It's van time, y'all! Last week Volkswagen unveiled the T7 Multivan, the seventh generation of its van that started with the original Microbus in 1950, and it's awesome. The Multivan is the comfort- and people-focused version of VW's van series, with the commercial-focused Transporter and the incredible models set to debut later this year.
The T7 looks a lot more futuristic than, with a sleeker greenhouse that now features a quarter window at the A-pillar ahead of the front doors. There's a nice chamfered cutline along the shoulders that's perfect for the retro color split and is accented by a chrome strip, and the surfacing of the body sides is a lot smoother and has more intricate detail than on the old model. Volkswagen says that in addition to being longer, lower and wider than the old van, the new model is more aerodynamic too.
The number of open intakes at the front end has been reduced, though the grille pattern extends across the whole fascia and is painted, a cool effect that VW says is an homage to the old rear-engined vans. The standard LED headlights are connected by a full-width light bar when equipped with the optional matrix light system, and the slim horizontal taillights are LEDs as well. Wheels as large as 19 inches are available, as are a panoramic sunroof and powered sliding doors that can be opened with a wave of your foot.
But as is usual with vans, the interior is by far the coolest part. The dashboard is similar to what we've seen on, with a 10.3-inch digital gauge cluster and 10-inch touchscreen augmented by a handful of touch-capacitive buttons. The electronic shifter is mounted between the two displays, and lower down on the center console are two USB-C ports, a storage cubby and a wireless charging tray. The interior shown in these photos has cloth seats with a nice dotted pattern and very 1970s-ish colored trim on the dash and door panels, as well as ambient lighting.
Up to seven seats are available, and all but the front two seats can be fully removed. The third row is now three individual seats instead of a fixed bench, and the two second-row captain's chairs can swivel around 180 degrees. Because the T7 uses a shift-by-wire transmission and an electronic parking brake, the T7's floor is completely flat, which allowed VW to implement a sliding track system for the seats. But the best feature is the center console, which is height-adjustable and can slide between all three rows. It features cupholders, storage compartments and fold-out tray tables kind of like what you get on a Maybach sedan, and the whole thing is removable too.
Unlike the previous generations of Transporter, which rode on a unique platform, the T7 uses the modular MQB platform that underpins everything from the VW Golf to the Atlas and the Cupra Formentor. The front-engined Multivan is only available with front-wheel drive at first, though all-wheel drive will likely come later. In addition to a range of turbocharged gas and diesel engines, the T7 will be the first VW van to be available with a plug-in-hybrid powertrain. The PHEV uses a turbocharged 1.5-liter inline-four paired with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, an electric motor and a 13-kWh battery pack. Total output is 215 horsepower, and VW says it has enough EV range for "short urban trips." The battery pack is mounted low under the floor so it doesn't take up interior space.
The T7 will be offered with a number of safety features like adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist, automated emergency braking, a surround-view camera and road sign recognition. It'll also be offered withto communicate with other vehicles on the road and provide info about traffic, road safety and other things.
We briefly got the T4-generation van as the Eurovan in the United States, but the past few generations were excluded from the US partially because of the chicken tax, a 25% tariff on light trucks that's been in place for decades. This new T7 will sadly be no different, being offered in Europe, Mexico and other markets but not the US. Luckily we will get the production version of the , the all-electric superretro van that will take some cues from the new T7 (though it'll ride on the ) and is set to debut in 2023.