Volkswagen is working on an electric successor to its iconic Microbus based on 2017's ID.Buzz concept car. It will be revealed next year and is confirmed to reach the United States in 2023, meaning we'll likely see it arrive as a 2024 model.
However, concurrent with the development of the new electric van is development of a new generation, number seven to be exact, of VW's popular Transporter series of vans sold overseas. Prototypes have been spotted for a while and VW on Thursday confirmed that the debut will take place in the coming weeks. A teaser shot hints at the vehicle's new front-end design.
From our spy shots of prototypes, it looks like the new T7-generation Transporter will feature a longer wheelbase and longer front overhang compared to the current T6 generation which VW plans to keep in production even with the new T7 on sale (the T6 will be the commercial option and the T7 the lifestyle option). There's also that new face which looks to have taken inspiration from 2016's Budd-e Concept.
Unlike the battery-electric Budd-e, the redesigned Transporter will come with plug-in hybrid and pure internal-combustion powertrain options. This will help differentiate the vehicle from the electric Microbus successor. The platform is Volkswagen Group's MQB front-wheel-drive architecture.
2022 Volkswagen Transporter (T7) spy shots - Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
The plug-in hybrid model is expected to be the most powerful. It is expected to feature the same setup found in the Golf GTE sold overseas, where a 1.4-liter turbocharged inline-4 and electric motor work together to deliver 242 hp.
VW's Transporter series is actually the direct successor to the Microbus, with the original T1 generation first sold here as the Bus. While VW plans to offer both the new T7 generation and electric Microbus successor in its lineup this time, some of the automaker's other vans could dissappear. VW officials have hinted that the smaller Touran and Sharan minivans are likely to be phased out due to families preferring crossovers.