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Universal Talent Double Cab: 69 Possible Variants

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Universal Talent Double Cab: 69 Possible Variants
Universal Talent Double Cab: 69 Possible Variants

Video: Universal Talent Double Cab: 69 Possible Variants

Video: Universal Talent Double Cab: 69 Possible Variants
Video: crewcab 2023, April

Double cabins skillfully combine safe cargo transport with the transport of staff. The Malerblatt market overview shows what the German commercial vehicle market has to offer.

Author: Oliver Willms | Photos: manufacturer

Transporters with a double cabin are the Swiss Army Knives in the commercial vehicle range. They transport bulky cargo such as scaffolding, insulating materials, dry construction elements and material in a load-friendly manner on the platform, while the entire painting team finds a comfortable place to travel in the passenger compartment. The universally usable load carriers strictly separate people and materials: in the front of the extended cabin there is space for up to seven passengers in rows of two, at the rear in the open or covered tarpaulin the complete cargo. The ride between the ladder rung and paint bucket is a thing of the past - not only a plus point in terms of load securing.

Thanks to team and material transport on one seat, the service companies in the painting industry kill two birds with one stone. For larger projects that go beyond a ladder to be carried on the vehicle roof, a people carrier and a platform truck would otherwise have to be sent parallel to the work site. Then at least two vehicles would stand around idly during the entire working day, block the often limited parking space there and ultimately cost money.

Double cabins between 3.5 and 5 tons

All major van manufacturers quickly introduce niche products such as power units and chassis with single and double cabins to the market with each model change of their high-volume panel van. The current candidate is the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. In February of this year, the Mercedes-Benz transporter fraction spoiled by the number dropped the covers of the new Sprinter. After the panel van, station wagon, bus and chassis with a single cabin, the double cabins of the heavier 3.0 to 5.5-ton versions are now available.

The eSprinter with a purely electric front-wheel drive, on the other hand, will only be launched in 2019 and, like its other e-transporters, should only be attractive to the painting industry with its price-critical concept if municipalities impose access restrictions on combustion engines. So far it is not yet, which is why the robust diesel blow under the short bonnet dominates the new Mercedes double cab.

The new model face of the Mercedes Sprinter 2018 is dominated by a new front section with a striking radiator grille and slit-like headlights that are somewhat reminiscent of the eternal competitor Ford Transit. The new edition of the Sprinter pushed the bumper and grille up further, making the bonnet higher and flatter. The most important innovation of the Sprinter is its front-wheel drive, which ensures low entry heights, especially in the combi and box versions. As a third drive concept, the front-wheel drive completes the drive concept from Daimler in this class in addition to the proven rear-wheel and all-wheel drive. The Swabians want to stand up to the equally young Crafter from VW and its twin model MAN TGE.

In the engine range, the Sprinter uses proven fare. It is made up of four and six cylinder engines. All variants are powered by diesel engines, the CNG natural gas versions were taken from the Sprinter range. The tried-and-tested 2.1 liter CDI diesel engine works in a power range from 114 to 163 hp, which also does its job in the lighter Vito. The 3.0 liter engine with 190 hp is the top engine. To achieve the Euro 6 emissions standard, Daimler relies on its BlueTec technology with exhaust gas aftertreatment using SCR-Kat and Ad-Blue.

The Sprinter with front-wheel drive have so far been available in two wheelbases and for a total weight of 3.0 to 4.1 tons as panel van, chassis and power car. There is no lack of variety in the new Sprinter either: More than 1,700 different variants should be configurable solely via body types, drive concepts, cabin design, body lengths, tonnages, loading space heights and equipment variants. The highlight of the bestseller - after all, Mercedes sold more than 200,000 Sprinters worldwide last year - are the new assistance systems and many digital delicacies such as the new Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) multimedia system in the center console. Navigation and various industry-specific telematics solutions.

Double cab: 69 possible variants

While Sprinter customers have to wait a little longer for the double cabin, Volkswagen can already deliver. The completely newly developed VW Crafter has been on the market since spring of last year. And since the end of 2017, all derivatives with front, rear and all-wheel drive, single and double cabins or twin tires for up to 5.5 tons total weight have been rolling off the assembly line. The Hanoverian van professionals put together a total of 69 Crafter variants from four basic models, three wheelbases and three roof heights. The electric crafter should be ready for series production this year and complement the range. Last tests are being carried out at various parcel services.

As standard diesel engines, the 3.5 to 5.5-ton trucks with the 2.0-liter TDI engine used across the group come on the road in four output levels from 102, 122 and 140 to 177 hp. The modern redesign of the VW Crafter draws attention to itself with components such as electromechanical steering and modern assistance systems. The equipment package of the VW flagship includes ESP with trailer stabilization, automatic distance control, multi-collision brake, crosswind assist, trailer maneuvering assistant and much more. Common telematics solutions can also be integrated in the Crafter. Inside and outside you can see the relationship to the smaller brother, the Transporter T6, which can also be obtained as a double cabin, but offers less payload, a smaller loading area and a maximum of 6 instead of 7 people. In addition to the five performance levels of the diesel engine, two petrol engines can also be selected for the VW Transporter.

