• Apr 13, 2011
2012 Volkswagen Crafter – Click above for high-res image gallery

Big vans are the workhorses of countries like the UK, and Volkswagen is keen to take a bigger slice of that particular pie with its new Crafter. Unveiled this week at the Commercial Vehicle Show at the Birmingham NEC, the new van is an update on the previous model that was unveiled at the same expo five years ago.

The Crafter was co-developed with Mercedes-Benz and is once again based on the Sprinter chassis, but the driveline (as well as the new front-end styling) are Volkswagen's. The new range of engines are lighter, more fuel efficient, less polluting and altogether cheaper to run, allowing for increased payloads in the process.

Follow the jump for the full press releases, and click on the thumbnails below for high-resolution images.



[Source: Volkswagen]
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NEW CRAFTER TO SET NEW CLASS STANDARDS

Five years after the Crafter made its world debut at the Commercial Vehicle Show, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is delighted to announce early information about a new Crafter ahead of its start of production later this summer.

First details indicate the new Crafter will cause a revolution in the large van market with increased payloads and improvements in efficiency, emissions and running costs.

The current Crafter has already achieved EEV (Enhanced Environmentally Friendly Vehicle) status with its range of five-cylinder, 2.5-litre BlueTDI engines with emissions comfortably exceeding the latest Euro5 standards. Now, Volkswagen is improving the new Crafter's environmental credentials even further by introducing its latest four-cylinder, 2.0-litre, common rail TDI engines across the range.

Power outputs will compare with the current engine range, but with increased torque and efficiency, Volkswagen expects them to set new class standards for emissions and running costs in the large van sector. Initial engine data suggests the new Crafter could produce emissions from as low as 195 g/km.

The 2.0 TDI engines are already proven in the new Amarok pick-up, Caddy and Transporter and have been praised for their refinement and efficiency. This engine is expected to reduce fuel consumption and emissions figures for the new Crafter by up to 33 per cent. Running costs could also be reduced by up to 25 per cent thanks to better fuel consumption and lower servicing costs. Later this year, Volkswagen BlueMotion Technology combined with a Start/Stop system and battery regeneration is also expected to be introduced for the new Crafter. Weight savings from the new engines, along with other technical modifications, will allow payload increases.

Changes to the exterior of the new Crafter are limited to the front grille which is refreshed in line with the modern Volkswagen design DNA to emphasis its horizontal lines. The interior will feature various modifications to details including new upholstery and redesigned instruments.

'The Crafter is already great to drive, has plenty of carrying ability with good environmental credentials, so enhancements to running costs and payloads are guaranteed to prove very successful and attract new customers,' said Matthew Bowden, Head of Operations, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

Prices and full UK specifications will be confirmed before the launch of the new Crafter this summer.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 31 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      After seeing these Sprinter based vans for the last 15 years, I can now safely say they all look the same.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ford E-series Still holds the title for scaring the heck out of other vans when you look at it.

      Econaline for the win
      • 3 Years Ago
      Please bring it here, in diesel form just like the Sprinter =)
      • 3 Years Ago
      AT first I thought it was a Maxi-Transit Connect. Fusion headlights, Expy grill.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Or, if you were really clever, the current-generation VW Crafter.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Will VW get Brooke Shields to help promote this van as well?
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm holding out for the VW Crafter Work Van: Kraftwerk edition.

      It would be fully electric, last forever, and mainly follow a Western Classical styling with minimalistic and strictly electronic instrumentation.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Wow you sure do waste a lot of characters assuming I know nothing about work trucks and hauling gear - because we obviously never do that in the film industry.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I have not made any accusations towards you, my tone in responding to your comments is possibly just as harsh as that which is displayed in yours...
        Don't like it, go to another blog... if possible.

        >>Bloke: "On the other hand, if you can give me a plausible explanation as to why such a large percentage of American males do receive divorce papers other than the reason I think they do, then let me know"

        Are you serious, I just made a statement about how many of your posts spout ramblings about divorce and you bring it up again.... is this some sort of therapy session... on a car blog... really?

        Let me try to answer the question to help you out:
        Many males are handed divorce papers because they spend way too much time in the blog-sphere.... yep that's it

        • 3 Years Ago
        "If you look a Bloke's past comments they are centered around American males, teenagers and divorce rates. For some reason he keeps coming back to this site because I guess in his mind there are a lot of teenagers for him to "play" with."

        BubbaGump - if you're not being serious and want to lark around with such comments online, then knock yourself out, I won't be offended. But if you seriously and contemptuously want to make a formal accusation regarding such behaviour, then do let me know. I will give you a PO Box, you can put it in writing with a signature and a forwarding address, and I'll then seek legal advice with regard to libellous slander.

        On the other hand, if you can give me a plausible explanation as to why such a large percentage of American males do receive divorce papers other than the reason I think they do, then let me know.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Could they have picked a lamer name for the thing? Crafter? lol

      Then again, VW already has the ugliest names for most of their cars (ie Tiguan, Routan, CC, Touareg etc), might as well chuck a "Crafter" in for the heck of it.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The front looks like it came straight off the Ford Transit...
        • 3 Years Ago
        The Transit is miniscule? I think you need glasses. The long wheelbase model is almost identical in size to the Crafter in the picture.
        • 3 Years Ago
        "Just because not everyone lives in the same continent as you and are not as familiar with some vehicles it doesn't make them clueless or ingorant."

