VW tackles pickup segment, Euro 5

  • 24-Oct-2008 04:09 EDT
Hanover show 2008 - 29.jpg

Volkswagen will enter the pickup truck market in fall 2009 with this unnamed model. The company revealed few details. (John Kendall)

Volkswagen announced its intention to enter the pickup truck market in fall 2009, at the IAA Commercial Vehicles show in September. The unnamed pickup was shown as a concept coastguard search-and-rescue vehicle. It will be built in VW’s Pacheco plant in Argentina. Principal markets for the pickup will be South America, South Africa, Thailand, and Australia. The model will also be sold in Europe, but some markets there could wait for up to a year before the model goes on sale.

The pickup will be powered by different engines according to market requirements. These will include a common-rail diesel for European models, capable of delivering 35 mpg on the European combined cycle, but VW was giving no further details. The most likely choice would be the 2.5-L five-cylinder common-rail diesel currently used to power the VW Crafter cargo van and available with power ratings of 88, 109, 136, and 163 PS (65, 80, 100, and 120 kW).

In 174-PS (128-kW) form, the engine is fitted to the entry-level VW Touareg SUV, so it is currently available with a four-wheel-drive system. VW also displayed this engine prepared for Euro 5 emissions regulations. The Touareg could conceivably be the source for some chassis components, too.

The concept vehicle measured 5180 mm (204 in) long and featured a load bed with an internal length of 1550 mm (61 in), but VW was giving little else away. Details of chassis and suspension were not available. But to be competitive, VW must at least include double cab and extended cab models. For European markets, the model will need to offer the same 1000-kg (2205-lb) payload capability as its rivals.

Other new models on display at IAA 2008 included the four-wheel-drive Caddy 4Motion, due on sale in November in left-hand-drive markets only. The Caddy is VW’s smallest European cargo van based on the Touran compact MPV (multipurpose vehicle) platform. The drive system is equipped with the Haldex clutch torque varying system familiar from other VW Group four-wheel-drive products. This is capable of varying the front/rear drive torque split between 0 and 100% according to need. Power will come from VW’s 105-PS (77-kW) 1.9-L electronic unit injector turbocharged diesel. VW quotes European combined cycle fuel consumption of 6.6 L/100 km and CO2 emissions of 172 g/km for the model.

Extensive modifications to the rear axle include the addition of a differential unit with the Haldex clutch flange mounted to it. Disc brakes, bearings, leaf springs, and dampers were all modified to suit the supplementary rear drive. In addition, the rear of the vehicle has been raised by 50 mm (2 in) to accommodate the modified axle assembly. Cargo van, window van, and passenger-carrying Caddy Life variants of the Caddy 4Motion will be available.

VW gave a suggestion of the approach the company will take to Euro 5 emissions-control technology for the Crafter, its largest European cargo van. The Crafter BlueMotion concept vehicle was powered by VW’s five-cylinder, 2.5-L common-rail diesel, producing 109 PS. It was fitted with the Crafter high-roof long-wheelbase (4330-mm) body and equipped with a range of modifications. VW quotes a European combined cycle fuel consumption of 9.1 L/100 km, with CO2 emissions of 241 g/km—10% less than emissions from a current Crafter powered by the 109-PS engine. The engine is paired with a six-speed manual transmission driving a high-geared rear axle with a ratio of 3.923:1.

To reduce the effects of the Crafter’s large frontal area, VW has used a re-profiled radiator grille and rear roof spoiler to reduce aerodynamic drag. Other energy-consumption-reducing measures include regenerative braking. This is used to charge the battery with recovered overrun and braking energy. The system can then reduce, or in some operating conditions eliminate, the charging needed from a permanently connected alternator, thereby reducing fuel consumption.

Another technology is a variable-control power steering pump that only operates when needed. To reduce emissions to Euro 5 levels, VW has opted for selective catalytic reduction (SCR) emissions control, injecting the urea-based AdBlue additive into the exhaust gases upstream of the catalytic converter. A diesel particulate filter is also fitted. VW claims NOx emissions reductions of 43% compared with the standard engine.

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