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New Volkswagen California camper to arrive this summer

Volkswagen has unveiled its new California range, which features new on-board tech, more interior layouts, and a plug-in hybrid powertrain

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Volkswagen has unveiled its new California camper van range, which features new on-board tech additions, more trims and interior layouts, and a plug-in hybrid powertrain.

Sitting between the smaller Caddy California and the larger Grand California in Volkswagen’s camper line-up, the new California is based on the extended ‘T7’ Multivan. All models come with a pop-up roof and sliding doors on both sides of the vehicle, as well as ambient interior lighting that can all be switched off at the same time by double tapping on one of the several light switches.

The range includes five different variants. The first is the ‘Beach’ model, which Volkswagen describes as “a Multivan with a manual pop-up roof”. Like the Multivan, this version comes with a six-seat layout and space for two people to sleep under the pop-up roof, which is opened and closed manually with a new “easy-to-operate” mechanism.

The ‘Beach Tour’ adds front seats that can swivel 180 degrees, sliding windows for the rear sliding doors, a folding table and removes one seat to add two additional sleeping spaces on a fold-out mattress. Alternatively, the five-seat ‘Beach Camper’ swaps the mattress for a compact mini-kitchen with a single-ring gas cooker, cutlery drawer and additional storage space.

The California ‘Coast’ is a four-seat configuration with a larger kitchen unit on the left hand side of the rear cabin, including cabinet storage, a sink and a single-ring gas cooker. The model also comes with an “extremely stable” fold-out bed which rests on one of the rear seats when it is folded.

Last but not least, the range-topping ‘Ocean’ grade has the same layout as the ‘Coast’, but is trimmed in seat fabrics made of recycled materials and adds heating for the front seats, automatic air conditioning, a roof stowage box and background lighting for the kitchen unit.

Volkswagen has also made the fresh water tank available with ‘Coast’ and ‘Ocean’ models five litres larger (now 28 litres), and both versions have an exterior folding table and an additional socket with shore power on the outside for an electric hob. An optional awning will also be available for the left or right side to shield against rain or too much sun.

The new camper also comes with a five-inch in the rear cabin that displays the van’s systems – such as fresh and waste water levels and the charge of the auxiliary battery – and can be used to control the pop-up roof and ambient lighting.

Three different engine options are available, regardless of interior trim and configuration. First up is a 150hp turbocharged diesel engine, followed by a 204hp turbocharged petrol option. The most expensive will be the top spec 245hp plug-in hybrid powertrain, or ‘eHybrid’, which is four-wheel drive and can travel on electric-only power for a limited number of miles.

The new California will become available to order this June, with eleven single-tone and three two-tone exterior colour schemes available. Volkswagen is yet to confirm UK pricing for the camper range, but this is sure to follow in the coming weeks.

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Sean Rees
Sean Rees
Sean is the Deputy Editor at The Car Expert. A enthusiastic fan of motorsport and all things automotive, he is accredited by the Professional Publishers Association, and is now focused on helping those in car-buying need with independent and impartial advice.