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New Volkswagen Caddy spotted testing – first spy photos of all-new small VW van

  • All-new VW Caddy small van caught winter testing
  • Expected to be based on Volkswagen MQB platform
  • Promises to be more car-like and tech-packed than before

Our spy photographers have come up trumps again with the first pictures of what’s said to be an all-new Volkswagen Caddy small van.

Not expected to go on sale until 2020 at the earliest – and perhaps more likely in 2021 – the new VW Caddy is shaping up to be even more car-like than before.

Here’s what we know so far.

>> New vans coming soon

What will the new VW Caddy be based on?

It’s not clear from these heavily disguised pictures, but our spies reckon the next generation of Caddy will be based on Volkswagen’s versatile MQB platform – the same structure that underpins everything from the Audi TT sports car to the Skoda Kodiaq seven-seater SUV, not to mention the VW Golf.

VW Caddy spy photos - side view, driving,

As such, the new Caddy is also expected to be related to the next-generation Volkswagen Sharan people carrier, and is said to be part of a so-called ‘T7 family’ of vehicles.

What are the advantages of the next VW Caddy being MQB-based?

This is likely to make the Caddy even more car-like – both to drive and in terms of the equipment and technology available.

For example, sharing components across the VW Group means the Caddy will potentially offer 48v mild hybrid electric vehicle (mHEV) technology, improving performance and fuel economy.

Won’t this make the new Volkswagen Caddy more expensive?

Perhaps. But you have to realise that emissions regulations are becoming increasingly tough, and a point will come at which even vans will need some electrification in order to comply with them.

VW Caddy spy photos - rear view, driving,

Regular diesel and petrol Caddys are likely to continue for some time to come, however, alongside other eco-friendly alternative fuel solutions such as compressed natural gas (CNG), something that’s already offered on the Caddy TGI in Europe.

Will there still be a VW Caddy Maxi in the next generation?

The spy photos are all of the same short-wheelbase (SWB) standard Caddy, but there will certainly be a long-wheelbase (LWB) Caddy Maxi when the new van comes to market.

Similarly, VW is likely to continue the Caddy Life and Caddy Maxi Life passenger carrying variants.

What do the spy shots tells us about the way the new Volkswagen Caddy will look?

The Caddy spotted is wearing quite a heavy disguise, but the front end seems to have a shorter bonnet and generally more car-like appearance than before.

There’s clearly a very prominent VW badge in the top-most grille, but either side of that are narrower, more modern headlights, sitting above what appear to be round foglights in the lower front bumper.

VW Caddy spy photos - front bumper close up

You’ll notice the prototype also has two additional grilles below the top one; whether this will carry forward into production or is simply something required by the current state of the engineering being tested remains to be seen.

The latest T6.1 Transporter does have larger grilles than the older T6, in order to help the engines breathe more and better meet the newer Euro 6D Temp emissions regulations. It’s possible the Caddy will require the same cooling capacity.

>> 2019 VW Transporter T6.1 – full official details and pictures

This particular Caddy has a lot of windows (note the difference in the finish on the camo on the side door and the wiper at the rear), but is otherwise a well-proportioned small van that hints at a fairly sizeable load area.

VW Caddy spy photos - front view, driving

The slider for the side door isn’t as neatly integrated as we might expect of a modern van – this may still change, of course – but the rear lights look tall and sleek, while the rear doors follow VW’s usual asymmetrical style where one is larger than the other.

The spotlights on the roof are to help with the shorter days in the winter testing environment of the Arctic Circle, and sadly aren’t likely to make it on the official options list; note the undisguised T6.1 Transporters behind the Caddy in some of the pictures are similarly equipped.

Aren’t Ford and VW supposed to be building future vans together?

Very true – Ford and VW have formed a strategic alliance that will, among other things, see them teaming up to build new light commercial vehicles.

We believe this new Caddy pre-dates this arrangement, which was only confirmed in January 2019.

VW Caddy spy photos - rear view, driving, snow

However, Volkswagen is due to be the development lead on any future joint small vans, so it is entirely possible that you’re getting a sneak preview of the next Ford Transit Connect here as well.

>> Ford and VW confirm global alliance with plans to jointly build new vans and pickups

When will the new VW Caddy go on sale?

Good question. Our spies reckon it won’t be until 2021, but we can’t help thinking that’s a long way off, and suspect the new Caddy might just make an appearance in 2020.

Our insider sources have confirmed that it is definitely not due before the end of 2019, regardless.

Which means if you want an ultra-modern small van soon, you’ll have to look to the latest Citroen Berlingo / Peugeot Partner / Vauxhall Combo triplets, or the recently revised Ford Transit Connect.

Also read:

>> VW Caddy (2015-on) full review

>> VW Transporter T6.1 full details

>> Ford-VW global strategic alliance confirmed

>> New vans coming soon