The Volkswagen LT van was produced from 1975 to 2006 spanning two generations internally coded as Typ28/Typ21 and Typ 2D. It was the largest light commercial vehicle produced by VW, available as a van (cargo/passenger), pickup, minibus, crew cab, and chassis cab. It had a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive layout.
The first generation was manufactured by Volkswagen in 1975, while the second one was produced by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles from 1996 to 2005. It entered the Australian market in 2003 and stayed there until 2007.
1st Generation LT: Typ 28/Typ 21 (1975-1995)
The first-generation LT van was introduced in 1975 by Volkswagen in Berlin. Both Typ 28 and Typ 21 were assembled in Hannover, Germany and called LT, which meant Lasten-Transporter (or cargo transporter).
The LT featured a front axle with independent front wheel suspension. The maximum payload of LT 28, LT 31, and LT 35 ranged from 2.8 to 3.5 tons. They were equipped with two wheelbases, two roof options, a panel van, a compact, a platform vehicle, and a chassis cab combination.
From 1975 to 1982, the engine options included:
- 2.0L I4 carburetted petrol engine producing 52 kW and 132 Nm of torque
- 2.7L Perkins I4 diesel engine with indirect injection producing 48 kW
- 2.4L R6/I6 diesel engine producing 55 kW and 155 Nm of torque
With the 1983 facelift, new engine options were added:
- 2.4L I6 petrol engine either carburetted or fuel-injected with a rated output power of 66-69 kW
- 2.4L R6/I6 indirect, turbocharged diesel engine producing 68/75 kW and 195 Nm of torque
The facelift also introduced a third wheelbase up to 4.6 meters and redesigned the dashboard. The 5.6-ton LT 55 was launched two years later with a single-tyre rear axle. A four-wheel-drive option was also offered.
In 1986, the LT gained rectangular headlights and this new engine option:
- 2.4L R6/I6 indirect, turbocharged, intercooled diesel engine producing 70 kW and 220 Nm of torque
2nd Generation LT: Typ 2D (1996-2005)
The second-generation LT van was launched in 1996 by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. Even though its body shell was the same as the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, its powertrain was VW-sourced.
The new LT had a front longitudinally-mounted engine with a rear-wheel-drive layout, which had become the standard construction for large transporters. Its load capacity went from 2.6 to 4.6 tons. The following Australian-delivered LT vans featured efficient direct-injection diesel engines:
- 35 LWB, 35 MWB, 46 LWB - 2.5L ANJ/AVR I5 diesel engine with direct fuel injection system (80kW, 280 Nm) paired with a 5-speed manual gearbox
- 35 LWB, 35 MWB, 46 LWB - 2.8L AUH/NCQ I4 diesel engine with direct fuel injection system (116kW, 331 Nm) paired with a 5-speed manual gearbox
The base features included dual front airbags, ABS, air conditioning, differential locks, engine immobiliser, power steering, radio CD with 2 speakers, and seatbelt pretensioners for the front seats.
Production of the LT van ended in 2005 with about 350,000 units rolled out worldwide.
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Author: Andrijana Pavlovic