Group twins

The corporate sister sells a twin model called the MAN TGE, which is completely identical to the Crafter except for the company logo and grille. The smallest MAN is of course also available as a double cabin. The Munich-based company sells the vehicle through its own sales network. The TGE would be an alternative to the Crafter if there is still a MAN truck in the fleet for scaffolding transport and you want to use uniform service partners. For a year now, the TGE double cabins with flatbed bodies or optionally also tipping beds have been available. As with all larger double cabins, the employee transfer can be combined with the taking of larger pieces of equipment or scaffolding elements. The electric model with the designation eTGE will go into series production in the summer of 2018, significantly outperforming the VW eCrafter and other competitors. For the coloring industry too, the E version is only an option in exceptional cases. And whether the electric MAN will ever be designed as a double cabin is just as questionable as at VW or Mercedes-Benz.

Alternative natural gas also in the double cabin

Although vans used in the metropolitan areas ideally could have an alternative to diesel under the hood, they are often on short trips in the city center. The cities are under pressure and are increasingly planning future driving bans for diesel vehicles.

After Mercedes has quietly withdrawn from the natural gas fraction with the CNG Sprinter, it is up to Iveco and its sister company Fiat to offer the only practically usable natural gas transporter. In Daily and Ducato, a 3.0-liter four-cylinder converted to spark ignition works, which stands for diesel-like performance and favorable exhaust gas values. The approximately ten-year commitment to the natural gas transporter was even rewarded at Iveco with the coveted title "Van of the Year" 2018.

Ford places itself in the area of low-cost vans with the large transit as an economical alternative to the other German manufacturers. The large transit made in Turkey takes the staff very comfortably on the tour and offers a lot of cargo space behind the double cab for the money. The new 2.0-liter TDCI four-cylinder is used as the drive, which is in the latest Euro 6 configuration in three output levels with 105, 130 and 170 hp in the order lists. The Transit leaves a fairly agile use in the driving test and also cuts a good figure in the round of heavy double cabins. But there is no alternative to diesel at Ford either.

Security features established

With the well-known double cabins from Citroën and Peugeot, no gas drive is currently in sight either. They can only come up with a 2.0 liter diesel engine, from which they can at least tease up to 163 hp. All three front-wheel drive vehicles can score points with useful safety and driver assistance systems, which are also justified in commercial use with sometimes long journeys to weekly construction sites. Thanks to the emergency braking, lane keeping and lane change assistant, grip control including hill descent help, tire pressure sensor, intelligent traction control and parking aid, they are in no way inferior to German manufacturers when it comes to safety technology.

The Opel Movano and the almost identical Renault Master cannot yet boast such numerous safety features. The Japanese with Isuzu N-series and Nissan NV400 and NT400 also lag somewhat behind the market leaders in terms of safety. Modern diesel engines with 110 to 190 hp provide the drive for your Doka models. There is no prospect of replacement with regenerative drives in all of the latter.

Trimmed to Euro 6

Until the diesel in the commercial vehicle can even be replaced, a lot of paint flows over the brush. For the foreseeable future, the diesel engine in the commercial vehicle will remain the number one drive unit. Through continuous development, the diesel engine should be given optimal exhaust characteristics.

After all, the last manufacturers had to trim their diesel gensets to the applicable Euro 6 standard. It is precisely these increasing demands on exhaust technology that have made vehicles significantly heavier and more expensive. This can hardly be compensated for by lightweight construction and weight savings. That is why some manufacturers such as Ford, Mercedes and VW have shifted the weight limits of their models upwards. This trend will certainly continue and, in view of the advancing assistance and safety technology, should also prevail in models from other brands.

3 to 5 tons payload

If the payload of the lightweight double cabins up to 5.5 tons total weight is not sufficient and if you are constantly driving with a crew of seven, you should better use the 7.5-tonner with double cab. Fuso Canter, Isuzu N-Series, MAN TGL or Iveco Eurocargo are real trucks and considerably more expensive to buy, but in addition to the crew, they also carry heavy work equipment, complete scaffolding sets or components without exceeding the permitted load. After all, these trucks can lift three to five tons of payload, depending on the body.

With a low entry price of just under 31,000 euros, the Fuso Canter from Daimler stands out in this field, replacing the carelessly retired Mercedes-Benz Vario. If you can come to terms with the compact cab in the typical Asia interior design, you get a lot of value for little money. And it could become a pioneer in ecological terms. The Fuso Canter eCell has been the first light commercial vehicle in a fully electric version since last winter.

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