Lots of space, a proper kitchen and luxuries galore. It almost makes camping sound… appealing?
Volkswagen has taken the California and made it a bit larger again, with the launch of the Grand California ahead of the Dusseldorf Caravan Salon in Germany.
Unlike the regular California, which is built around the Transporter, the Grand California is based on the larger Crafter. Volkswagen actually gave us a peek at how the car might look with the California XXL Concept, and has stuck largely to the theme with the production model, opting for pale furniture and wooden flooring inspired by the world of boating.
Large windows and a pair of skylights make for an airier-than-average interior, but we’re a little disappointed the concept’s full-length glass roof hasn’t made the leap to production. Speaking of bits-and-pieces that didn’t make the cut, the fancy kitchen suite and bathroom treatment were also left behind in the transition to production.
With a high roof, there’s more space than you get in the regular California, with a double bed down back and the option for another in the roof alcove. Kids are the only ones who really need apply for that, though.
When it comes to amenities, there’s a proper shower, toilet and a pop-out sink, along with cupboard space for all your toiletries – and necessities like toilet paper, naturally. There’s even ventilation in there, which could be crucial for keeping the family together on long trips. You also get an outdoor shower down back.
Although it’s lost some of the flashier elements offered by the concept, the kitchen in the Grand California still has a 70L fridge and freezer unit, a twin-hob stove, myriad shelves and a sink. Think ‘inner-city apartment’ and you’re on the right track. There’s a small dinner table on board as well.
Flashy, luxury touches aren’t completely off the table though. There’s wireless internet and satellite television capability on board, not to mention the outdoor awning and pop-out step. Camp chairs, bike racks and solar panels are also on the options list. Mosquito-haters rejoice, for there’s a two-part mozzie net on board.
For the driver, there’s 4Motion all-wheel drive along with adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, lane-keeping assist and blind-spot monitoring. Power will come from… actually, we don’t know. Volkswagen hasn’t revealed those details, but we’d bank on a four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine of some variety.
The Grand California will be revealed in Dusseldorf later this month, before hitting the European market at some point early in 2019.
Volkswagen says there are no definitive plans to bring the Grand California to Australia, but pointed to the Caddy Beach and Kombi 70 Years as proof of their interest in the camper segment.