Introduction to VW Transporter models
The Volkswagen Transporter is based on VW’s T platform and refers to a series of vans produced since the 1950s. Here we will explore the VW Transporter weight and payload across the range of variants.
VW Transporter Weight differences
The weight of the transporter is on a general and consistent increase over the six generations but there are aberrations depending on the trim levels within them that are affected by some of the following factors
- Wheelbase – Short Wheel Base (SWB) and Long Wheel Base (LWB)
- Roof height
- Fuel type – Petrol or Diesel
- Seating capacity – Shuttle, Kombi, Caravelle, etc.
So for example, the diesel variants with a long wheelbase and high roof variants are generally heavier for obvious reasons.
As the transporters evolved to become bigger, better, stronger, and more versatile, the vehicular weight took a central position amongst all other features. With the Transporter T5 and T6, the vehicle’s weight has become the identifying and differentiating factor to the extent that the models were named after their weights.
So the 2,600kg model is T26, 2,800kg is T28 , 3,000kg is T30 and 3,200kg became T32. This will be further detailed in the tables below.
Weight by models
Before we list the weight of each model, it is important to understand the following two weights:
Kerb weight is the total mass of a vehicle with standard equipment and all consumables present such as oil, diesel/petrol brake fluids, steering fluids and so on, while not loaded with either passengers or cargo.
Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) or Weight (GVW) is the maximum the Transporter can safety weigh when loaded with either cargo or passengers.
The mathematical difference between the Kerb weight and GVM is referred to as the “Payload”.
Here is a table that lists the Kerb weight and Gross vehicular weight of popular variants of all transporter models.
|Transporter Model||Variant||GVW (in KG)||Kerb weight (in KG)|
|T3||Combi||2390 – 2460kg||1395 – 1465kg|
|T3||Joker high roof||2340 – 2410kg||1700 – 1770kg|
|T4||1000kg swb||2575 – 2680kg||1505 – 1610kg|
|T4||1000kg window van||2600 – 2700kg||1532 – 1637kg|
|T4||1200kg swb||2800kg||1580 – 1610kg|
|T4||1200kg lwb||2800kg||1630 – 1660kg|
|T4||High roof||2800kg||1680 – 1729kg|
|T4||Chassis Cab||2800kg||1400 – 1430kg|
|T4||Drop side||2800kg||2580 – 1610kg|
|T5||Caravelle||2600 – 3000kg||1855 – 1935kg|
|T5||Highline||2800 -3200kg||1904 – 1985kg|
|T5||Startline||2800 – 3200kg||1904 – 1985kg|
|T6||T27||2700kg||1887 – 1951kg|
|T6||T28||2800kg||1887 – 1951kg|
|T6||T30||3000kg||1887 – 2005kg|
|T6||T32||3200kg||1896 – 2136kg|
What is the VW Transporter Payload?
Payload is simply the maximum load your vehicle can safely carry as specified by the manufacturer.
This includes all passengers and their luggage. The payload value can be calculated by simply deducing your vehicle’s Kerb Mass from its Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM).
Exceeding the payload can compromise the acceleration, braking, and overall balancing of your vehicle.
It puts a massive strain on your engine and transmission, tyres and suspension components potentially leading to disastrous consequences. Besides, it can invite heavy penalties from law and also create issues in accident insurance claims.
VW Transporter payload by model
The following table lists the VW transporter payload of popular variants across all models
|Transporter Model||Variant||Payload (in Kg)|
|Joker High Roof||640kg|
|1000 kg swb||1070kg|
|1000 kg lwb||1070kg|
|1000 kg window van||1063-1093kg|
|1200 kg swb||1190-1220kg|
|1200 kg lwb||1140-1170kg|
|T5||Caravelle comfortline||740 – 1000kg|
|T28||745 – 917kg|
|T30||912 – 1117kg|
|T32||987 – 1309kg|
What has driven the changes in weight?
Over the past 70 years that has spanned 6 generations of the Volkswagen Transporter, the VW Transporter weight has been changing for a lot of reasons as it evolved to keep up with the demands of the time. We have identified some of the following factors:
- An increase in dimensions led to an increase in weight
- Making the van more versatile and increasing the utilities made it heavier.
- A focus on improving the interiors created both heavier and lighter models
- Increasing the passenger-carrying capacity and offering more seating variants led to a difference in weights within the same model
- The need for speed and carrying capacity has led to bigger engines – from 1.1 L in T1, we have a 2 L engine in T6 and 3.2L in T5. This impacts weight.
- The initial round vans gave way to a square and boxy shape that made it bigger. However, some of the weight was offset by using new-age lighter metals in the body and all other components.
VW Transporter history
The VW Transporter history spans back over 70 years and is now in its sixth generation, the generations are named sequentially from T1 to T6. The T1, T2, and T3 models were named retrospectively only after the T4 model was first introduced in 1990.
The VW Transporter is the best selling van ever produced and there comprises a gamut of variants including vans, minivans, minibusses, pick-ups, and campervans.
Across the globe, the Transporter is known by different names like Shuttle, California, Kombi, Caravelle, Microbus, VW Camper, Bulli etc. The following is a brief progression of transporter models.
VW Transporter T1 – 1950-1967
VW Transporter T2 – 1967-1979
VW Transporter T3 – 1979-1992
VW Transporter T4 – 1990-2003
VW Transporter T5 – 2003-2015
VW Transporter T6 – 2016- till present
VW Transporter weight conclusion
The transporters are being refined with every generation and there is a general increase in its weight due to increased size, versatility, and carrying capacity.
However, with a lot of components that have come to be made of plastic and other lighter material, the weight increase isn’t in direct proportion to the size and carrying capacity.
Within the models, the weight differs according to the trim. And with the average weight of T6.1 almost the same and even lighter for some variants as compared to the T5, it is expected that the future models might see a decline in weight.
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