Volkswagen has unveiled a version of its Transporter van sold overseas featuring styling cues normally found on the automaker's performance models, the Golf GTI in particular thanks to the red accents.
It's called the Transporter Sportline, and it represents more of an appearance package than a true performance vehicle—though it's still fun to imagine what could be.
Under the hood sits a diesel-powered 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 good for 201 hp, which is mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission and spins the front wheels. This is the range-topping option in the Transporter, and it will see the van accelerate from 0-62 mph in 8.9 seconds and top out at 126 mph. Those numbers aren't bad for a big, blocky vehicle like a van.
2021 Volkswagen Transporter Sportline
But what about the unique touches on the Transporter Sportline? There's no missing the aggressive front fascia (whose intakes are mostly fake). It forms part of a body kit that also features side skirts and a rear wing spoiler. VW has also fitted the van with 18-inch wheels and lowered the suspension by 30 millimeters. Eibach coilover suspension is available.
The sporty theme continues inside where the designers have added a combination of Nappa leather and suede for the trim, as well as honeycomb stitching and several placings of the “Sportline” script.
VW plans to reveal a redesigned Transporter late this year or early next. It won't be sold in the U.S. but a separate VW van, the production version of 2017's ID.Buzz concept, is headed here in 2023. The new electric van is billed as a spiritual successor to the iconic Microbus, even though that title really belongs to the Transporter.