After sketching out the 2017 Crafter at the beginning of the month, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has taken the wraps off its next-gen workhorse. While it may not look all that different compared to its predecessor, we’re actually dealing with “a completely new vehicle,” one that has a drag coefficient of 0.33 which is quite impressive for such a boxy shape, and it obviously improves efficiency.
It is going to be virtually impossible not to find a Crafter that will meet all of your needs, with VW planning to give customers the possibility to select from three lengths and three roof heights. In addition, the 2017 Crafter is going to be sold with a choice of front-, rear-, and all-wheel-drive layouts, along with manual and automatic transmissions.
Forgive us if we giggle, but at the heart of VW's new Crafter is an updated, Euro 6-compliant 2.0-liter TDI engine codenamed "EA 288Nutz" (from "Nutzfahrzeuge" meaning "trucks") also found in the T6. It will be available in four power stages, kicking off with the entry-level 102 hp (75 kW), followed by 122 hp (90 kW), 140 hp (103 kW), and the 177 hp (130 kW) version which actually has an additional turbocharger.
A wide variety of safety and assistance systems are going to be offered, ranging from ESP (with trailer stabilization) to Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). In the unfortunate event of a crash, the available post-collision braking system will help diminish the risks of inflicting more injuries following an impact. Very handy will prove to be the trailer maneuvering assistant system, while at night proper illumination will be provided by the LED headlights (with cornering function) and the Light Assist system.
Not only is the Crafter an all-new vehicle, but it’s going to be manufactured at a brand new purpose-built factory in Wrzesnia, Poland. There was a rumor at the beginning of last year about a U.S.-bound Crafter (and Caddy), but that was before the Dieselgate, so chances of actually happening seem slim right now.
Source: Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles
Gallery: 2017 VW Crafter
The new Crafter – setting new standards
Practical, economical and innovative like never before
- 4 base models, 3 lengths, 3 heights
- Available with front, rear or 4MOTION all-wheel drive, with a manual or automatic gearbox
- A completely new vehicle with a Cd value of 0.33
- Equipped with improved commercial vehicle diesel engines
- Extensive range of driver assistance systems available
- • State-of-the-art production at a new plant built especially for the Crafter in Wrzesnia, Poland
Hannover, 28 July 2016 – Customer-focused transport solutions offering the highest degree of economy: it was with this objective in mind that the new Crafter was developed precisely in line with the demands and requirements of various user groups – which is why the model will achieve best performance in its vehicle class in more than six categories in future.
A milestone in customer focus
What types of systems can help courier drivers in inner-city traffic? How can construction vehicles maneuver more easily through muddy building sites? How can accidents caused by tired drivers on long trips be prevented? In order to obtain the answers to such questions, and precisely understand customers' wishes and requirements, engineers from Volkswagen accompanied a large number of customers on their commercial vehicle rounds during the development phase for the new Crafter. The engineers were thus able to gain an accurate understanding of what customers actually need and which systems can be used to effectively meet customer requirements. As a result, the new Crafter offers innovative practical and electronic solutions for various individual challenges.
Tops in economy and environmental compatibility
The Crafter's all-new EU 6 engines and a fundamentally new exterior design give the model the lowest consumption and emission figures in its vehicle class. Extremely reliable engines designed for both local and long-distance operation ensure downtime is never a problem. The new Crafter also scores points with its robustness and low maintenance and repair costs, all of which have a positive effect on total cost of ownership over the vehicle life cycle.
Outstanding functionality and everyday utility
The optimal package dimensions of the new Crafter enable maximum utility. For example, the new Crafter cleverly combines extensive cargo capacity with minimal external dimensions, which makes the vehicle extremely manoeuvrable yet also completely solid in its handling, regardless of how much payload it's carrying. In terms of cargo area length and capacity as well, the new Crafter is quite superior to both its predecessor and its rivals.
Best possible variety
For the first time, the new Crafter now offers an extremely wide range of derivatives, even in high tonnage versions. The new "EA 288Nutz" 2.0-litre TDI engine was developed especially for the new Crafter and is available in four output classes. Customers can choose here between a 75 kW (102 PS), 90 kW (122 PS), and 103 kW (140 PS) engine – or else opt for a biturbo TDI engine with output of 130 kW (177 PS). The choice of engines also depends on which drive system is selected, whereby customers have a choice here between front, rear and all-wheel drive (4MOTION), and can also choose either an automatic or manual gearbox. Such variety has never been seen before in this segment.
As if all that weren't enough, up to three different vehicle lengths are available depending on the model chosen, and the closed body variants come with up to three different roof heights. In other words, customers can configure their new Crafter exactly in line with their specific requirements. Each customer can find the right combination of engine, gearbox, drive system, vehicle length and roof height to meet their needs.
The best driver assistance systems
The new Crafter sets entirely new standards for assistance systems in the segment for large vans: the objective here is to optimise occupant protection through the use of active and passive safety concepts in all payload situations. Thanks to an electro-mechanical steering system that's being used for the first time in this vehicle class, the new Crafter comes with an extraordinarily large number of active driver assistance systems, such as ESP with trailer stabilisation, ACC Adaptive Cruise Control, the post-collision braking system, a sidewind compensation system (optional), the trailer manoeuvring assistant system and much more… There's plenty on offer in terms of passive safety as well, with front, side and head airbags for the driver and passengers and an extensive range of warning systems that include a reversing camera, a parking distance monitor and the Rear Traffic Alert system. Finally, LED headlights, cornering lights and Light Assist ensure a clear view of the road ahead at night.
The Crafter also comes with online services that are tailored to the specific needs of customers.
Fundamentally new design approach
The new Crafter is based on a completely new design concept. It's important in the commercial vehicle sector in particular that a design should "function" for various customers groups. With this in mind, the new Crafter was designed with a fundamentally new commercial vehicle architecture for both the exterior and interior.
The design of the new Crafter is also heavily based on the idea that the Transporter, which forms the heart of the commercial vehicle portfolio, be given a big brother that displays never before seen quality in terms of exterior and interior surfaces, robustness and sophistication.
A new plant for the Crafter
A new production facility was built in Wrzesnia, Poland, especially for the new Crafter. The facility is the brand's second production location in Poland; the other is the Volkswagen plant in Poznan-Antoninek, which has been operating for more than 20 years now. The Crafter plant is spread out over an area of approximately 540 acres, which corresponds to around 300 football fields. More than 3,000 people will work at the Wrzesnia plant when the facility operates at full capacity. Several supply companies will also open up factories in the area, which will create additional jobs for the surrounding region.