- First van from truck brand MAN, based on VW Crafter
- 3.0t-5.5t gross vehicle weight, three lengths, three heights
- Aiming to deliver class-leading service, on sale late 2017
This is the first time bus and truck maker MAN has ever entered the light commercial vehicle sector, but it’s not exactly taking a stab in the dark – thanks to its family connections within the Volkswagen Group, the TGE comes to market as a restyled version of the very latest VW Crafter, which also makes its public debut at the IAA this year.
In fact, the Crafter has just been voted International Van of the Year 2017, so it looks like MAN has chosen its moment very wisely.
MAN TGE load area dimensions and cargo capacity
The TGE is a large van – very large, in fact. As with the Crafter it comes in two wheelbase lengths, three body lengths (Standard, Long and Extra-long), and three roof heights.
Due to its bespoke styling, the exterior dimensions are mere millimetres different to the VW equivalents, while the interior dimensions are expected to match their Volkswagen counterparts exactly. You can find details of these in our detailed breakdown of the latest Crafter by clicking here, but the key features are a huge maximum load volume of 18.3 cubic metres on the biggest variant and a maximum gross weight of between 3.0 and 5.5 tonnes.
Neither VW nor MAN has specified any kerbweights or payload figures at this stage, but expect the TGE to accommodate between four and six Euro-pallets.
Any differences inside the cab?
Not so as you’d obviously notice. But this is hardly a bad thing, as the new Crafter is packed with in-cab storage solutions and features a wide range of safety equipment. The TGE will have access to the same levels of technology.
Regular, crew cab, kombi, chassis cab and chassis platform cab versions of the TGE will be offered, depending on whether you priority is space for people or materials.
MAN TGE engines and drivetrains
At the risk of sounding repetitive, the engine line-up will be the same for the TGE as it is for the Crafter.
This means four brand new 2.0-litre turbodiesels offering between 102hp and 177hp, and torque ranging from 280Nm to 410Nm. Claimed fuel economy is between just over 40mpg and just over 42mpg, and aiming for best-in-class status, helped by impressive aerodynamics. All versions of the TGE will be available with a choice of standard six-speed manual gearbox and optional eight-speed automatic; buyers can also choose between front-, rear- and all-wheel drive variants.
Unsurprisingly, the new MAN will be assembled in the same factory as the Crafter – VW’s brand new, purpose-built facility in Poland. Both brands will be able to offer factory built conversions right off the line, and MAN is placing a particular emphasis on becoming a one-stop solution, where you’ll be able to order your new van to your ideal spec with (almost literally) a single button click, complete with all internal racking and other load solutions included.
Several examples of this are on display on MAN’s 2016 IAA stand, including a three-way tipper and window van specifically equipped to suit motorcycle racers (though presumably you don’t get the Ducati Panigale lashed down in the back as part of the package – though Ducati is another VW Group brand…).
Why choose the MAN TGE over the VW Crafter?
MAN’s big selling point for the TGE is looking likely to be its service provision. The firm is aiming to look after van buyers to the same extent that it already looks after truck customers – which is to say not only with 24-hour breakdown assistance, but out-of-hours maintenance facilities and highly flexible workshops, designed to minimise any downtime in order to make sure you’re back in business as soon as possible.
We’ve got a bit of a wait to find out what this means for real in the UK, however, as the MAN TGE still isn’t due to go on sale here until September 2017.