Volkswagen Redesigns the Transporter as the All New Multivan

Photo By: VW Commercial Vehicles

In 1949, Volkswagen released their second vehicle, a follow-up to the Beetle that they would cleverly name the “Type 2”. (Who said Germans weren’t creative?) This vehicle would come to be informally known as the VW Bus. Owners would soon find that its spacious, boxy interior leant itself to all manner of camper conversions. These modified vans soon became a ubiquitous platform for long distance travel, long before the term overlanding was applied.

North American saw four generations of the beloved VW bus, spanning more than 50 years of production before the then renamed Eurovan disappeared from our shores in 2003. Despite its absence here, the bus has continued on through several more generations as an adaptable overland vehicle in Europe and elsewhere as the Transporter or Caravelle.

2022 sees the release of the seventh generation of that vehicle, now renamed the VW Multivan. The new vehicle is based on VW’s modular MQB platform used on nearly every front wheel drive vehicle the German auto manufacturer produces, from the Audi A1 to the Tiguan.

READ MORE: The Best Vehicle for Overlanding

The Multivan will be offered with four different four-cylinder powerplants, giving the prospective owner the choice of a 136 horsepower 1.5-liter engine, a 204 horsepower 2.0-liter engine, a 150 horsepower turbodiesel, and most interestingly, a 218 horsepower plug-in hybrid. The hybrid will be paired with a 13-kilowatt-hour battery system allowing the Multivan to operate in electric-only mode for short distances.

The redesigned interior will offer seating for seven with the third-row bench from the previous generation replaced with individual seats. The five rear seats will be 25% lighter than their predecessors and are designed to be easily removed or reconfigured around the vehicle’s movable multi-function table. Using the central track system running from the front to the rear of the vehicle’s floor, the removable table can alternately function as a center console or be slid to the rear of the vehicle to function as an adjustable height conference table. A glut of new tech, including an optional 14-speaker Harmon Kardon sound system rounds out the interior redesign.

Image by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles

The Multivan will be available in March of this year but is unlikely to be sold in North America. Those lusting after the new model and its overland-friendly interior will need to wait until the all-electric ID.Buzz is announced on March 9 with an expected US release in 2023. The ID.Buzz is expected to share a number of the Multivan’s innovative features, as well as its shared heritage with the original VW Bus.

Check back here for our coverage of the ID.Buzz in March.

Source: VW Commercial Vehicles Press Release

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