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Volkswagen rolling out specialist conversion fashions with manufacturing facility backing

Volkswagen Business is rolling out a variety of ‘turn-key’ specialist autos equivalent to a wheelchair-ready Caddy, and Crafter-based tippers, chilly storage vans, and luxurious motorhomes.

Somewhat than needing to purchase base autos and take them to a specialist converter, these for-purpose commercials are (or can be) out there ready-to-go from VW sellers – with warranties. 

The conversion work is being achieved by Volkswagen-approved (OEM degree) third-parties in Europe and the UK with longstanding VW dealings, or by accomplice organisations in Australia equivalent to Jayco, Walkinshaw and ARB.

Seven ‘conversion’ variants – both confirmed for Australia or beneath analysis and testing –have been unveiled on the new Volkswagen Group Australia workplace and coaching centre at Essendon Fields final week, to advertise the division and generate market curiosity. 

Already a serious focus for the corporate at dwelling, Volkswagen’s Business Autos division says it sees this as an enormous a part of its future in Australia, and a key differentiator. 

“We all know from the success of the Australian-engineered Walkinshaw Amarok and Crafter Kampervan that there are nice alternatives for Volkswagen Business Autos to offer much more tailor-made options to quite a lot of leisure and specialist wants,” claims director Ryan Davies

“From ambulance fleets to wheelchair entry autos, from refrigerated transport to powerful tipper our bodies, the Caddy and Crafter specifically present the proper foundation to offer versatile and built-in options – manufacturing facility backed with guarantee, turn-key options which might be able to go.

“These seven autos present the clear intent of Volkswagen Business Autos to broaden past the collection manufacturing autos out there in showrooms.”

The autos

Caddy Maxi Life with wheelchair entry conversion

That is the primary look in Australia of a car from the “soon-to-be out there” Caddy Wheelchair Accessible Conversion, based mostly on the Caddy Maxi.

The car is transformed by a 400-staff firm known as AMF-Bruns GmbH headquartered in Decrease Saxony, billed because the European chief in making autos for folks with lowered mobility. 

The Caddy Wheelchair Accessible Conversion is now being homologated for the Australian market with a goal launch date of late 2023. It already has Full European Sort-Approval, and greater than 350 have been offered in new Zealand already. 

VW claims that in displayed six-seat specification it should value round $25,000 greater than the Caddy Maxi on which it’s based mostly, suggesting a circa-$80,000 price ticket. 5- and seven-seat layouts can be found. 

Options embrace an ‘Easyflex’ ramp with cut-out ground that tucks away under the car, a folding head- and backrest for the wheelchair occupant with a restraint system crash-tested to 20g (forces), and extra-long wheelchair belts.

The car will be serviced at any VW supplier and the conversion upkeep (eg. for the hydraulic elevate) can be taught to sellers with help from AMF-Bruns.

Whereas a serious upside is the turn-key nature of this machine, VW says it will likely be in a position to bill the car and conversion individually – for organisations that require it equivalent to the federal government’s NDIS.

Crafter with Smartbar SpartanBar polycarbonate bullbar 

This Crafter modification was developed from a direct request from Emergency Providers to make use of on their ambulances, as Volkswagen tries to muscle in on turf historically held by the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. 

Native firm Smartbar (an ARB 4×4 Equipment model) has acquired what’s known as a ‘letter of no objection’ from Volkswagen AG in Germany, which means it’s thought of a bonafide provider. 

Smartbar is regionally recognized for creating frontal safety programs for fleets, emergency companies and mining, and this product was designed and made in Australia. 

The hole, polyethylene design offers frontal safety in addition to the power to flex and soak up on impression, then return to form. It weighs 53kg. 

 It’s appropriate with all of the driver- help programs and customary Australian Emergency car equipment 

The Crafter 35 MWB with Smartbar ARB conversion is on-sale now priced from $3658 past the price of the Crafter 35 MWB.

Crafter twin cab with Tipper Physique

This one is a toe within the water, with VW saying there’s “potential market demand”. 

It’s created by an organization known as Ingimex, which payments itself because the UK’s largest producer of sunshine industrial car our bodies.

Options embrace full peak embossed metal panel development, a excessive tensile metal platform dip e-coated in a six-stage course of, double-skinned aluminium sideboards, a tailboard with facet mounted locks, three-level load lashing, and a 400kg gantry capability.

Crafter single cab with field physique 

One other Ingimex creation, the Crafter field physique is designed to deal with the dominant Isuzu N-Sequence cabover truck. 

It may be pushed on a automobile licence with a sub 4.5t GVM, and has a claimed class-best circa 1.75t payload. 

Payload is maximised for the reason that physique itself is sort of half-a-tonne lighter than any comparable physique, in accordance with VW, and comes all full excluding the optional-extra tail elevate.

The field physique comes pre-prepared to mount column or cantilever lifts with its tailored rear cross-member and pre-installed second battery. The shutter system is built-in within the roof.

The Crafter field physique goes on-sale now, with 22 autos set to be within the supplier community by Christmas – and extra in 2023 – priced from $79,990 plus on-road prices.

It has three seats together with an ErgoComfort driver’s seat with massaging, an eight-speed computerized, rear-wheel drive with twin rear tyres, and a four-tier load restraint system. 

Crafter single cab with eutectic chilly items physique 

A product of Carlsen Baltic UAB Lithuania, a market-leader for refrigerated truck conversions in Europe and recognised precedence VW accomplice. 

The physique on show is getting used to offer real-world testing knowledge in Australia’s local weather. It’s being despatched to a chilly items distributor, then additional north to offer suggestions through the GPS monitoring system with temperature sensors.

It makes use of a eutectic cooling system that doesn’t require engine energy to maintain the physique chilly throughout runs – only a three-phase plug at base and 6 hours “pull-down” time. As long as you don’t go away doorways open too lengthy, it’s designed to take care of a temperature for as much as 13 hours.

It’s billed as having an working temperature of –33 °C to –20 °C, and for the engineers amongst us has a Okay worth of ≤ 0.27 W/m²K.

Estimated pricing, “if the choice is made to maneuver forward with an Australian on-sale date”, could be circa-$130,000 plus on-road prices, says VW. 

There aren’t any tailpipe emissions from the eutectic refrigeration, no operational noise, and “steady cooling” even when the car engine is off. It has full European & Australian Sort-Approval.

Crafter Kampervan by Jayco

This luxurious 6.8m-long motorhome made by Jayco in Dandenong, Melbourne, has three beds, eating and seating areas, an inner rest room, kitchen with fuel cooktop, sinks, a lithium home battery with photo voltaic, an exterior awning and extra.

It has additionally customary 4Motion all-wheel drive, and prices $150,440 plus on-road prices with alloy wheels and two-tone paint. Somewhat than breaking all of it down right here, learn our separate element story right here.

MORE: Volkswagen reveals the Crafter Kampervan by Jayco
MORE: Volkswagen and Walkinshaw in talks over new Amarok flagship



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