The Volkswagen subsidiary has decided to enter a completely new category – but in order to cut costs it has opted for the rebadged partner vehicle shortcut.
The Volkswagen Group has a major presence in the heavy truck sector as well, where it has trucks using the very badge of its famous passenger car marquee, but also holding majority stakes in two of the world’s largest truck producers – Scania and MAN. The later has decided to use its company ties to make inroads of a completely new market segment – using a rebadged variant of the Volkswagen Crafter van. From now on, the MAN range no longer starts upwards from the heavy 7.5-ton (16,500 pound) category. This is thanks to the completely new TGE that makes its entry into the lightweight 3.0 to 5.5-ton (6,600 to 12,100 pounds) sector.
We’re dealing here with a corporate twin, so the only major differences between the TGE and the donor Crafter reside at the front with the grille and some other subtle tweaks – and we’re betting the two models will even share the same assembly line in Poland. Under the hood there’s a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder diesel engine with one or two turbos, and power falls between 102 and 177 horsepower. The van can be had with front, rear and AWD setups, while transmission choices include a standard six-speed manual gearbox as well as an optional eight-speed automatic. MAN is looking to establish the TGE as a distribution and construction choice, delivering two wheelbases, three vehicle lengths and three body heights – the most it can hold is 646 cubic feet of cargo.