The Volkswagen Transporter is about to undergo big changes, both inside and out, as well as under the skin. The next generation of the company’s legendary bus is currently in the works, and a new series of spy photos is here to uncover most of its design secrets.
Our photographers tested the new T7 somewhere in the Austrian Alps with its predecessor, still on sale across Europe. The prototype is almost camouflage-free apart from a few inches of black tape trying to mislead the shape and size of the headlights and taillights.
As you can see from the attached images, the test car drives with additional test equipment including sensors on the wheel hubs and on-board test dummies to simulate a trip under heavy load. It appears to be a bus with an eight-seater configuration, but some of the seats are removed to free up more cargo space.
Although relatively familiar on the outside, the next Transporter will be completely new under the skin. The model will run on a new version of Volkswagen’s MQB architecture, which will allow the integration of electrified powertrains. Both front-drive and all-wheel-drive versions will be available, and for those not interested in electrification, we would also expect gasoline and diesel engine options.
These new photos seem to confirm that the Transporter T7 is nearing the end of its development cycle. While this is a positive sign for the model’s arrival, we don’t expect to see it until the second quarter of next year, with sales likely starting in the second half of 2021.
Needless to say, the Transporter remains a product for Europe, which essentially means you won’t see it at Volkswagen dealerships in the United States.