The award, chosen by a jury of commercial vehicle journalists from 24 countries, is the second successive Van of the Year title to be taken by Volkswagen, the brand winning the 2016 title with the T16.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Chairman Eckhard Scholz accepted the award at the Commercial Vehicles IAA show in Hannover, at which the new Crafter is being officially launched.
“After the T-series last year, we are delighted to now receive this special award for the new Crafter as well,” Scholz says.
“We are very proud of our latest product and of our team whose hard work has made the Crafter the best large transport van – we will be using this award to spearhead a successful launch,” he adds.
A change of direction for Volkswagen in that it has been solely designed by the brand instead of being par to a joint programme with other manufacturers, the new Crafter is being displayed at the show in a selection of the four base models with three lengths and three heights. It will offer a total of 69 derivatives when order books open in November.
It will be available with front, rear or 4Motion all-wheel-drive powertrains and manual or auto transmissions, and Volkswagen says it will be more economical than its predecessor both due to lower fuel costs and low maintenance and wear costs.
Volkswagen is also showing an electric version of the Crafter at Hannover (for full story click here). This is due to go into operation with selected customers in 2017.