        Interesting viewpoint. But equally as interesting is airing a constructive and well thought-out viewpoint regarding the Volt's target market as not being entirely full of praise results in being set upon like hyenas at an antelope. The constant movement of those goalposts never ceases to amaze me. But here's the difference: I will only ever comment conclusively or air an opinion upon aspects of the motor industry I'm actually au fait with.

        In this case, the ignorance came from the fact that the poster was claiming that a vehicle unknown to his market (the VW Crafter) aped another vehicle also unknown to his market (the Ford Transit) - which was a ridiculous comment to anyone with even the slightest degree of automotive knowledge.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Toni

        he means your comment that the front look that it comes straight from the Ford Transit...wich highlight your lack in knowlege..there Blocke is right..
        the Crafter and Transit hit the market the same year in 2006 and VW has used that design befor on the VW Constellation truck in south america...so VW did not copy Ford, but Ford did cpy VW design..
        • 3 Years Ago
        You guys can't be serious? The transit is a Miniscule vehicle, this thing is a mammoth in comparison. There is no resemblance in real life.
        That's like comparing a ford focus and saying it's bearing a resemblance to a ford ecoline.
        • 3 Years Ago
        "You guys can't be serious? The transit is a Miniscule vehicle, this thing is a mammoth in comparison."

        We're talking about the Ford Transit, which is a medium commercial chassis-cab and van range. What you appear to be referring to is the Ford Transit Connect, a small van based on the first-generation Ford Focus platform.
        • 3 Years Ago
        thats wrong the Crafter looked that way since 2006 and it hit the market befor the Mk 6 Transit that hit the market in August 2006... the Transit befor 2006 looks comeptely different and to be honest the Transit and the Crafter does not play in the same class..
        The Crafter curbe weight is up to 2.7to (Transit up to 2.2to) and maximum possible length of the Crafter is 7.3m (Transit 5.7m)

        The VW Crafter design is based on the 2005 VW Constellation truck design sold in south america

        http://www.vwtrucksandbuses.com/en/vehicles_constellation.aspx
        • 3 Years Ago
        Agreed. Have they never SEEN a Ford Transit before?
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ Bloke

        Take your American hate somewhere else. Besides I told you last time I'm not American.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Pat

        >>"That being said, there are plenty of other car blogs out there... you're welcome to look elsewhere!"

        If you look a Bloke's past comments they are centered around American males, teenagers and divorce rates. For some reason he keeps coming back to this site because I guess in his mind there are a lot of teenagers for him to "play" with.

        He probably has been "caught" on other car blogs
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ Bloke

        Enlighten me. How bollock can my comment get when it's a mere statement on what I think of it visually?
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ Bloke ...

        Just because not everyone lives in the same continent as you and are not as familiar with some vehicles it doesn't make them clueless or ingorant.

        That being said, there are plenty of other car blogs out there... you're welcome to look elsewhere!
        • 3 Years Ago
        @MrRoadrange

        The Transit and the Crafter are NOT in the same class...

        like I have written befor

        The largest Ford Transit version (long wheelbase, high roof, double rear tires)
        can carry 2.24to (4938lbs)
        storage volume of 14.2m³ (505 cubic foot)
        The largest VW Crafter
        can carry 2.65to (5842lbs)
        storage volume of 17,0m³ (600 cubic foot)
      • 3 Years Ago
      @AceConvoy. The Crafter, Ducato, IVECO, Sprinter, PSA Vans all sell outside the North American Market. The Eseries (E350.E450) only in North America. There will be an update of the Eseries, but it will still be only sold in NA.
      • 3 Years Ago
      What's VW got against developing their own vans?
        • 3 Years Ago
        "Well, with that logic, there should only be 1 van - and every manufacturer badge their own version, no? OK maybe 2 or 3 globally across all OEMs? Probably will be some day - China will just make the vans and everyone stick their name on it. Just like clothes."

        They could - and indeed, many do. PSA and Fiat collaborate for their medium van models, as go Renault and Vauxhall/Opel, as well as Mercedes-Benz and VW. In some markets, Renault also sells their vans as Nissans. And in the European medium van market, these are the major players other than Ford. The Transit is a huge seller in Europe's largest markets - the UK and Germany - and Ford has been able to produce a largely bespoke product as a result. Even then, PSA supplies Ford with one of the Transit's diesel units. That said, the currently 7th generation Transit is a warmed over 6th generation model, and indeed the Transit tends to have at least two generation cycles before an all-new product is launched. Every business operates differently, all have different areas of concentration, all have different market shares for those areas of concentration. On top of that, businesses and the market in which they operate have upswings and downturns. You can't treat businesses or markets - or even single countries - as a standard product.

        • 3 Years Ago
        Well, with that logic, there should only be 1 van - and every manufacturer badge their own version, no? OK maybe 2 or 3 globally across all OEMs? Probably will be some day - China will just make the vans and everyone stick their name on it. Just like clothes.
        • 3 Years Ago
        "What's VW got against developing their own vans?"

        Probably the same issue as GM Europe relying on Renault for its medium commercial vans, or Ford relying on Fiat for its A-segment entry: cost and benefit. Car manufacturers, first and foremost, are businesses.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Well, if I could buy a van at cost, pry off the "Caravan" badge, glue on a "Routan" badge, and instantly have a couple grand in my pocket, then I'd start a company too.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Probably because it's cheaper to collaborate with another manufacturer's van instead? Do you know how many man hours are necessary to engineer a new vehicle? It's one thing to pen a sketch ... it's a whole other to get all the necessary bits to build one.
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