Dubbed 'T6.1', Volkswagen's updated vans have updated looks inspired by the Touareg, enhanced safety, more tech features, and some new engine options.

Volkswagen has given its Transporter van a new look, with a fresh grille more closely aligned to models like the Touareg, a sportier looking bumper design, and squarer headlight units which flow directly into a new side badge and indicator element.

Out the back there's LED driving lights integrated into the redesigned tail-lights graphics.

Bigger changes are apparent inside the cabin. The dashboard has been upgraded with a sweeping, more modern car-like design, including metal-like highlights, and controls angled towards the driver.


UPDATE: Australian timing is now confirmed. Details at end of story.

Top-spec models are available with a 10.25-inch digital instrumentation display, and the company's latest MIB3 infotainment system with either 8.0- or 9.2-inch touchscreen units. Wireless Apple CarPlay connectivity is available.

Another new feature is an under-seat storage area accessible from the main cargo bay, which extends the storage area by between 350mm and 400mm depending on the model.

In Europe, the Transporter now comes with electric windows, LED interior lighting, central locking, and heated wing mirrors with electric adjustment.

For the T6.1 upgrade, Volkswagen has ditched the current van's hydraulic power steering system for an electro-mechanical setup, which allows for the fitment of cross-wind assist, lane keeping assistance, and partially automated parking.

Available safety features include autonomous emergency braking, trailer assist, and rear traffic alert.

At the bottom end of the van's European range will be two new 2.0-litre turbo-diesel options: a base 66kW unit, and a 81kW variant. Upstream from this are two carry-over engines: a 110kW 2.0-litre turbo-diesel, and the 146kW twin-turbo diesel.

In association with ABT, Volkswagen will also offer a fully electric version of the T6.1. Featuring an 82kW electric motor, and either a 38.8kWh or 77.6kWh battery, the electric van has an NEDC range of over 400 kilometres.

Australia

The updated Volkswagen Transporter, Multivan and Caravelle range goes on sale in Europe during the third quarter of 2019, and Volkswagen's Australian arm has today confirmed we'll see them here in the first quarter of 2020. Quite the wait.

"At the moment we’re deciding from the whole array of engines, transmissions and trim levels," Paul Pottinger, General Manager Corporate Communications, Volkswagen Group Australia, told CarAdvice.

"Our vehicles will come with newly available safety and infotainment systems. Importantly, the dimensions of the new line-up are retained so that owners of current models can swap in existing fit-outs when they trade up."