VW serves up alternatives to utes
FORESTERS WHO REQUIRE A VEHICLE THAT CAN CARRY MORE passengers and payload than a traditional ute are being targeted by Volkswagen New Zealand.
In addition to the Amarok ute, which is already selling into forestry crews and forest managers, the company is now bringing in pick-up versions of the T6 Transporter van and will shortly launch the all-new Crafter van as pick-up here, too – both offered with the 4Motion fourwheel-drive system.
A taste of what to expect was displayed at the recent HarvestTECH 2017 conference in Rotorua, where VW showed off a double-cab Transporter with a drop-side pick-up tray.
John Frear, head of commercial vehicles for Volkswagen New Zealand, says this model is just one of many options that contractors could consider for their forestry operations.
“We already have the passenger variant of the Transporter, which Gisborne contractor RAD Logging has purchased because of the safety offered by 4Motion, and we think there is merit in the pick-ups with the same four-wheel-drive system as well,” says Mr Frear.
Available in single cab with a 2.9-metre long tray or a double cab model with a 2.2-metre long tray with the long wheelbase, the Transporter pick-up offers greater payload capacity (in excess of 1.35-tonne) and the ability to carry up to six people (three on the front bench seat in both models and three in back for the double cab). There’s also a short wheelbase variant in both single and double cab that provides a tray with similar capacity to a ute.
The Transporter is powered by Euro 5 versions of the VW common rail 2.0-litre diesel engine with a choice of 103kW or 150kW power outputs (torque is 340Nm and 450Nm respectively). Buyers also get a choice of 6-speed manual, or 7-speed DSG automatic transmissions.
Mr Frear says that a passenger van version could transport up to ten people, whilst a pure van option would suit as a service/delivery van.
The forthcoming VW Crafter, due to arrive in the fourth quarter of this year, is a larger vehicle for those who want to carry even more passengers and equipment.
It, too, can be purchased as a service/delivery van, or fitted with seats to transport crew to and from the forest. Three roof heights and three wheelbase lengths are offered, as well as front-drive, rear-drive and the four-wheel-drive 4Motion.
The pick-up model can also be ordered as a single or dual cab, with longer dropside trays than those in the Transporter (4.3-metre length for the single cab and 3.5-metres for the double cab) and payload weight goes up to 1,800kg.
There’s also more seating if you select the double cab pick-up, since the rear seat can accommodate four passengers, which takes the total number of seats available to seven. For those who want a passenger van, the Crafter can seat up to 15 people, depending on the variant.
The engine and transmission options are 103kW/340Nm or 130kW/410Nm, but the Crafter does have the advantage of providing a 3.5-tonne towing capacity with the 4Motion system.
A neat option available on the Crafter is an automated Trailer Assist manoeuvring system.
The VW Transporter is one of two alternative pick-up options now offered in New Zealand.
The all-new VW Crafter arrives here later in the year.