Peugeot is returning to the CV Show after too long an absence; and with a new model. The 207 Van will be making its worldwide debut.

With a marginally bigger load cube than the old 206 Van, a slightly higher payload capacity and a longer cargo bed, it will be marketed with a choice of three engines; a 70 bhp 1.4-litre HDi diesel, a 90 bhp 1.6-litre HDi diesel and a 75 bhp 1.4-litre petrol lump.

Also on the Peugeot stand will be the all-new Expert including one converted to police requirements. That's in addition to Partner with a 1.6-litre diesel and the latest Boxer, launched last year.

Next year will see Partner's successor debut — though not necessarily at the NEC — and the arrival of a new small van that will slot between Partner and 207 Van.


Peugeot won't have the small hatchback-derived van market entirely to itself. Elsewhere at the show, Vauxhall will be singing the praises of its new Corsavan from its biggest stand ever at the event.

On offer with just one trim level, it too will carry more weight than its predecessor — 550kg as opposed to a previous 465kg. Power comes courtesy of either a 75 bhp 1.3-litre CDTi diesel or an 80 bhp 1.2-litre petrol engine.

Standard features include a radio/CD player integrated into the dashboard, body-coloured bumpers front and rear, side-protection mouldings, central locking with deadlocks, electric mirrors and tinted tailgate glass. Extra cost options include air conditioning, Electronic Stability Programme and a folding four-piece load cover.

Don't be surprised to see two or three concept vans on Vauxhall's stand, with Corsavan and Astravan well to the fore. They'll be distinctively styled and offer a lot more performance than the standard offerings.

More prosaic exhibits will include a Luton-bodied Movano and a crew-cab Movano with a tipper body sourced from Ingimex.

Combo will be there too. Its successor won't appear before the end of 2008 at the earliest and will employ the same platform as Corsavan.


Moving up the weight scale, LDV will be giving the long-awaited Maxus chassis cab its global debut. Two of the show vehicles will be equipped with bodies sourced from Ingimex; one will be a tipper and the other will be a dropside.

In addition it will be displaying a 12-seater short-wheelbase and a 17-seater long-wheelbase minibus..

LDV will also be looking to showcase all the options it can offer and will be exhibiting a Maxus 3.5-tonner to promote what it can do.


Iveco's line-up of new Dailys will include a 35S18. It's built on the longest wheelbase (3,950mm) and offers a load space area of 17.2m3. Power comes from a 3.0 litre HPT engine, developing up to 176 bhp.

It will be joined by a 50C15 chassis cab, with a 3,750mm wheelbase and powered by a 146 bhp example of the same engine. This vehicle is designed to highlight the bodybuilding flexibility afforded by the Daily range, which is a popular choice for tipper, dropside, curtainside, Luton, box and various refrigerated conversions.


Maxus won't be the only new chassis cab in town. Let's hear it for the revised version of Toyota's Dyna powered by a 108 bhp 3.0-litre D-4D diesel.

While you're visiting Toyota don't forget to inspect the latest Hiace and the Hilux pick-up. In double-cab 4×4 guise the latter is now up for grabs with a 169 bhp 3.0-litre diesel. Hilux also comes with a 118 bhp 2.5-litre diesel.

A replacement for the recently revised Hiace is around two-and-a-half years away. With three wheelbases it is likely to gross at from 2.6 to 3.5 tonne.

It could be joined by a new small van as Toyota strives to boost its presence in the European light commercial market. Hilux has not long been redesigned so a replacement won't appear before 2009.

Renault Trucks

Fight your way past the big wagons on the Renault Trucks stand and you'll be able to get your first look at the new Maxity. If it looks vaguely familiar, then that's because it's a rebadged and slightly restyled version of Nissan's Cabstar thanks to a joint venture agreement.

It will be joined by a new version of Mascott. Grossing at from 3.5 to 6.5 tonnes it comes with a new generation diesel at either 130 bhp or 150 bhp, a new six-speed gearbox, a new rear-drive axle, front axle and braking system, plus assorted in-cab changes.


VW will be extolling the virtues of its new range of ready-to-go-to-work bodied Crafter chassis cabs and will be giving its Atacama lifestyle concept vehicle its first UK exhibition airing. It's a remarkable-looking design study based on a Crafter.

