Rest assured that the world of hot-looking vans remains as competitive as ever, evidenced by VW Commercial Vehicles’ latest introduction: the Transporter T6.1 Sportline. The spruced-up Transit rival earns a styling pack and upgraded spec to go with its plucky workhouse credentials - plus a punchy 204hp TDI motor that lets it crack 62mph in 8.9 seconds or carry enough cargo to fill a loading bay no smaller than 2,570mm in length.
Building on the spec of the already pretty well-equipped T6.1, the Sportline – which also comes in long wheelbase, panel van and Kombi forms – gets a GTI-esque red stripe on its front grille, and a much, much more aggressive front bumper. The rear end wears a Sportline spoiler as well, but most of the car’s aggression comes from lowering springs that sit it 30mm closer to the ground. Presumably that affects the van’s carrying capacity, although with the normal T6.1 capable of 700-1,000kg, there’s certainly room to lose a few kilos.
The look is accentuated by 18-inch alloys, while the bodywork can be finished in a choice of specific colours, including Indium Grey, Fortana Red and Ravenna Blue, or Copper Bronze, if you fancy being different. Inside, it’s a more predictable affair of Nappa leather and suede trim, mixed with honeycomb stitching and Sportline logos. That’s on top of the usual Transporter goodies, like VW’s functional 9.2-inch infotainment system, Bluetooth connectivity and DAB, with extras like the full digital cockpit, a heated windscreen and heated seats also available.
For those wanting added exclusivity, a Sportline Black Edition is offered. It adds matt black side bars and 90 per cent tinted rear windows (for the Kombi) into the mix, as well as, er, a Sportline gift box and, most surprisingly, Eibach coilovers. Apparently, this is a van that can be height-adjusted to suit. Presumably the pictures are of the T6.1 ‘on the deck’. Looks good, though, doesn’t it?
If that has you sold, the T6.1 Sportline is available to order now in Britain, priced from £42,940. That’s for the short wheelbase car, with the long wheelbase priced from £43,795, and the Kombi models opening from £46,450. The Black Edition is only available as a short wheelbase panel van or Kombi, so it opens from £45,140 and rises to £49,450. All of those prices exclude VAT, as per commercial vehicle tradition. With or without the tax, none are exactly cheap, but you won’t need us to tell you how hot demand for these vans can be. See MS-RT’s rivalling range of Transits for additional evidence...
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