June 04, 2019
Electric vans and connectivity features were amongst the highlights of a sold out CV Show 2019, Vanman and his team of van experts review the UK’s largest event of its kind!
Amongst the headline makers at this year’s event were Vauxhall vans who returned to the Commercial Vehicle Show after a five year hiatus to give a world debut to the British-built all-new Vauxhall Vivaro van. Vauxhall vans have been flourishing under PSA ownership, with a 28% increase of van sales year on year and Vauxhall Combo sales up by a staggering 70% so far in 2019. The addition of the latest Vauxhall Vivaro based on the same platform as the award winning Citroen Dispatch and Peugeot Expert vans should see Vauxhall vans continue the upward trend.
Vauxhall vans have invested a significant sum of money (£100 million) in the Luton plant, taking capacity to 100,000, so failure isn’t an option for the new Vauxhall Vivaro van. The new medium van will be available in three trim levels, with two wheelbases and six powertrain options. A Vauxhall Vivaro electric van is expected in 2020, followed by a Vauxhall Combo electric van in 2021.
Peugeot vans and Citroen vans were not to be outdone by Vauxhall vans, providing perhaps the biggest surprise of the CV Show 2019 with two new electric vans in the form of the Peugeot Boxer and Citroen Relay electric vans. Both new electric vans are converted by Turkish electric vehicle specialist BD Auto and are available with two battery options. L1 and L2 models will deliver a range up to 141 miles (NEDC), whilst the larger battery in L3 and L4 models will increase the range to 169 miles.
Ford vans again had a massive presence at this year’s CV Show, with the brand set to launch a new 185ps version of its 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine in both the full size Ford Transit van and Ford Transit Custom vans, whilst the rear-wheel drive Transit van will also be available with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
These changes are far from it on the Ford Transit van however, Ford vans have facelifted the iconic large van, with one change being the option of a 48V mild hybrid driveline that can deliver up to an 8% fuel improvement in stop/start travelling, reducing CO2 emissions to 144 g/km. Ford vans have also been trimming weight off the Ford Transit van, with an aluminium bonnet, a composite bulkhead and spin-formed wheels, delivering an additional 80kg of payload on certain models. Ford vans are also incorporating a selection of connectivity features through the FordPass Connect on-board modem which is now standard on many models of the Ford Transit range.
Ford vans were far from done here, they displayed the entirety of their new van range including a facelifted Ford Ranger pick-up which was also on show in Ford Ranger Raptor performance guise. The Ranger Raptor comes with adapted suspension, a number of driving modes, a ten-speed automatic transmission and some excellent styling both inside and out to really make it stand out from the crowd and advance further on the already heavily updated Ford Ranger pick-up.
Also on display at the Ford vans stand was a plug-in hybrid version of the Ford Transit Custom van; after years in development and testing, the Ford Transit Custom PHEV is expected to be available at the back end of 2019 with a pure electric range of 2019 and a 1.0-litre petrol engine acting as a range extender.
Building on the success of the Toyota Proace medium van, Toyota vans revealed the smaller Toyota Proace City van based on the International Van of the Year 2019 van winning trio the Citroen Berlingo, Peugeot Partner and Vauxhall Combo. The Toyota Proace City van will be available in two body lengths and trim levels, whilst a Toyota Proace Verso people-carrying version was also on display.
Toyota vans also revealed a cosmetic update to the top spec Toyota Hilux Invincible X pick-up, whilst lower spec models are also set to benefit from additional equipment. This includes Toyota Safety Sense equipment in lower spec models and the availability of vinyl seating in Active grade single and extra cab models to meet the desires of customers.
Also aimed at meeting the needs of customers, Toyota vans will offer a higher Active trim level in the Toyota Land Cruiser Commercial models. There will now be a second version with an automatic transmission, sat nav, 17-inch alloy wheels, dual zone air conditioning and a rear camera and parking sensors. A third trim level will also be introduced at the back end of 2019 for the Toyota Proace offering features such as: allot wheels, 7-inch ProTouch navigation system, Toyota Safety Sense and front and rear parking sensors.
Volkswagen vans are finally set to bring electric vans to the UK market later on in 2019, however it will be 2021 before we see the larger Volkswagen e-Crafter van on our shores. Arriving first will be the Volkswagen e-Caddy van, followed by the Volkswagen e-Transporter in 2020, both of which have been converted by tuning company ABT. The entire Volkswagen van range was on display in electric form at this year’s event.
The Volkswagen e-Caddy van will be available in maxi form only, offering a 4.2 cubic metre load capacity and a 636kg payload with the NEDC range said to be 136 miles from a 37.3kWh battery pack. The larger Volkswagen e-Transporter van will also get the option of the 37.3kWh pack offering a range of 129 miles or with a 74.6kWh battery delivering up to 250 miles with payload ranging from 1,186kg on 37.3kWh models to 695kg on 74.6kWh models.
Isuzu have again added to the range of the Isuzu D-Max with the launch of the Isuzu D-Max Safir from Arctic Trucks and the extreme Isuzu D-Max XTR. The XTR model will sit between the D-Max Blade model and the Arctic Truck-modified pick-ups, boasting a suspension upgrade with an aggressive body kit and styling amongst numerous specification upgrades.
Alongside a Barbarian Black special edition of the Mitsubishi L200 pick-up which is based on the top spec Barbarian model and gains a host of black styling additions, Mitsubishi also displayed a Mitsubishi Shogun Sport SVP concept gaining larger wheels, tyres and an upgraded suspension. There was also a standard Shogun Sport Commercial in Police livery.
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