The California is a love story that lasts at Volkswagen. Since the first California launched in 1988, it has sold 260,000 units in the campervan world. To replace the California 6.1, the manufacturer will soon launch a new generation, prefigured by this concept unveiled in Germany.
At the Caravan and Motorhome Show in Düsseldorf, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles presents the California Concept. Based on the current Multivan launched in 2021, it receives usual improvements on this type of leisure vehicle. There is thus a pop-up roof allowing you to walk upright in the van or to access an additional sleeping area, a side awning and a shade sail, or even a specific layout on board. It consists of three distinct spaces, making life easier for campers.
A kitchen open to the outside
The concept benefits from two sliding doors instead of one on the previous California, which allows the kitchen area to be opened outwards (left side) for the first time by functioning as an island. The kitchen is fully equipped with a sink, a sliding 230 V induction hob and a gas cooker, a compact grill, a drawer-style fridge or cupboards and a sliding worktop. This can be extended by a folding table to serve as a dining area, the front seats can be turned 180 degrees to sit face to face. Moreover, the traditional rear bench seat has been replaced by removable individual seats, which allows more modularity for loading bulky objects. The space can also be transformed into a bed for two people.
The interior design offers many tricks. Thanks to the elimination of the manual handbrake and the replacement of the gear lever by a selector on the dashboard, the space between the front passengers is more substantial. The seats have storage drawers and new equipment, such as removable dry compost toilets behind the front seats.
Marketing planned for 2024
To control the opening of the pop-up roof, a multimedia tablet is placed on the cupboard near the left sliding door. It also serves as a television thanks to an articulated arm, and as a general control screen: water level, interior lighting, power supply status, activation of the fridge and auxiliary heating… Volkswagen specifies that all these functions are also controlled by the “Cali on Tour” application on your smartphone or on the central screen at the front of the vehicle.
The California Concept is equipped with a rechargeable hybrid engine for the first time on a VW van. Thus, it can drive in electric mode for a few kilometers (Volkswagen does not specify how many) while the lithium-ion battery is also used to power the van autonomously. It remains to be seen whether the future California will use exactly the same engine as the Multivan PHEV (218 hp, approximately 45 km of autonomy thanks to a 10.4 kWh battery) or whether there will be adaptations. See you in 2024, the planned marketing date, to find out.
Photos : DR.
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To sum up
Volkswagen is taking advantage of the Motorhome Show in Düsseldorf to unveil the California Concept. This study, very close to the series, heralds the arrival of a converted Multivan equipped with rechargeable hybridization.