Automotive

Volkswagen gives a better look at sleek, glassy T7 van ahead of debut

Volkswagen gives a better look...
Volkswagen previews the shape and style of the new T7 Multivan
Volkswagen previews the shape and style of the new T7 Multivan
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Volkswagen previews the shape and style of the new T7 Multivan
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Volkswagen previews the shape and style of the new T7 Multivan
The full seven-generation sketch shows the profile and roof spoiler of the new Multivan
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The full seven-generation sketch shows the profile and roof spoiler of the new Multivan
Volkswagen's design team was clearly going for a sportier look
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Volkswagen's design team was clearly going for a sportier look
The changing shape of the VW Transporter, from first generation to seventh
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The changing shape of the VW Transporter, from first generation to seventh
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Volkswagen has been slowly teasing the all-new T7 Multivan for weeks now, and today it provides the best look yet and confirms a world premiere in mid-June. Previewed this time in the form of full-body sketches, the new Multivan gains a little sportiness while proudly displaying its DNA. The new MPV promises to be lower, wider, roomier and more versatile than ever.

It's hard to choke out the term "swept-back" when speaking about a van, particularly one well known for maintaining its boxy proportions over the decades, but the T7's A-pillar angle has exactly that effect, albeit less dramatically than in a ground-hugging sports car.

The swept windshield serves as the start of a sportier profile that's furthered by the roof spoiler in back. The van's nose gets shortened and rounded as compared to the last two Multivan generations, harking back to the face of the T4 and moving closer to the monolithic shape of the original T1 and soon-to-launch ID. Buzz concept.

Another heritage cue shines through in the sharply drawn character line that ties into the T3 and T1, in this case appearing like a wraparound extension of the full-width lighting signature up front. It combines with the trapezoidal surfacing down low to give the flanks a little more definition than the average broad sides of a van.

The changing shape of the VW Transporter, from first generation to seventh
The changing shape of the VW Transporter, from first generation to seventh

The new fifth-generation Multivan is the first to sit atop Volkswagen's Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) architecture, benefiting from a longer wheelbase and wider track that promise to combine into a roomier interior to better support the van in all its daily duties, from moving seven people from A to B to sleeping and feeding the family as a converted pop-top camper van. Perhaps VW can even figure out a way to squeeze a bathroom in the next-generation California camper van – not an impossibility by any means.

Whatever task the Multivan is involved in, improved aerodynamics and a lowered profile promise to help it achieve better fuel economy while getting it done.

Volkswagen doesn't specify a hard premiere date yet, but we're counting on seeing another half-dozen or so teasers between now and then, so one of them will surely identify a date, time and place.

Source: VW Commercial Vehicles

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10 comments
10 comments
Hopeful
Just can't get an electric van done but here's another ICE product for ya.
Bob Flint
Unless it's fully electric, and all the glass not only takes care of the heat loads, but also can charge for short trips say 20km, while offering a 700km range for longer jaunts. Basically costs nothing for daily short trips, and has enough room & range for a days trip.
Username
The earlier the model the better it looks.
I Wonder
As John Travolta might say it looks like the Cadillac of mini-vans. The Oldsmobile Silhouette.
BlueOak
Not that any of this matters for US buyers. The Hanover VW Commercial Vehicles division has not shown the ability to manufacture vehicles at a rational cost. Price and poor fuel efficiency killed the T5 when it was last sold in the US. Perhaps moving from the dedicated platform to the MQB platform will help, but still... $Hanover$.

We had two T5 "EuroVans" and loved them. Wonderful family haulers for long trips. Volumetric capacity between US minivans and full size vans. Far more nimble handling than full size vans. High roof meant moving around in it was easy, the seating position was upright, the view of the road, being higher up was excellent, and it could easily cruise all day at 80 MPH, with safe, stable confidence, surprisingly so for such a large and tall vehicle. But ouch, the 14 MPG around town and if really lucky, 18-20 MPG. The only way these made economic operating cost sense was as diesels, never sold in the US... and we now know all about that powertrain fuel type & VW.
Grunchy
In 2008 the Routan was the same as a Dodge Caravan, except more expensive. I hear they didn't sell that well.
Signguy
There is a electric version already produced; not sure where in distribution it is...but it looks pretty.
TomLeeM
I think it is neat how it shows the progress of the design. I am glad they still have an ICE version. I also am glad they will make the ID Buzz (hopefully they will make one without the autonomous version so it will be cheaper).
jerryd
Any new vehicle that isn't an EV is wasted money. Big auto only has 5 yrs to switch or go bankrupt as with $70/kwh batteries now and dropping, EVs cost less to build than an ICE.
And with all the ICEs getting dumped on the market in 3-5 yrs they'll have to be so discounted so to lose money bringing the end to the new ICE era in 8 yrs or so..
Seasherm
Will they be offered in the US?