By on March 20, 2015

http---o.aolcdn.com-hss-storage-midas-e5d1c9474f6c099abe418721a512d550-201718780-VW-T6-Teaser

Well, this ought to erase memories of the Routan.

Hot on the heels of news that VW may bring a van or a pickup to America comes a preview for their new van, dubbed the T6. Ubiquitous in world markets, the VW vans don’t follow the traditional American minivan formula, but are available in endless configurations for personal or commercial use. With the rise of the Ram ProMaster, Ford Transit and Mercedes Metris, perhaps there’s a case to be made for European-style vans from VW?

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46 Comments on “Volkswagen’s Next Van Could Preview Future Product For United States...”


  • avatar
    brettc

    Seems like there’s probably a case to sell them here. If they could offer a modern Westfalia camper people would probably buy it. But they’d probably price it way too high or put a thirsty engine in it or some other simple yet stupid mistake. Still never understood why they didn’t offer a diesel Routan, it might have helped them.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Denver

      Oddly enough, Chrysler in Europe sold (I think still sells, as Lancia) their vans in Europe with a VM Motori (Fiat) Italian made 2.8L diesel. They were using them even before Fiat owned either one. But you could never get those in the US on either the Chrysler branded vans or the Routan.

    • 0 avatar

      One of my friends has an old Vanagon with a subaru engine that she drives halfway across the country to participate in sheepdog trials, because she can sleep in the thing, stand up in it, make coffee in it, etc. She’d love a modern version.

    • 0 avatar
      Richard Chen

      The T5 camper is ironically called the California: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0msp91B1-8

  • avatar
    Toad

    If VW dealers were able to convince ANY buyers to purchase a Dodge Caravan with a VW grille they ought to be very successful with an actual VW product. 30 years late to market, but it’s nice to see the effort.

    Maybe they will decide to sell a desirable CUV in 20 years or so.

    • 0 avatar
      usedtolikeBMW

      +1

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      30 years late?

      The Vanagon wasn’t taken out of the US until 1991, and sold well enough that you still see them.

      (Which is, you know, impressive, for an ’80s VW.)

      • 0 avatar
        Toad

        30 years late for a FWD minivan. RWD minivans were never really contenders outside the Chevy Astro (which is an awesome example of an automotive penalty box).

        That being said, if VW followed up on the microbus concept that they kicked around after the success of the New Beetle I’d be all in.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Denver

      They convinced me by stacking a large stack of $ on the hood. I paid less for my (better equipped) 2009 Routan than I had 14 yrs. earlier for my T&C, taking into account the cash for clunkers $ too.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      IMO the Routan was the best of the Chryco vans. But that’s a limited subset….

      What happened to the funky little van design they floated back around 2005? That was pretty cool and not too big…

  • avatar

    How about a more spacious version of the CC?

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    Vanagon? Eurovan? or some new name based on animals neither tiger nor iguana?

  • avatar
    RS

    Hard to say if it will erase the memory or make VW van fans wish it was back. The Routan was one of the more reliable vehicles sold off of VW lots… :)

    …and if the seats don’t all fold into the floor, they’ll wish for the Routan. Chrysler’s Stow n’ Go is the best invention in the history of minivans.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    I’m puzzled why VW has taken so long to offer something like a modern microbus. It seems a slamdunk to me, you should see the crazy prices people pay for the Westafalia vans.

    • 0 avatar
      OldandSlow

      In other countries that don’t have US D.O.T. and EPA regs – which require a costly certification process – VW does offer their current transporter line up – They are a bit are pricey.

      For example Australia: http://www.volkswagen-commercial.com.au/en/models/transporter_delivery_van.html

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        Yeah.

        To look like an original Type 2 makes it really, really hard to actually meet crash standards – there’s nothing between the driver and oncoming traffic or a wall except flat sheet metal.

        And when you put a nose on it, people complain it’s “not a real Bus!”

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Denver

      How many Westfalias get sold in the collectors market? 10? 100?

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    Hi TTAC, have you thought about using the main article picture to link to the article itself, rather than linking to a lightbox of the same image? I’m speaking only of the TTAC front page here.

