multifunction steering wheel.
The Crafter is also equipped with the latest generation infotainment systems, accessed via a new 10.3-inch display or a 12.9-inch screen as an option. This is based on the brand’s latest modular infotainment matrix (MIB) and uses a new graphic interface and self-explanatory menu navigation, as debuted this summer for the new long-wheelbase ID. Buzz. The temperature and audio volumes can now be adjusted via touch sliders seen in other VW models but with illuminated functionality. The Crafter also gets a new online voice control system that responds to natural voice commands.
Other changes include a new electronic parking brake for models with the eight-speed automatic gearbox and a gear selector that’s mounted on the steering column. This frees up cabin space for automatic models, which now gain a drinks compartment in the centre console.
Other controls have also been relocated, while the new Crafter now has USB-C interfaces – increasingly used by carmakers instead of USB-A sockets – and an inductive charging option for smartphones. It also gains a USB-C charging port in the centre of the upper windscreen for use with dashcams.
New driver assistance systems also make their debut and include a blind spot information system to alert of pedestrians and cyclists at speeds up to 19mph. Models over 3.5t tonnes also get standard features such as a ‘moving-off information system’, which warns of pedestrians when pulling away, and an ‘oncoming vehicle braking when turning’ function – both are available as options for vehicles with a GVW up to 3.5 tonnes.
Other new standard systems include front assist (autonomous emergency braking including cyclist and pedestrian detection), lane assist (lane keeping system), dynamic road sign display, a speed limiter and acoustic park distance control for the rear area. Travel Assist will be available as an option for the first time, integrating adaptive cruise control ACC (automatic acceleration and braking) and lane assist. This is provided alongside the new emergency assist function.
As before, the Crafter will be available with a wide range of body types – from closed panel vans through to single and double cabs as dropsides and chassis as well as box bodies and tippers. There will again be different weight classes (up to 5,500kg gross vehicle weight), two wheelbases (3.64 and 4.49 metres) and various overall lengths (6.0 to 7.4 metres), along with four roof heights (2.4 to just under 3.0 metres).
The new Crafter will also be available with front-, rear- and all-wheel drive. Engine line-up will include four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engines with 140, 163 and 177bhp. The six-speed manual gearbox and eight-speed automatic gearbox will be carried over for the front- and all-wheel drive models, while a new eight-speed automatic gearbox debuts for variants with rear-wheel drive. No electric models are being offered, with the focus on the ID. Buzz here instead.