VW T5 DoubleBack: A Home on the Road

Volkswagen T5 DoubleBack is probably the most innovative version of the world-wide famous VW Transporter. The name suggests two things: it’s part of the fifth generation and has a sliding insulated pod in the back.

The elevated roof is yet another element that sets the T5 DoubleBack apart. Most people, however, will be interested in the sliding back of this minivan. The video at the end of this post mentions that the car is made from aircraft industry materials. I’m not sure whether aluminum composite materials are considered aircraft industry materials, but I know that the sliding pod is made of it. Aluminum was VW’s material of choice here because of two reasons. First of all, it is very durable and secondly, it is very light. These two attributes make aluminum so popular all over the world in various industries.

Upon opening the tailgate, people may notice that the interior does not seem out of the ordinary. Pressing a button that’s accessible after opening the sliding door makes the magic happen. The aluminum sliding pod weighing 130 kg starts sliding out, thus doubling the volume of the interior. Two corner steadies come out of the bottom of the pod to support the weight and level the rear end. The pod itself is able to hold up to 300 kg, but when the corner steadies are in place, the maximum allowed weight is double of that.

The interior can easily accommodate 4 persons, but only 2 fit in front while driving. It is possible, though, to order a double passenger’s seat, thus increasing the capacity of the minivan to 3 while on the road. The tailgate is operational even when the pod is extended. The platform from the back is used as bed for 2 people, while the drop-down bed from the roof offers room for another couple. The layout is extremely well conceived. There is a 3 person bench seat on the left and a single person seat on the right, and all of them can be flipped up, to save space for dancing, I suppose. A lounge table which is stored under the drop-down bed fits between the seats without any problems. The fridge and the sink are the basic necessities of anyone who’s on the road for a rather long time.

Volkswagen’s T5 DoubleBack is not the only drawer-like minivan that I have seen online, but the other one (Nissan NV200) was not mass-produced in the same form as the concept. Speaking of mass-production, the T5 DoubleBack is already available for purchasing, but I’m not sure that many people will find the price of over 55,000 GBP (approximately $86,000) very accessible. In case the potential buyers are concerned whether this is the face-lifted version, the answer is yes, since it is built after 2009 when the T5 was modified.

I must admit that I found this video far more informative than the promotional one, made by VW itself.

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