Once you've had a look at that, don't forget to give the Transporter Sportline Kombi the once-over. Inspired by the success of the Sportline Van, it's a passenger-carrying model based on the Transporter window van and propelled by a 174 bhp 2.5-litre diesel.

VW's stand will, however, be dominated by a Crafter CR35 long-wheelbase extra-high roof maxi 3.5-tonner with a Shiftmatic six-speed semi-automatic gearbox.

Find time to take a look at the Caddy on show. It'll be equipped with VW's innovative DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox) transmission. It can be used either as a manual or as an automatic and scooped What Van?'s technology award last year.


Aware that there's a demand for stylish light commercials, Ford will be exhibiting a very special version of Transit, but more of that in the next issue which will be available at the show.

Fiesta Sportvan and the 110 bhp Connect will also feature, but it will be Transit dominating with a range of ready-for-work conversions as well as the four-wheel drive AWD version.

Ranger pick-up will be there too, including the recently announced Tipper conversion.


Merc is looking to raise the profile of the Vito and will be exhibiting the new Sport model. Based on the 150 bhp 115CDi it comes fully loaded and will be alongside a 111CDi long-wheelbase.

Sprinter will be present in various guises including chassis cab and Traveliner, as well as a compressed natural gas-powered prototype — which may go into production for the UK next year — but the hub of the display will be the Safety Van. This demonstrates all the ways to make the van as safe as possible, both actively and passively.

Mitsubishi Fuso

With a range consisting of 36 models, all Canters are now powered by Euro 4 engines, including two new units rated at 110 bhp (for the just launched 3.5t entry model) and 180 bhp. MF will also be introducing a sleeper cab option across the range.


Renault will be showing its restyled Clio Campus Van; the first time it's been displayed in Britain. With a 68 bhp 1.5-litre dCi diesel under its bonnet it boasts re-sculpted bumpers plus a new tailgate and is another rival to 207 Van.

Top payload capacity is 535kg and it comes with a 0.95m3 cargo area. In-cab equipment includes a new multi-function trip computer.

Clio Campus will be positioned next to versions of Trafic and Master that will run on 30 per cent biodiesel — Renault will have some 11 vehicles on show — not to mention the face-lifted Kangoo. An all-new Kangoo won't debut until next year says the manufacturer.

Those biodiesel vehicles may be put on trial on this side of the Channel with fleet operators with their own bulk fuel tanks who can store a 30 per cent biodiesel mixture, says Renault.

As it happens a number of vehicles provided by fleet customers will be on the company's stand. Hi-Q — it supplies and fits tyres — and the British Red Cross will be among the names featured.

Motor racing fans are alas likely to ignore them, however, and be rather more interested in the new Renault R27 Formula One car also on show.


Over on the Citroën stand the new Relay and the latest Dispatch will be making their British show debut.


Electric vehicle producer Modec debuted at the show last year and is now in a position to take orders for its stylish and well thought-out vehicles. Capable of a 100 mile range they have a gross payload potential of two tonne.


Turning to bolt-on equipment, Ray Smith Group will be displaying its remarkable all-alloy Easyloader tail lift.

Designed to be mounted inside a van's load area just behind the rear doors, it features a 1,500mm long by 1,300mm wide platform that is stowed in the roof. Weighing a modest 150kg it will raise either 300kg or 400kg, depending on the version you choose.

Ratcliff Palfinger will be exhibiting a 500kg capacity column tail lift under the U-Lift banner while Lloyds TSB Autolease will be showing a Transporter Sportline van fitted with a load area storage system and roof racking made from lightweight, but strong, corrosion-free and durable, carbon fibre.

It's been developed in conjunction with Chambers Vehicle Conversions. The weight saving achieved when compared with the use of steel fixtures and fittings means that the van can carry more. It also could lead to a drop in fuel consumption.

The foregoing companies won't be the only exhibitors at Birmingham. Fiat, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Isuzu Truck — the last-named will be publicising some newly introduced vehicle financing initiatives — will all be making their presence felt alongside a whole host of purveyors of products and services at what promises to be an unmissable event.

Make sure you don't miss the three-day event — held at the National Exhibition Centre just outside Birmingham on 24-26 April — and remember, entrance is free. Click here for further details and if you're going along, don't forget to pre-register as it really speeds up entry to the show on the day.