Volkswagen formally rolled out its new Crafter van to crowds at the Commercial Vehicles show in Britain on Monday.

The top rung of VW's commercial range replaces the LT, a long-running model that only saw two generations over the course of 31 years. The Crafter successor seen here goes on sale in Blighty this September, and will be offered with a range of four and five cylinder engines, along with a full range of body configurations, including three different wheelbases, four compartment sizes and three roof heights. Not enough? The Crafter will be available as a panel van, double cab van and a chassis cab.  A six speed manual will be standard-fit, but an 'automated manual transmission' (read: DSG/S-Tronic) will also be available. The smaller Volkswagen Caddy was launched with the slick transmission last year, which suggests that it's more durable and versatile than car enthusiasts might've been led to believe.

Interestingly, Volkswagen is also releasing a Sportline model, complete with revised facia, Eibach springs, 18" Borbet wheels, and options like a "Golf GTI style leather interior" and iPod adapter. The model is pitched as a novel alternative to Gen-X 'extreme sports' types who need room for lifestyle accessories (lots of 'em, apparently).

The German automaker has been increasing its UK commercial presence nicely, with six years of consecutive growth and a record 23,065 registrations notched for 2005.

Check out the link for full press release and specs.

[Sources:; Volkswagen]

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