Volkswagen has unveiled its next generation Crafter van in Hannover, German with a new maximum volume in excess of 18 cubic metres and a 5.5 tonne payload in its top of the range model.

The new model has been redeveloped from the ground up with electromechanical steering, more fuel-efficient and reliable engine options, optimised for both long trips and urban traffic and a range of driver assistance systems.

According to chairman of the board of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Dr Eckhard Scholz, the new Crafter calls on decades of involvement in the sector.

“The development of the new Crafter was a unique opportunity to avoid all compromises while drawing upon our decades of experience in the market segment. The new Crafter represents a fusion of product focus and customer focus. In other words, we developed this vehicle from the customer’s perspective,” Scholz said.

The 2.0L TDI engine is being offered in three power outputs, all meeting Euro 6 standards: 75kW, 103kW or a twin-turbo 130kW variant. Stop-start technology is also fitted as standard to give the new Crafter a claimed 15 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency.

The chassis, which has been redeveloped from the ground up and tuned in detail, has a comfortable McPherson front suspension and five different variants of a rigid rear axle, and parabolic springs that are progressive springs in some derivatives.

The electromechanical steering that is being introduced for the first time in this segment provides for excellent handling, optimised manoeuvrability and safe driving properties in all load states. This improved steering precision and fine response also leads to a significant reduction in CO2 emissions due to adaptive energy consumption.

Moreover, the ergonomics of the driver’s workplace have been optimised. It is possible to order three different variants of an optional ergonomic suspension sea with adjustable lumbar supports and massage function. The new Crafter’s standard features include electric windows, central locking with wireless remote control and practical and ergonomically designed storage features for a mobile phone, laptop and tablet, folding rule, working gloves and much more.

The new Crafter also offers lane assist, park assist, adaptive cruise control, reversing camera, rear traffic alert, sensor based side protection, front assist emergency braking system and front, side and head airbags for the driver and passenger.

Integrated FMS Fleet Management Interface as a prepared telematic functional interface, which is compatible with existing telematics systems already on the market.