  • avatar
    vent-L-8

    Mercedes Benz (in Europe) has a Westfalia camper van (uses the Westfalia name) under the Marco Polo brand in their new V class. There were a few at the auto show in Brussels this year … they are very nice.

  • avatar
    Garak

    Inflicting the VW vans upon the US public could be considered a crime against humanity. Of course, the Germans have a history of that already…

  • avatar
    Jack Denver

    There is a reason they went with the Routan in the first place – the Chrysler vans are a product that Americans have been shown to actually want (if not w/ a VW emblem on the grill). The V-6s pull decently even if they sound like a bucket of bolts. Americans are not going to buy a van with a 2.0L four and if they do, they will regret it later when they drive fully loaded thru the mountains w/ the AC on.

    The concept vehicle is awfully boxy. It reminds me of the pre-96 Chryslers:

    http://media.cleveland.com/pdextra/photo/1995towncountryjpg-8abf35b4447ab8f6.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      That might not be a bad strategy. The original Chrysler minivans were compact boxes less than 15 feet long, while the “grand” versions being sold today are two feet longer and nine inches wider. The smaller size, economy, and maneuverability would be quite a contrast to the soccer mom vehicle, and closer to the original bus for camping, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      dtremit

      It looks a lot like the current T5 Transporter, which looks a lot like its predecessor, the T4 Transporter.

      AKA the Eurovan, the van that completely flopped here…

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Yeah, VW brass is probably too stupid to round the corners, put in more small windows, use two passenger side doors instead of a sliding door, and add other design cues to remind people of the type 2. They did it right with the new Bug so there’s some design chops in Wolfsburg, but it would probably take Ferdinand Piech himself to demand that the design evoke the old type 2. Given that the Transporter would be cheaper to make, he’s probably the last person to demand it.

        • 0 avatar
          th009

          Most Type 2s had sliding doors, only the early ones had barn doors.

          And given that a majority of Transporters are sold to commercial customers (or private customers actually hauling stuff), the sliding door is the correct choice.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    That resembles a Chevy Astro.

    I’m stunned – but not, really – that VW is dumb enough to try this. With loaded Siennas pushing $50k, what would this one cost – $60k in top trim, and $38k to start?

    If Nissan Quests can only sell in the hundreds/month (from what great heights it has fallen), how does VW expect to gain any traction in the van market?

    How about importing the Up! for the inevitable upswing in gas prices?

    And what is ‘German Engineering’, other than a thinly veiled nationalistic slogan? I’ll stick with the Korean engineering of my Sedona minivan.

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    Wow, a featureless box with preposterously oversized wheels. Who is the customer for this?

  • avatar

    Where’s the 3-row crossover?

    Where’s the significantly refreshed Jetta?

    Where’s the retro-inspired Microbus?

    No, let’s keep talking up the Phaeton, niche pickups that are in high demand (on Craigslist in 8 years with 80k miles), and whatever the hell this is.

    Let’s give that low-margin urban cargo/passenger van market a run for its money! And let’s do it with Volkswagen, a brand renowned for its stout build construction, high-mileage 24/7 dependability, and impeccable dealer service.

    Whatever. Just keep pumpin’-and-dumpin’ Jetta SE leases. I like being able to (in all likelihood) carry similar margins to a new VW store selling VW Credit turn-ins.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      It’s not designed for the US market, whether it ends up there or not.

      The current T5 is selling at close to 200K units per year, so it’s a significant vehicle elsewhere.

  • avatar
    Juniper

    Lots of nostalgia here. Just put an engine in it that will go up a hill at the posted speed limit. That’s all I ask.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    It’s a pity VW can’t import some to test the waters.

    The inability to put a vehicle that attracts the chicken tax in the US makes it hard for manufacturers.

    If the market was big enough VW would know and they then could build a plant to manufacture them.

    Maybe they can do as Ford had done with the Transit Connects and risk fines for circumventing the Chicken Tax.

    Well, I hope there is a big enough market for the VW vans and the Amarok.

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