Some of you may have heard of ABT Sportsline, the German tuning company with extensive history and knowledge in making German cars go faster, much faster.
They’ve won multiple championships in numerous different series, including the hotly contested Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM), the equivalent of our BTCC touring car championship. But of most interest here, is their success in the FIA Formula E championship – a purely electric based racing series. In the six seasons they’ve entered, the standings at the end of the season show them with one third place, three seconds, and a championship. They know electric.
It’s for this reason that Volkswagen decided that ABT Sportsline were the company to collaborate with for their new, electrified T6.1 Transporter.
Before we get too deep, let’s just get it out in the open; the eTransporter isn’t designed for long haul, motorway munching mileage. Volkswagen state a range of around 82 miles from the 37.3 kWh battery, they see the eTransporter as a ‘last mile’ commercial vehicle – short drops, within a city. With that said, they’ve promised that if there’s enough interest, they’ll look at upgrading the battery pack to a 74.6 kWh battery, which should give a range of around 150 miles.
The smaller battery allows the eTransporter to have the same load space as its fossil-fuelled counterpart – 6.7 cubic metres, with a payload capacity of 1,001Kg, again, the same as the regular T6.1.
While 82 miles does seem a little … frugal … it’s worth knowing that it’s countered with a short recharge time – an 80% charge within 45 minutes, and even using a regular domestic wallbox, a full charge can be as little as 5.5 hours.
The eTransporter is available in two trims: eTransporter and eTransporter Advance, and there’s a further option to add an extra row of seating, but, and it’s a big one, your money could be better spent elsewhere.
All models get the safety treatment – Front Assist with City Emergency Braking, Crosswind Assist and Driver Steering Recommendation, and of course you have the regular tech that you’d expect to find in any Volkswagen – climate control, rear parking sensors, DAB + radio, and a 6.5” touchscreen, but if you fancy just that little bit more, you can also have automatic LED headlights, rain-sensing wipers, auto dimming rear view mirror, heated windscreen, and front parking sensors.
So, we know that the eTransporter will be everything we expect it to be, it is a Volkswagen after all, and once they’ve added the bigger battery pack, the range will be sufficient for most commercial vehicle drivers, so what else is there to be excited about?
Here’s the fun bit; ABT take the vehicles to be converted, direct from Volkswagen’s production line, so the vehicle could have been destined to be a Caravelle executive shuttle, or a California – the latest camper van in the VW stable.
Electric camper van? Yes please.
We could go into the minutiae of details – telling you that the motor produces 200Nm of torque, or 109 horsepower, that it will do a 0–62 MPH dash in a little over 17 seconds, or that the motor sends drive to the front wheels through an updated version of the standard dual-clutch automatic transmission, but you don’t really need to read that, you just want to know what it’s like to drive.
Why not come and see for yourself?
Contact one of our friendly professionals to talk through the options, they’ll also be able to ease any doubts you have about visiting us in person. Call us today to discuss your requirements.