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Crafty carrier: VW adds more choice to its versatile ‘supervan’ range

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It’s not a convertible, but it may just be one of the most highly convertible vehicles on the South African market – and Volkswagen has now added two more derivatives to this commercial vehicle’s range.

The vehicle in focus is Volkswagen’s Crafter 35 series which the German automaker has positioned as the “ultimate transport solution”.

And to extend its market reach, while giving customers more choice, VW announced the addition of Automatic and 4Motion derivatives to the Crafter 35 range, along with pricing and other details on Wednesday 7 July this week.

VW Crafter 35: Form meets function meets flexibility

Perhaps the most striking attribute of the Crafter — which VW says offers owners maximum personalisation — is its versatility and ability to be converted for a variety of uses.

According to the carmaker,  90% of Crafters sold in South Africa are converted into buses for passenger transport (taxis and scholar transport), ambulances and patient carriers by government departments, while the balance are being sold to logistics and courier companies.

More than 11 500 units have been sold in South Africa since it debuted in 2007.

Geared to meet customer needs

“By combining rugged versatility, cutting-edge engineering and a business-orientated approach, the Volkswagen Crafter is the ultimate transport solution. The Crafter, which is manufactured in Poland, is the largest three- to five-tonne van produced by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles,” said VW.

The carmaker added that the Crafter, with its efficiency, reliability, durability and adaptability, can cope with the most demanding road conditions, while its fuel-efficient TDI engine makes it perfectly suited to the transportation demands of South African businesses.

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Enhanced ergonomics for comfort over long distances

VW said attention had been given to every detail in the Crafter to ensure the comfort and safety of the driver and passengers.

  • The interior ergonomics have been enhanced to ensure higher levels of practicality and ease of use;
  • Improvements include robust seat upholstery for durability, a revised instrument cluster and control panel as well as plenty of storage compartments for a professional workspace;
  • The interior is also easily controlled with a fresh air ventilator including air recirculation and heating as standard;
  • Other standard interior features include power steering, heat-insulating glass, electric front windows and door pockets.

How the VW Crafter 35 lightens the load

  • The Crafter has a sturdy frame and a generous loading capacity. With a loading capacity of between 9.3m³ and 17.5 m³, the Crafter can handle any load thrown at it and boasts the longest loading spaces in its class of up to 4.6m;
  • Loading is simplified through two rear wing doors or through the 1.3m-wide left-hand side sliding door. A sliding door is also optional for the right-hand of the vehicle. The model has a payload capacity of up to 2.5 tonnes and torque of up to 340Nm to carry it with ease;
  • The Crafter is available in 3.5 tonne GVM and 5 tonne GVM versions. A choice of two wheelbases (3 640mm or 4 490mm), three body lengths and two different roof configurations is also available.
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Crafter 35 Safety Assistance Systems

With safety being a critical consideration, the Crafter 35 is fitted with innovative safety features designed to deliver all-round protection. Essential safety systems such as ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme) combined with Brake Assist and Crosswind Assist, MCB (Multi-Collision Braking), TCS (Traction Control System) and EBD (Electronic Brake-force Distribution) are all standard in the Crafter.

The Crafter 35 derivatives also offer a lengthy list of optional extras such as the High Roof, 270° Rear Doors, Dual Sliding doors, Trendline Trim Exterior, LED headlights with LED separate daytime running lights and Park Pilot (Front and Rear), to name just a few.

Crafter 35 Panel Van 2.0 TDI Automatic

The Crafter 35 Panel Van 2.0 TDI Automatic is fitted with the same world-class standard safety systems and convenience features found in the Crafter 35 Manual version.

It is characterised by a 100mm lower loading sill (when compared to the 4MOTION derivative), the largest loading height and payload in its class as well as bigger headroom within the loading area.

According to VW, the transmission utilised in this derivative is the first eight-speed automatic gearbox with a torque converter for transversely mounted front-engine vehicles in the commercial vehicle sector. The eight-speed automatic transmission utilises a torque convertor, which transforms the Crafter into a vehicle that is easy to drive over long distances.

The automatic transmission facilitates stress and fatigue-free driving in stop-and-go traffic, making it the perfect workhorse, delivery vehicle or taxi.

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Crafter 35 Panel Van 2.0 TDI 4MOTION

This derivative offers reliable traction, the best tracking stability as well as a trailer load of up to three tonnes.

VW said this vehicle is based on the front-wheel drive model but adds a four-wheel drive coupling that delivers power to the rear axle. The permanent four-wheel driving system means that as much power as possible is sent to the front wheels alone in order to maximise fuel economy.

The six-speed manual gearbox utilised in this model has been further developed from the T6 gearbox to offer shifting comfort similar to that of passenger cars, while the transmission ratios have been adapted for optimum fuel consumption and performance.

“The Crafter 35 derivatives are both available in the 2.0 TDI engine which boasts 103kW and 340Nm and fuel consumption of 8.2 litres/100km (Crafter 35 Panel Van 2.0 TDI Automatic) and 9.1 litres/100km (Crafter 35 Panel Van 2.0 TDI 4MOTION),” said the automaker.

VW’s recommended retail prices (VAT and emissions tax included) for the Crafter derivatives are:

  • Crafter 35 Panel Van 2.0 TDI 103kW (MCV) R616 900
  • Crafter 35 Panel Van 2.0 TDI 103kW Automatic R659 400
  • Crafter 35 Panel Van 2.0 TDI 103kW (LCV) R711 700
  • Crafter 35 Panel Van 2.0 TDI 103kW Manual 4MOTION R713 300
  • Crafter 50 Panel Van 2.0 TDI 103kW (LWB) R726 600
  • Crafter 50 Bus Conversion Ready 2.0 TDI 103kW (LWB) R726 600
  • Crafter 50 Bus Conversion Ready 2.0 TDI 103kW (XLWB) R736 700
  • Crafter 50 Panel Van 2.0 TDI 103kW (XLWB) R736 700

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