I was driving yesterday afternoon and saw a funky looking "work" van that looked sort of like a Sprinter, but carried a VW logo on its hood.

The badge on the rear said Crafter, and its license plate began with an MT- prefix—which in the past I've only ever seen on manufacturer test vehicles.

Sure enough, as I approached the van, I realized that what I thought were passengers were actually dummies strapped into the seats (I assume for testing). You can sort of make it out in the passenger seat in the photo below.


By far the strangest part of the sighting was the sound this thing was making. From a little ways back, it sounded like the whine of oversized mud tires, but as I got closer it was apparent that the sound was coming from the engine (with the exhaust singing a pretty strange backup tune in its own right). It did not sound like any gasoline or diesel engine I have ever heard. (click below to hear it)


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All in all, what started as a "meh" reaction (if I'm being honest, I'm not that into work vans) ended up being an interesting catch. If you know more about the Crafter, such as what power plant is under the hood, jump in down below.