The forthcoming Volkswagen T7 Multivan people-mover has been confirmed for debut this year with a plug-in hybrid powertrain, and will seat up to seven persons.

This will be of a front-wheel-drive layout, with transmission handled by a DSG dual-clutch automatic; the electric drive motor is fed by a lithium-ion battery located in the underbody in order to aid cabin space as well as centre of gravity, and therefore handling, says Volkswagen.

Charging of the battery is via an interface on the right-hand-side front wing; its technical specifications are yet to be disclosed. Powertrain is likely to be the EA211 1.4 litre TSI turbo petrol unit adapted from the Golf GTE, in which it produces 245 PS and 400 Nm in total, or 150 PS from the internal combustion engine alone.

The Multivan will operate in fully electric e-mode upon start-up, and will fire up the internal combustion engine at higher speeds, or when battery charge levels are running low.

The sketch of the forthcoming T7 Multivan’s interior reveals a middle row that can be rotated to form a more sociable seating arrangement for those aft of the front row, along with what appears to be a centre console on runners that can deploy a pair of fold-out tables.

Earlier released sketches of the T7 Multivan reveal that the MPV will draw from the eighth-generation Golf for its interior design cues – the people-mover is also based on the MQB platform, after all – and its shift-by-wire transmission will be controlled by the driver via a small selector alongside the 10-inch infotainment screen. This is in order to free up additional space between the front seats.

Volkswagen will be offering its own charging card with the T7 Multivan for use at public charging points, along with wall boxes for quick charging at home, says the manufacturer. The people-mover with different drive systems will be launched in the second half of this year, the company says.