Last week, Volkswagen announced the all new hybrid California Concept which is based on the current T7 Multivan. Volkswagen revealed that, earlier this month the new vehicle would be unveiled at the Düsseldorf Caravan Salon trade fair. Volkswagen has changed a lot on the new camper and it’ll be launching later next year.
The new California is larger than the current 6.1 California, sitting on the long wheel base platform as compared to the shorter platform on the older model.
What has changed?
For starters, the new California is now based on the passenger vehicle Multivan, itself sharing the MQB car platform. This moves the California away from the commercial vehicle architecture for the first time since the California was first launched, around twenty years ago. The new concept vehicle shares the same plug-in hybrid system as the Multivan which means using petrol on a California for the first time. We get a 148bhp 1.4-litre petrol engine with a 114bhp electric motor for a total of 262bhp. The new California also now has three batteries, a 12v for the engine, leisure battery and a new supplemental battery for the hybrid system.
Around the outside, some significant changes have been made. For the first time, Volkswagen has added a second sliding door which is a huge improvement for right-hand drive markets, such as the UK as when pulling up on the road the sliding door would open into the road. To achieve this, Volkswagen has pushed the kitchen back inside the cabin allowing for room around the door. This means the kitchen is now accessible from the outside allowing for a larger living area with access to the fridge and drawers.
For the first time too, Volkswagen has added a lot of modern tech, with colour changeable RGB lighting, present on the cupboards and awning arms. Everything is controllable too from a ‘tablet’, which is just an iPad. It allows you to control the lighting zones, raise the pop-up roof, view the water levels, enable the fridge and much more. Volkswagen also allow access via the ‘Cali on Tour’ app from a smartphone or via the main infotainment system in the cabin. This replaces the small overhead display on the 6.1 California.
For cooking, Volkswagen has made a huge improvement. Not only are the drawers and fridge now accessible from the outside, but there is now a new 230V induction hob, perfect for those not a fan of using gas. There is still the single gas ring and also a new removable grill, which can be stored in the kitchen unit out of the way. The sink is also larger with a folding tap.
When is it launching?
Volkswagen has said production will start in 2024 at the company’s Hanover factory in Germany. However, no prices are available just yet. Prices for the current 6.1 Beach start at £61,322 so ewer can expect a premium one that model, thanks to the added tech on the new T7.
Later in 2025, Volkswagen is planning on launching the all electric California, based on the ID.Buzz.