• Sep 20, 2006
On our drive back home yesterday, we saw one of those apocalypse-ready Ford Econoline vans tooling along on the freeway and thought to ourselves, "Autoblog needs a mobile command unit." After running it by our budget office and being swiftly laughed out of the building we were forced to come back out of the clouds. Then this shows up and we start salivating again.

The translation from Caradisiac is about as undecipherable as poorly-lighted Aramaic, but from what we gather, Volkswagen plans on showing off a new work truck at some point in the near future to go up against the Ford Transit, Mercedes/Dodge Sprinter and Fiat Truckster. From the Google-translated text, all we can gather is that the Crafta Atacama will be powered by five-cylinder TDI, producing approximately 260 ft./lbs. of torque and offer optional four-wheel-drive.

As anyone who has ever examined some of the offerings from the producers of European work-vans, features are what make the market. How many door combinations do you want? What interior accoutrements are on your short list? You name it, they'll normally shove it in somewhere. The Crafta Atacama probably won't be any different, offering a panoramic/sliding glass roof, customizable colors, shields, bumpers, sidesteps, suspension and wheel upgrades.

When, where and how much is all up in the air, but maybe if it floats on over to this continent we can make another appeal to our bean counters.

Click on through for a few more shots.




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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      gkz
      • 8 Years Ago
      i'm ashamed to say i actually think its kinda cool looking
      • 8 Years Ago
      It should be noted that, as it stands, the Crafter is the Sprinter. Mercedes even builds them.
      FRENZIED
      • 2 Years Ago
      I never saw this original post six years ago, but man, this thing is awesome!
      • 8 Years Ago
      look, vw couldn't be bothered, so it made a ford transit on steriods, though it has it's own range of vans already. perhaps since vw and ford have stopped building minivans together (the galaxy i mean), they'll be buildng this instead. oh and there will be a seat version soon with more sexy styling.

      maybe the us might want this ,then vw and ford could make a killing.
      anyway, don't think it's on sale even yet
      • 8 Years Ago
      Oh that's hot. Make one into an apartment and it will be cheaper than what I'm paying to live in San Francisco!

      :D
      • 8 Years Ago
      Interesting concept: Crafter or the Sprinter look, personally the crafter look would suite the U.S. market as to it's bold and very agressive looks, but it is a Mercedes end of story, the dodge will use the european Mercedes look, with a rear badge and ram style grill, sorry lad's but the design front clip is copyright to VW
      Unless VW releases them here, your dreaming Mercedes has limited the numbers VW can purchase for sale, via the VW networkof world-wide dealerships.
      • 8 Years Ago
      That shot from the back with the ladder showing kinda reminds me of the custom vans of the 70's. Put a airbrushed space mural on the side and a mattress in the back and we're in business!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Yet another copycat. Go to your friendly Dodge dealer and check out the already available Sprinter. It looks like the real deal.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The Atacama is a concept SUV vehicle built on VW's new Crafter van. The Crafter was launched in Europe in April/May and in the UK in September. Apart from the nose styling and a different range of engines, like the LT it replaces, it is essentially the same as a Mercedes (Dodge) Sprinter. The vans are a joint development between Volkswagen and Daimler-Chrysler and are built in the latters factories in Germany. There is a plan to sell the Mercedes variant as the Dodge Sprinter to replace the current model in North America. VW nicked the styling from one of their recently released South American tractor units called a Constellation. As for which looks the better I would pick the Volkswagen anyday.
      • 8 Years Ago
      the scion van on roid's.
      but compared the its competition...sprinter, truckster and transit. it's totally hot. if i had to choose one to deliver in it would be this one...w/a drop kit.
      • 8 Years Ago
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      Jan 12, 2007

      To those who require a wheelchair lift to enter a van, these types of vans offer a potential advantage over the "standard" Ford/Chevy/GMC full size vans.

      Specifically, the additional cost and inevitable leaks that accompany an after-market sport-top raised roof, and the associated raised side doors, that very often must be added to "standard" Ford/Chevy/GMC full size vans, need no longer be tolerated.

      Further, since the Atacama and similar concept vehicles are apparently still in the design stage, the ridiculously limited leg room in the area of the front seats could be increased commensurate with the vans' inherently greater dimensions.

      Finally, for the few concept vans that might not employ a drive shaft extending from the front of the vehicle to the rear wheels (i.e. not the common rear wheel drive from a engine/transmission located in the front of the vehicle), the new van designs would more easily accommodate the installation of the new under vehicle lifts (UVL) which do not obstruct access via the vans' side doors.

      Indeed, there is a non-negligible market wanting just such a van.

      Ambassador
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      • 8 Years Ago
      that looks like a uk ford transit.......