Last month we saw the next-generation VW T7 for the first time undergoing public testing with the production body.
Now we get to see the T7 Multivan version in greater detail, including a first look at the interior, courtesy of a big gallery of spy shots. Mind you, the interior photos come from a mule and not the production version but they still reveal new stuff such as the wider central touchscreen, digital instrument panel, and the tiny gear shifter for the automatic transmission already seen on some 2020 Skoda Octavia prototypes.
If the exterior of the T7 test prototype looks a bit oddly proportioned to you (longer bonnet, larger overhangs, passenger compartment moved further back) compared to the current Multivan 6.1, it’s because the new model will be a true minivan rather than a van-derived people-carrier.
According to reports from German media, including Auto Motor und Sport, the VW T7 will no longer be based on a commercial vehicle platform, instead migrating to the good-for-all MQB modular architecture.
Rumor has that the new T7 family will also include the next-generation Caddy and Sharan MPVs, which will be also underpinned by MQB and will be named T7 Life Caddy and, rather confusingly, T7 Family.
Switching to the modular architecture will allow the next-generation T7 Multivan to use mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains, as well as the latest tech available on VW passenger cars such as the modular infotainment kit and safety assist systems. The downside to using the MQB platform is the fact that the next-generation Multivan won’t be suited for commercial use when it launches sometime next year, likely as a 2021 model.
The recently-unveiled Transporter 6.1 family will continue to play that role, as it will be sold in parallel with the T7 Multivan. Sounds too complicated? Well, there’s a bit more to the subject of new VW people-carriers. As we already know, VW will also bring the fully-electric ID Buzz minivan to the market in 2022. To avoid internal competition, the upcoming T7 Multivan won’t offer an all-electric variant.
However, the T6.1 commercial vehicle will soon be available as an all-electric model built in collaboration with ABT. Dubbed e-Transporter, it will be aimed mainly at craftsmen and delivery services.