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2019 Volkswagen Transporter gets new look, more tech

by Ronan Glon

It's still not headed to America.

Volkswagen has given the Transporter a mid-cycle face-lift that brings a new look and more tech inside. Cargo- and passenger-carrying variants of the van will go on sale in select global markets in the fall of 2019.

The visual updates bring the Transporter in line with Volkswagen's recent design language. They include a two-part grille that draws inspiration from the stylish Arteon, and new-look headlights with LEDs underlining the bulbs. Designers also tweaked the lower part of the front bumper, integrated Bulli emblems into the front fenders, and redesigned the taillights. If you're wondering, Bulli is the nickname given by Germans to the original, rear-engined Bus.

Volkswagen hasn't released photos of the interior yet, but it promises it fitted a new dashboard and added additional tech features, including wireless Apple CarPlay and improved voice control technology. The Transporter comes with a 6.5-, 8.0-, or 9.2-inch screen for the infotainment system depending on the trim level selected. Buyers can also order an optional 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster carried over from other models, like the Golf.

Most Transporter buyers will choose a turbocharged, 2.0-liter TDI four-cylinder engine. It's available with 90, 110, 150, or 200 horsepower -- it's twin-turbocharged in its final state of tune. Front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission come standard on most models. The 150-horsepower engine is offered with a dual-clutch automatic transmission and Volkswagen's 4Motion all-wheel drive system at an extra cost. The 200-horsepower TDI is automatic-only, and all-wheel drive is available if buyers are willing to pay for it.

Volkswagen teamed up with ABT to offer an electric variant of the Transporter. The 112-horsepower model is offered with two battery options: a 38.8-kWh and a 77.6-kWh. The firm quotes a 250-mile range when put through the hugely optimistic European testing cycle.

The updated Volkswagen Transporter will go on sale shortly, and deliveries will begin in the fall of 2019. Pricing information hasn't been released yet, but it's of little interest to us because the model won't be sold in the United States.

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