The original Volkswagen Kombi was an exercise in simple engineering. It wasn't revolutionary in any particular way, and yet it has become a cult classic. Its shape is pretty much embedded in the minds of car enthusiasts both young and old.
Through the years, Volkswagen continued its bloodline with the succeeding Transporter models, but they no longer retained the iconic shape. However, the all-new model drew a bit more inspiration from the original article.
Dubbed the T7 Multivan, it ushers in the new line of Transporter vans from Volkswagen. At first glance, you'll see some retro cues, particularly in the front area. The fascia is shorter and flatter compared to its predecessor, harking back to the days of old-school vans. It also has a sizable quarter window, much like the classic Kombi.
As for the rest of the body, it incorporates the current Volkswagen design language. There are slim headlights flanked by the grille, along with multiple openings by the bumper. If anything, it bucks the trend of massive grilles seen in most automakers these days. Meanwhile, the flanks are what you expect from a van with its flat and upright doors and windows. As a throwback to the classic Kombi, it has a massive panoramic roof that draws inspiration from the roll-back cloth roof from the original van.
Inside, it's an exercise of modern minimalism. The new Multivan has a short dashboard to maximize interior space. At the same time, Volkswagen put most of the interior options inside the infotainment screen to reduce clutter and free up space in the center console. Speaking of infotainment, it comes with a wide 10.25-inch screen, along with a digital dashboard Volkswagen dubs the Virtual Cockpit.
Over in the second row, it has a variety of seat configurations available but seen here is the seven-seat version. Instead of a bench, the second row comes with individual captain's chairs with a center table. Meanwhile, the third row has room for three thanks to its wider body.
On to the engine options and it's expected to have turbo-gas and turbo-diesels available. However, Volkswagen is pushing for the e-Hybrid plug-in mill. Its 1.4-liter turbo-gas engine is paired to an 85 kW electric motor, giving it a total output of 215 PS. Volkswagen has not released the full-electric range just yet, but they did say it's good enough for in-town trips.
Until Volkswagen begins assembling the redesigned Multivan in China, it isn't likely that we'll ever see the van in local showrooms. However, there is always a chance given that the German automaker wants to sell more models and variations worldwide. If we do get it here, it might even be a tempting option between the Toyota Hiace Super Grandia or the recently unveiled Hyundai Staria.