German manufacturer Knaus is well known for combining style and function – a fusion most evident in the Sun Ti, launched in 2004.

Now, in an attempt to lure those wanting the Sun Ti’s low-profile elegance without the sizeable price tag, Knaus has launched the Sport Ti.

The Sport Ti range retains the Renault Master cab chassis of the Sun, and features the 2.5-litre Renault 120 common-rail turbodiesel engine. There’s no denying that the Sport and Sun Ti, with their curvy lines, share the same genes even though the Sport features different mouldings.

Knaus’ show model bore the handsome Silver Line paintwork, which is likely to become an option in the UK.

According to importer Hants and Dorset Outdoor Leisure, the smallest of the Sport family, the 600 MG will probably prove most popular. This two-berth offers a large, 150cm garage within a body length of just 6.44m, which means plenty of room in the back for a scooter. The ‘van also boasts a novel flip-up bed, allowing further storage space.

Inside, the ‘van is bright despite its compact layout, thanks in part to the attractive light-grey and orange Denver upholstery which swathed all soft surfaces in the show ‘van.

The Sport’s lounge is spacious and comfortable. It benefits from additional light through the large acrylic glass roof, similar to that in the Sun Ti and likely to be standard on UK models.

One new Knaus feature is the 15in LCD TV which drops from an overhead cupboard. It can be angled in various positions for best viewing and hooked up to a DVD player in the cab. The screen is weighty, however, so older occupants might struggle to prevent it crashing down after release.

The kitchen is compact but the numerous fixtures and fittings ooze quality, from the brushed steel Ikea-style lights to the frosted-glass cabinet door above the sink. A dearth of storage space is one cost of the compact nature this ‘van: we couldn’t find much room for tins and packeted food. However, there are plenty of other clever storage solutions in the rest of the ‘van, including the nifty flip-up step that leads up to a firm but comfortable fixed double bed.

The functional, yet rather fashionable, design continues in the washroom where wood is interspersed with chrome fittings. There is no separate shower cubicle but there’s plenty of room, with a reasonably sized basin and multiple shelves. A small flap hides the toilet roll.

Costs have not been cut from anywhere obvious – some of the fittings in the Sun Ti are of slightly better quality than in the Sport Ti and, of course, we have yet to sit behind the wheel. However, after our first look, Knaus appears to have succeeded in creating a lower-cost low-profile. We’re certainly looking forward to finding out for sure.