The 2021 Volkswagen Transporter 6.1 van range is beginning to arrive in Australian showrooms with certain models in limited numbers – ahead of the arrival of the complete line-up by the end of January.
And the first shipments of the new-generation VW Transporter 6.1 California camper are due in early 2021, just in time for the summer holidays – as a record number of Australians plan to holiday at home.
However, orders placed today for a 2021 VW Transporter 6.1 California may not be filled until mid-2021 due to interruptions to production caused by the coronavirus crisis.
The VW Transporter California is caught in a unique predicament: demand is at record highs globally due to the international travel restrictions imposed during COVID-19.
However, production in Germany is constrained by absenteeism at the factory due to workers falling victim to the coronavirus.
As with the Volkswagen passenger car range, the updated VW Transporter 6.1 line-up gained a raft of advanced safety technology – including autonomous emergency braking, radar cruise control, blind zone warning, and rear cross-traffic alert – as well as lane-keeping assistance, now made possible with the switch to a new electro-mechanical power steering system.
Volkswagen Australia says certain variants of the new Transporter 6.1 range are beginning to arrive in local showrooms this month ahead of the complete line-up by the end of January 2021.
All models are powered by a 2.0-litre turbo diesel four-cylinder engine with a choice of three power outputs.
Key changes include: an 81kW/250Nm version base model TDI250 paired exclusively to a five-speed manual, a 110kW/340Nm mid-grade TDI 340 (up from the previous 103kW version) paired to either a six-speed manual, or seven-speed twin clutch auto, in front-drive or all-wheel-drive, or a 146kW/450Nm top-line TDI450 paired exclusively to a seven-speed twin clutch auto, in front-drive or all-wheel-drive.
The VW Transporter 6.1 also gains a completely new dash and infotainment system, including wireless Apple Car Play and wireless Android Auto (as per the updated VW passenger car range).
“We did experience some delays with getting the (Transporter 6.1 van) to market during the year that was, but we are now officially on sale as of today,” said Ryan Davies, Volkswagen Australia director of commercial vehicles, in a recent media briefing outlining the brand’s year ahead.
“The car itself gets a raft of new technology and safety equipment added to it … so we're certain that that's going to quickly re-establish itself as the benchmark in that segment,” said Mr Davies.
The company also expects strong demand for the new-generation VW Transporter California 6.1.
“(The VW Transporter California) has been a roaring success since we launched that earlier in the year,” said Mr Davies. “Production for that car is now out to June next year before you can get your hands on a production slot.”
The first 30 examples of the modern Volkswagen Kombi – the California Beach camper – sold out in nine hours – in June 2020 – despite the $82,990 price, as Australians prepare to holiday at home in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
“It's been a really timely introduction of that car in Australia, given that Australians are going to be forced to really holiday in their own backyard. And that car is absolutely in the pocket for that type of environment,” said Mr Davies.
Volkswagen says the next allocation of the Transporter 6.1 California is due on sale in January 2021.
“There'll be another select amount of (production) slots available for Q3 delivery,” said Nick Reid, national product and marketing manager for Volkswagen Australia commercial vehicles.
“We'll fill those orders up, we suspect, really quickly.”
Volkswagen Australia will release full details of the complete Transporter 6.1 line-up in January.
However preliminary prices published online show the RRPs listed below. Long wheelbase, crewman and all-wheel-drive and other options are at additional cost.
VW Transporter 6.1 SWB TDI250 (5M): $38,990 plus on-road costs
VW Transporter 6.1 SWB TDI340 (6M): $41,990 plus on-road costs
VW Transporter 6.1 SWB TDI340 (7DSG): $44,990 plus on-road costs
VW Transporter 6.1 SWB TDI450 (7DSG): $50,990 plus on-road costs