Volkswagen has given the MPV race another boost with the addition of a more powerful 173 kW 3,2-litre V6 to its T5 Caravelle line-up, and the addition of 4Motion and tiptronic gearboxes to the V6 and existing 2,5 TDI.

Volkswagen has given the MPV race another boost with the addition of a more powerful 173 kW 3,2-litre V6 to its T5 Caravelle line-up, and the addition of 4Motion and tiptronic gearboxes to the V6 and existing 2,5 TDI.

Launched last year powered by 96 and 125 kW versions of the 2,5 TDI, the Caravelle line-up has been significantly bolstered by the addition of the V6 powerplant and the new drivetrain options to the 125 kW diesel version.

The V6, with 173 kW on tap, delivers a peak torque output of 315 N.m, available at 3 000 r/min for lots of effort low down. Claiming to the fastest in its class, this "performance MPV" accelerates to 100 km/h in 10,6 seconds, reaching a top speed of 206 km/h (with 4Motion permanent all-wheel drive) and 205 km/h with the front-wheel drive version.

With tiptronic, the V6 records a fuel consumption of 12,9 litres per 100 km for the combined cycle and 13,4 litres with the manual transmission. Country driving sees these figures drop to 9,9 and 10,6 litres per 100km respectively.

Safety equipment on the Caravelle V6 is comprehensive, and includes ABS, electronic differential lock, traction control, engine traction control and ESP. It is also equipped with 17-inch alloys shod with 235/55 tyres for added grip.

The Caravelle's exterior is fully colour-coded, with neat detailing added by alloy wheels and headlights with double reflectors. On the inside, all the seats have individual armrests, and the front chairs are height and reach adjustable with lumbar support. They also have standard seat warming. V6 versions are fitted with 3-Zone climatronic air conditioning for front and rear occupants, with an auxiliary heater in the passenger area.

There are two individual seats behind the front occupants that can swivel to face either, facing either forwards or backwards. Just like the seats, the multifunction table can be slid backwards and forwards depending on the application and legroom required by the occupants.

The second row of seats can be folded flat to provide more luggage space when necessary. It can also be moved backwards to provide more legroom for the passengers, or forward to create more space in the luggage compartment.

Satellite navigation, park distance control, cruise control and leather seats are offered as extra equipment. Among the other options are assisted tailgate opening (R1 050) – allowing the tailgate to be opened or closed sufficiently to reduce the effort required to lift it – and electronically operated doors (R10 000).

PRICES

Caravelle 2,5 TDI 4Motion R395 860

Caravelle 3,2 V6 Tiptronic R399 500

Caravelle 3,2 V6 Manual 4Motion R410 500