Volkswagen is providing a host of technical updates for the new Crafter that will be launched in Europe in April next year with South Africa on schedule for the last quarter or even early 2025.

Whether as a panel van, dropside, chassis or Grand California camper van, the software and hardware are being upgraded to a new level. The cockpit landscape in particular has been completely redesigned and the Crafter is equipped with the latest generation of infotainment systems.

Karsten Franz, Head of Technical Development at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, says: “We have updated the Crafter’s electronics architecture to integrate the next-generation infotainment, assist and convenience systems into the successful model.”

Chief Designer Albert Kirzinger adds: “The Crafter sets itself apart with a timeless, high-quality and clear design. However, it also sets standards for practical use right from the start. We have therefore deliberately focused on revamping the interior. The result is an intuitive state-of-the-art cockpit landscape that reflects modern times and makes the driver’s everyday work easier.”

The 2024 Crafter gets a 10,3-inch and optionally 12,9-inch infotainment display based on the latest modular infotainment matrix (MIB) that has been arranged to be visually free-standing. The Volkswagen system features a newly developed graphic interface and self-explanatory menu navigation, similar to the ID. Buzz.

The display has been divided into two permanently visible touch bars and the home screen. On the left of the top bar on the display, there is a new direct access button, which enables the driver to open the main menu with an overview of all apps with just one click. Next to this is a button for the new Car Control Centre, which offers direct access to the most important vehicle functions. The main menu and Car Control Centre are always accessible without having to close the active app.

Digital Instruments

The new Crafter will be available with digital instruments for the first time and this comes as standard. Using a separate View button in the likewise new multifunction steering wheel, the driver can select different views and thus also individually adapt this display. In addition to central displays such as speed or range, many other menus and information displays are available in each view – from navigation and telephone through to the media library.

The new generation version receives an electronically operated parking brake to free up the space next to the driver’s seat and improve access to the rear,  while the selector lever is now designed as a steering column switch in the style of the ID. Buzz. Vehicles with a manual gearbox will retain the gearshift in the centre console.

New and standard on vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of more than 3,5 tonnes (N2) is a blind spot information system that alerts the driver to pedestrians and cyclists or scooter riders who are in the blind spot to the side of the Crafter when driving in urban traffic (0–30 km/h).

For models over 3,5 tonnes there is a moving-off information system (informs the driver when moving off whether there are any pedestrians in front of the Crafter) and an oncoming vehicle braking when turning function (brakes in the event of oncoming traffic).

Standard items across the board include Front Assist (Autonomous Emergency Braking including cyclist and pedestrian detection), Lane Assist (lane keeping system), Dynamic Road Sign Display, a speed limiter and acoustic Park Distance Control for the rear area.

Adaptive Cruise Control

Adaptive Cruise Control ACC (automatic acceleration and braking) and Lane Assist are merged into one system that increases convenience and safety, especially on long journeys, thanks to assisted longitudinal and lateral guidance. In combination with Travel Assist, Emergency Assist (automatic braking and manoeuvring to the edge of the road until standstill) is now also introduced in the Crafter.

The new Crafter will also be available with front-wheel, rear-wheel and all-wheel drive. In addition to the familiar six-speed manual gearbox and eight-speed automatic gearbox for the front-wheel and all-wheel drive models, a new eight speed automatic gearbox will be used for the variants with rear-wheel drive.

Four-cylinder turbo-charged diesel engines will deliver 103 kW, 120 kW and 130 kW depending on variant and configuration.

Colin Windell - proudly ALL THINGS MOTORING