VW Commercial Vehicles has presented its T7 as a Multivan, in which a plug-in hybrid is part of the drive programme for the first time. This is made possible by a change of platform: the T7 is now based on the Modular Transverse Toolkit.
The new PHEV drive bears the additional designation eHybrid and offers a system output of 160 kW and a maximum system torque of 350 Nm. The plug-in hybrid combines an 85 kW electric motor with a 110 kW petrol engine and a 13 kWh battery. VW Commercial Vehicles does not yet provide concrete information on the purely electric range. It is “designed in such a way that the typical daily distances can be covered without emissions”. There is also no information about the charging capacity.
The dual-clutch gearbox – called DSG by VW – has been further developed especially for the PHEV, where the electric motor is also installed. The eHybrid has a six-speed DSG, all other drives have a seven-speed DSG – there is no longer a manual gearbox. Only the front wheels are driven.
According to VW, the Multivan eHybrid always starts in ‘E-Mode’, but with two exceptions: If the battery is colder than minus ten degrees or the charge level is too low – but VW does not give an exact figure here. In ‘E-Mode’, the T7 Multivan can drive up to 130 km/h, then the combustion engine switches on.
Unlike its predecessor T6.1, the T7 is no longer based on a VW Commercial Vehicles platform, but on the MQB. Therefore, the plug-in drive is essentially familiar from models such as the VW Passat GTE or Golf GTE. The change to a passenger car platform not only enables the cost-effective adaptation of the hybrid drive, but should above all offer greater comfort in the chassis, but also in the entire interior.
However, this also has a disadvantage: the passenger car platform does not allow for such high payloads as required by, for example, a Transporter or the California camper conversion. Therefore, the T6.1 will remain in the range for these applications – without PHEV. The T7, on the other hand, will be aimed at private customers. When the all-electric ID. Buzz is added, VW will offer three different vans in the five-metre class.
The T7 is 4.97 metres long, 2.25 metres wide with exterior mirrors (without: 1.94 metres) and 1.90 metres high. The model is only available with one wheelbase (3.124 metres), the long-wheelbase version with 5.17 metres simply has a 20-centimetre longer rear overhang. The front design of the Multivan is somewhat reminiscent of the current Caddy – which is also due to the fact that the bonnet of the MQB van is somewhat flatter and longer, thus slightly changing the familiar appearance of the VW bus. There is also a big change at the rear: The tail lights are no longer upright but horizontal – and thus two-part in the body and tailgate. VW has never taken this step in a cost-optimised model that is also to be offered as a commercial vehicle.
Despite the new front with the cabin shifted slightly to the rear, the T7 is supposed to offer more space. To list the interior dimensions here would go beyond the scope of this article in view of the diversity of variants with normal and long versions as well as the various seat configurations of the seven-seater. Therefore, only two dimensions: with seven seats, the standard version can be loaded with up to 469 litres, the long version with up to 4,053 litres when the second and third rows of seats are removed. The loading sill is 58 centimetres high.
VW has not yet announced prices for the T7 Multivan eHybrid or the market launch.