The beloved Volkswagen Transporter, known globally by various monikers such as Bulli, Kombi, VW bus, or microbus, made its grand debut at the Commercial Motor Show at Earl’s Court, London, in 1954. Since that momentous introduction, over 13 million units have been sold, cementing its place in automotive history.

The origins of this iconic vehicle trace back to the post-war era, when Major Ivan Hirst, a senior British army officer, was tasked with reviving the Volkswagen factory. Hirst envisioned a load-carrying vehicle based on the classic Beetle platform. This idea materialised into the Plattenwagen, a flatbed truck designed for moving parts around the factory. The mid-1940s saw Dutch importer Ben Pon take a keen interest in the truck, proposing a more advanced panel van version, paving the way for the Transporter we know today.

Gallery: VW T7 Transporter (2024) Teaser

Spanning six generations, the Transporter has become a favourite among adventurers, businesses, and families alike. Its versatility and reliability have made it a staple on roads worldwide, adapting seamlessly to various needs and lifestyles.

Fast forward 70 years, and the Transporter's popularity shows no signs of waning. From its modest beginnings with 786 UK sales in 1954, it reached an impressive 17,521 units sold in 2023.

The future looks promising for this automotive legend. The latest iteration, the T6.1, launched in 2019, features a revamped dashboard, enhanced connectivity, and a modernised facade with updated headlights and grille. The commercial vehicle sector is awaiting its successor, the new Transporter is set to be unveiled at the IAA in Munich later this year, with market availability slated for early 2025. This upcoming model promises a significantly larger and wider load compartment, complemented by a digital cockpit as standard.