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Spyshots: 2020 Volkswagen T7 Mule Might Be a Plug-in Hybrid

Our spies in Germany were able to capture what's believed to be the first photos of an all-new Transporter generation, the T7.
2020 Volkswagen T7 Mule Might Be a Plug-in Hybrid 24 photos
Photo: SB-Medien
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We're not used to such frequent model replacement for the big VW van range. The T6 came out in 2015 while it predecessor lived for about 12 years. But the two were quite similar, like the Golf 5 and 6, and maybe Volkswagen felt there was a need for more radical change.

This prototype, this test mule has a noticeably longer hood and a more significant overall body. The big weld over the middle panel reveals just where the body of the car was stretched.

Of course, that's not the main talking point of this mule. The spies say it started rolling in pure electric mode after which the combustion engine kicked in. No Transporter or Multivan does that currently.

In fact, there's only a couple VWs that can do that right now, the Golf and Passat GTE... unless they make something in China we forgot about.

Our first thought went to the EA288 Evo, which is a new generation of 2-liter diesel engine already powering the Audi A6. It comes with a 12V belt starter-generator and a lithium-ion battery. It's designed to "reduce fuel consumption and increase comfort," and in combination with particle filters and stuff has dropped emissions by 10 grams.

But that's probably not what we have here. Not only are diesel hybrids pretty rare, but this is a plug-in hybrid that can power itself on electricity alone. It's even got two charging ports, one next to the door and another above the left rear wheel.

Since they're so big and boxy, vans are ideal for electrification. But on long delivery routes, diesel is always going to be more economical. Besides, wasn't VW supposed to launch the fully electric Bulli in 2022?
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
Mihnea Radu profile photo

Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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