Volkswagen Multivan T7 still under consideration for Australia, plug-in hybrid likely – WhichCar
The next-generation ‘T7’ Volkswagen Multivan remains at least 18 months away from an Australian launch – but it could offer a plug-in hybrid option when it arrives.
First revealed in mid-2021, the T7 Multivan is the first completely new model in two decades – and is underpinned by a platform borrowed from Volkswagen’s latest passenger vehicles, rather than a commercial van.
It will eventually replace the T6 Multivan – unveiled in 2015 – that remains available in Australia, which rides on the same platform as the T5 launched in 2003. A facelifted version, the T6.1, arrived in 2020.
In a similar fashion to the monocoque Kia Carnival and Hyundai Staria, the T7 Multivan is based on the same MQB platform that underpins the latest Golf hatchback, Tiguan medium SUV and Caddy van, with available petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid powertrains.
For the first time, the Transporter delivery van is expected to be replaced by an all-new model based on a co-developed platform shared with the next-generation Ford Transit Custom – opening the door for a fully-electric variant.
Speaking with media this week, a local executive confirmed the T7 Multivan is not expected to arrive in Australia until 2024 at the earliest – more than two years after it launched in Europe.
It is also available in New Zealand in plug-in hybrid form, priced from NZ$78,800 (AU$71,900) before on-road costs, making it eligible for the nation’s Clean Car Discount.
“T7 Multivan is still something under evaluation at this point,” said local Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles director Ryan Davies.
“We definitely want it, but we’re not confirmed as a market as yet. We’ll continue with T6.1 for the next year and a half, and then by that stage, I’d like to hope that we can get access to T7.”
With the availability of plug-in hybrid power, Volkswagen Australia is interested in offering electrified vans – including the battery-electric ID.Buzz, which remains on the wish list.
“We’d like [the plug-in hybrid]… [but] we’ll take T7 even without plug-in hybrid,” added Davies.
It is powered by the same powertrain as the Golf GTE and Tiguan eHybrid due here in 2023, pairing a 110kW/250Nm 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder with an 85kW electric motor to develop a combined 160kW.
It features a 13kWh lithium-ion battery, allowing for a claimed WLTP-rated 50-kilometre electric-only driving range.
A range of petrol and diesel engines are available, including a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol with 100kW, a 150kW 2.0-litre petrol, and a 2.0-litre diesel with 110kW.
All are matched with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, while the plug-in hybrid utilises a six-speed unit.
Inside, it is inspired by the Golf and Caddy, with a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, a 10-inch infotainment system, a wireless phone charger, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a head-up display, and a shift-by-wire toggle gear selector.
It also features Volkswagen’s latest suite of active safety technology, including vehicle-to-X functionality and Travel Assist, which combines adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist to accelerate, brake and steer within the lane on freeways at up to 210km/h.
“The car itself is, again, similar to ID.Buzz, it’s an extremely attractive car that people have suggested that they want to see in Australia. We certainly want to see it in Australia, but we’ll take it in any form that we can get it,” added Davies.
“The plug-in hybrid would be an awesome thing to have, obviously, in this market, and we just have to see how we go with the business case on that.”
Born and raised in rural Victoria, Jordan Hickey was surrounded by a car-loving family before he could even talk. His parents’ automotive workshop fuelled his strong passion for all things four wheels.