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New 2017 Volkswagen Crafter Debuts with FWD Option, US Market Entry Possible

Volkswagen's Commercial Vehicles arm has just dropped the new 2017 Crafter, with the second generation of the model bringing a long line of firsts, for both the automaker and the class it belongs to.
2017 Volkswagen Crafter 7 photos
2017 Volkswagen Crafter2017 Volkswagen Crafter2017 Volkswagen Crafter2017 Volkswagen Crafter2017 Volkswagen Crafter2017 Volkswagen Crafter
We'll start with a bit of history, reminding you that the previous Crafter shared its underpinnings with the Mercedes Sprinter. The 2017 model is an all-VW development, with the company building a new production site in Wrzesnia, Poland, specifically for this purpose, with the plant set to kick off with a workforce of 3,000.

Aside from the rear-wheel-drive and 4Motion all-wheel-drive versions, the new Crafter brings a front-wheel-drive option, as part of the benefits brought by the fresh platform.

The architecture is dressed in styling cues that bring the large van in line with Volkswagen's passenger cars. However, as most, if not all members of the segment, the front end clearly dominates the visual side of the vehicle. Speaking of the design, the 2017 model comes with a drag coefficient of 0.33, the lowest in its class. We must also add the three possible chassis lengths, with just as many roof height options. The company will also release basic "cab" versions waiting to receive various conversions destined for a wide range of purposes. Single and double cab incarnations will be offered.

Behind the office-attitude fascia of the Crafter, we find the automaker's refreshed 2.0 TDI Nutzfahrzeuge four-cylinder turbodiesel engine family, which now complies with Euro 6 emission standards. Those of you who are familiar with the T6 will recognize the units, as we're dealing with 102, 122, 140 and 175 (bi-turbo) hp versions. In the gearbox department, customers can choose between manual and automatic units.

As for the cabin, this also offers car-like design, as well as fit & finish - the image gallery also allows us to see the interior of the new Crafter.

With the 2017 Crafter introducing electric power system to the segment, this has allowed for a host of active safety system to be added to the commercial vehicle. From a cross-wind feature to trailer-destined assistants and Adaptive Cruise Control, the list is long and things don't end here.

Other active safety features include active LED headlights, a reverse camera, a rear traffic alert system, as well as parking sensors. On the passive safety front, the Crafter comes with front, side, as well as head airbags for the driver and passenger).

The new Crafter is scheduled to make its debut this September, at the Commercial Vehicle IAA in Hanover. Earlier this year, we wrote about a potential US market entry for the large van, but nothing is official yet.


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