VW T6.1 & California Beach Released
Much anticipated, the latest VW Transporter facelift is well positioned to continue its success… by Allan Whiting of OutbackTravelAustralia.com.au With the release of the pop-top-roof ‘Beach’ variant and the availability of after-market campervan furniture for the Transporter, there’s renewed interest in the Crafter’s smaller sibling. Reportedly, VW’s Transporter 6.1 range becomes available to order from September 2020. Standard equipment across what is virtually the 2021 range includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, Front Assist with City Emergency Brake (CEB), Crosswind Assist, Side Assist including blind spot monitoring and Rear Traffic Alert, Multi-Collision Brake and, in some models, an intuitive digital cockpit. The following summary covers those variants that have 4Motion 4WD fitted. The Transporter T6.1 van range consists of short and long-wheelbase models that have a choice of 110 kW or 146 kW diesel power, with a 7-speed automated manual (DSG) transmission. Standard equipment comprises: H7 twin halogen headlights; daytime running lights (DRL); sliding door, left side; lifting rear tailgate with window and wiper/washer; 16-inch or 17-inch steel wheels; full-sized steel spare wheel; height-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support; leather-wrapped steering wheel with height and reach adjustment; rubber flooring in the cab; electromechanical power steering; 165 mm (6.5-inch) display with USB/AUX/SD input and Bluetooth; a pair of USB-C ports and App-Connect; cruise control with speed limiter; remote central locking; electric windows and heated, folding mirrors; air conditioning; auto headlights; rain-sensing wipers; load compartment locking from cabin and key fob; Hill-Start Assist (HSA); Multi-Collision Brake (MCB); Electronic Stabilisation Programme (ESP); Traction Control System (TCS); Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Brake Assist (BA); driver and passenger front and side/head airbags; reverse parking sensors and rear view camera. Factory Camper or DIY The factory-built campervan – the California Beach – comes with the 110 kW engine, DSG transmission, electro-hydraulic lifting roof, two powered sliding doors, rear three-place seat, second battery, cabin heater, SatNav, two-tone ‘retro’ paint option, 18-inch aluminium wheels and swivelling front seats. RRP is $94,990, which sounds a lot until you do the DIY exercise and discover that having all this kit, with a VW warranty, is not bad value for money. For those who want to custom-fit a Transporter into a campervan there’s plenty of kit available. Best known is the Van Essa furniture from Germany that can be installed permanently or fitted to an optional floor-rail system that allows rapid conversion from ‘tradies van’ to campervan. For more information on the new T6.1 visit the Volkswagen Australia website HERE.