By NJABULO NGCOBOWHEN you look at VW’s latest T-Series range, you’ll agree that better days are upon us.
Big-crowd events such as the Durban July will never be the same as T-Series, now called T6.1 buses, becomes part of the convoys heading to the annual event.
Come January, VW is coming out guns blazing with the highly-powered range, including the Kombi, Caravelle and Carlifonia, together with the new-look vans.
The facelift is impressive and shows no mercy to the competitors.
Following a special “Cara cara” reveal to the motoring journalists, we foresee operation take-all, or bha nkwashu, as they say in Limpopo.
The new features include the Pick Up (Single and Double cab), Panel Van, Crew Bus, Kombi, Caravelle and the California.
The T6.1 range will be available in Mzansi, Botswana and Namibia early next year.
With the Kombi and the Caravelle already best sellers, the sky is the limit.
The T6.1 front comes with a stylish larger radiator grille, which does an amazing job, together with a new bumper to enhance the beauty.
I’ve seen it and it’s hot.
Mind you, two chrome-plated cross bars in all the versions are unique and give it “that thing”.
Believe it or not, the T6.1 series spoils buyers with a choice of six newly-designed wheels, six new exterior colours and seven newly-combined two-tone paint work finishes.
Yes, you heard that right, six interior colours!
Talking about the interior, the new instrument panel is unmatched.
Boasting an additional tray in front of the driver, the cabin is equipped with the requirements of digitisation, a smart phone tray with optional interface for charging.
The air vents in the dashboard can now be adjusted in every direction and simultaneously to open or close using one slider control. The steering wheel has also been redesigned.
On the new multifunction steering wheel there’s now a “View” button that enables the driver to switch between the digital cockpit’s different display configurations in just one click.
The 10.25-inch digital cockpit in the T6.1 is fitted as standard in the Caravelle Highline and California displaying the high-contrast display. This gives it its clear, high-quality look.
Let’s say something about the T6.1’s electro-mechanical power steering, which replaces the hydrolic version. It can be controlled to reduce fuel consumption.
This system transmits steering commands to the wheels more directly than the systems in previous models, making T6.1 more agile.
Another interesting feature is the crosswind assist, which as part of the Electronic Stabilisation System (ESP), applies the brakes (undetected by the driver) if the car encounters a strong crosswind.
This comes standard across the range and activates automatically when the speed gets above 80km/h.
It detects track offset caused by strong crosswinds and helps the driver to remain in the lane.
TDI engines deliver between 81kW and 146kW.
The T6.1 range will launch with three 2.0-litre turbo diesel (TDI) engines, with the common rail injection that is both economical and sustainable.
The four-cylinder engines deliver between 81kW and 146kW of power.
The 2.0-litre TDI delivering 81kW.
The 2.0 TDI develops a power output of 81kW.
It’s fitted with a five-speed manual gearbox and has a fuel consumption 7,9L/100km in the Pick Up Single Cab and Double Cab, 7,5l/100km in the Panel Van and 7,3L/100km in the Crew Bus and Kombi.
The 2.0-litre TDI delivers 110kW.
With a power output of 110kW (as of 3 250 to 3 750rpm), the front-wheel drive T6.1 with a seven-speed gearbox reaches an impressive top speed of 172km/h.
The 2.0-litre BiTDI delivers 146kW.
The model with the top engine specification is powered by a 146kW twin-turbo engine, which is supplied as standard in combination with seven-speed DSG.
The engine develops its maximum torque of 450Nm between 1 400 and 2 400rpm.) Price: The Crewbus, Kombi Caravelle and California cost between R612 000 and R1 196 500