Volkswagen T7 Multivan Launches With ID.Buzz Looks, MQB-Enabled PHEV Powertrain

Volkswagen Multivan 11 photos
Photo: Volkswagen
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Volkswagen is kicking off the seventh generation of its long-running line of commercial vehicles with the most luxurious version: the Multivan.
However, the press release doesn't even once mention the name "T7". Instead, it would appear the German company is thinking about separating the Multivan from the rest of its Transporter range, leaving the latter to continue selling the T6.1 models for more commercial-oriented applications. As for the upcoming electric model, the ID.Buzz, it will make up a third "pillar" of what Volkswagen calls the "Bulli" range.

The two key features of the new Multivan are its design (both interior and exterior) and its selection of powertrains. Starting with the former, the MPV borrows a few cues from the ID.Buzz concept—particularly at the back where it gets thin horizontal taillights—but it still mostly looks like a modernized version of the Transporter more than anything else.

The interior is where the biggest leap is made, with the Multivan sporting the sort of dashboard and infotainment features you would expect from a 2021 model. The central display may not rival Tesla or Mercedes-Benz in terms of size, but let's not forget the Multivan has commercial vehicle lineage, even if it's now based on the MQB platform and its main destination is that of a family car or business shuttle. Besides, the digital cockpit now comes as standard, so what it loses in display size it makes up for in their actual number.

The five seats of the two rear rows can be configured independently or even removed altogether if more cargo space is required. Thanks to a newly introduced extended version, the maximum space available can go as high as 4,053 liters (just over 4 cubic meters), making the Multivan a decent hauling option when needed.

The list of available powertrains is the best example so far of how badly diesel has fallen out of grace with the automotive industry. Once available exclusively with TDI engines, the new Multivan can only be had with a selection of two gasoline engines (TSI), with a plug-in hybrid system (PHEV) also available from launch. Later on (next year), a TDI option with 150 PS (148 hp) will also become available. A seven-speed DSG (dual-clutch automatic) transmission will "generally" be fitted as standard. We're not entirely sure what they mean by "generally," but it sounds like they're not ready to fully commit to that promise.

The TSI engines make 136 PS/134 hp (1.5-liter) and 204 PS/201 hp (2.0-liter), but the real star of the show is the eHybrid model. The PHEV uses a 1.4-liter TSI engine making 150 PS/148 hp (so already more than the larger 1.5-liter), helped by an 85-kW (114-hp) electric motor. Together, they make 218 PS (215 hp), but thanks to a 13 kWh battery pack, the eHybrid can also travel in EV mode only. However, Volkswagen has failed to provide a maximum range at this point. However, expect it to be in the 30-mile (50-km) region, making it ideal mostly for short urban trips.

Finally, the Multivan also comes pretty packed with technology and safety features. You can spot the radar sensor that will make a few Tesla owners quite envious, and it's standard equipment for the MPV. Apart from that one—which enables adaptive cruise control as well as emergency braking—there's also the "IQ.DRIVE Travel Assist", a feature that, according to Volkswagen, "facilitates semi-automated driving from 0 to 210 km/h" (130 mph). Make of that what you will, just don't expect the Multivan to drive itself.
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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