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Volkswagen Transporter the old man of vans

Launched in 1950, the Volkswagen Transporter was already a teenager by the time the Ford Transit cut its first tooth. At the launch of the sixth generation of the vehicle we were treated to a proper night out of ageing icons...
 

I haven't been to a full vehicle launch for a while, so it was good to arrive in Amsterdam this week for the full Volkswagen Transporter T6 experience. This vehicle was originally launched in 1950 and has registered some pretty impressive sales figures since then. The VW gang had laid on the full show of the previous five generations of the vehicle. The first generation on sale from 1950 to 1967 sold over 1.74 million models and every subsequent iteration has registered over 1.2 million sales. My quick calculations reckoned the Transporter has numbered over nine million vehicles in 65 years, though I saw the VW press blurb reckoned there had been over 11 million versions of the vehicles sold - statistics hey!

The Transporter is, of course also available as a camper and minibus and has been quite a reputation with the surfer dudes. The new version looks like being no-less iconic! While on the outside the changes are limited to a revision of the metal bashing and some new headlamps, the interior and engines have been giving a decent once over, the latter in preparation for the 2016 Euro 6 emissions changes, which requires the introduction of SCR technology and the use of Adblue. It looks like most of the van makers are going to have to adopt this kit for Euro-6, so we'll have to get used to topping up diesel and urea.

There's no denying the impressive set of the Transporter launch would have graced a TV studio, but most impressive was the arrival of ageing rocker Mark Knopfler and his band to do a set when we'd got bored with the vans. I was never much of a Dire Straits fan back in the day - and I've had to explain who they were to some of the young pups in the office, if you can believe that - but he belted out a few favourites and the European press corps seemed very impressed - plenty of whooping and a hollering from the attendant hacks.

We'll be driving the new Transporter in June, all being well, and will report back then. We'd have liked to have seen a bit more of an extensive change to the outside of the van to set the product apart on the road, but the changes to the motor promise good fuel returns and let's face it nobody ever got sacked for buying a VW. - UK versions go on sale in October.

New Volkswagen Transporter new dash layout

There's no denying the impressive set of the Transporter launch would have graced a TV studio
Volkswagen Transporter T5

The Transporter is, of course also available as a camper and minibus and has been quite a reputation with the surfer dudes. The new version looks like being no-less iconic! While on the outside the changes are limited to a revision of the metal bashing and some new headlamps, the interior and engines have been giving a decent once over, the latter in preparation for the 2016 Euro 6 emissions changes, which requires the introduction of SCR technology and the use of Adblue. It looks like most of the van makers are going to have to adopt this kit for Euro-6, so we'll have to get used to topping up diesel and urea.

There's no denying the impressive set of the Transporter launch would have graced a TV studio, but most impressive was the arrival of ageing rocker Mark Knopfler and his band to do a set when we'd got bored with the vans. I was never much of a Dire Straits fan back in the day - and I've had to explain who they were to some of the young pups in the office, if you can believe that - but he belted out a few favourites and the European press corps seemed very impressed - plenty of whooping and a hollering from the attendant hacks.

We'll be driving the new Transporter in June, all being well, and will report back then. We'd have liked to have seen a bit more of an extensive change to the outside of the van to set the product apart on the road, but the changes to the motor promise good fuel returns and let's face it nobody ever got sacked for buying a VW. - UK versions go on sale in October.

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