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The world premiere of the new VW California concept

The world premiere of the new California concept was held at the Caravan Salon trade fair in Düsseldorf. 

The new California will have extra length and width, offering more living space,  comfort, safety and flexibility. It will also be equipped with a pop-up roof at a height of almost two metres. For the first time, the California concept offers the advantages of plug-in hybrid technology.

Life in the Great Outdoors

The camper van’s living and kitchen areas have undergone a complete makeover. For the first time, this California is equipped with a sliding door on the kitchen side as well. This allows extended use of the space around the vehicle and adds a new dimension to summer camping in the great outdoors. In the past, all California models based on the Transporter series had a kitchen area stretching down to the B-pillar on the left-hand side and a sliding door on the right-hand side; this door was the main entrance – both in everyday use and when camping. The folding camping chairs, folding table and awning were therefore always also installed on the right-hand side of the vehicle. From now on, the addition of the extra sliding door on the driver's side of the California concept and the kitchen area that is now located further back in the vehicle – just like in the larger Grand California – means that the left-hand side of the vehicle can now be opened up when camping. This makes California more versatile than ever before. As the concept vehicle is fitted with a folding-arm awning on the left and a sun sail on the right, both sides of the vehicle can be protected from either sun or rain. The sun sail can be set up for use in a matter of moments. The awning also comes with an integrated crank, which is stowed safely in the awning housing.

Intelligent interior design, right down to the last detail

The show vehicle’s interior design has been perfectly thought-out down to the last detail and offers a host of new features and benefits. It all starts at the front: Since the Multivan is fitted with an electronic parking brake instead of a manual brake, the space between the driver and front passenger seat towards the rear can be put to much better use. Practical drawers under the front height-adjustable swivel seats and the individual seats at the rear also offer extra storage space. There is now space behind the driver or front passenger seat for items such as a removable dry-composting toilet. There is also plenty of storage space in the top and bottom kitchen cupboards, which are located behind the refrigerator. In addition, there is a separate storage area under the bed extension. The vehicle interior is illuminated in pleasant light by all-around, dimmable background lighting in the roof frame. With a range of colours available, the background lighting on the cupboards can be adjusted to suit individual moods. To create the right atmosphere outside, the kitchen unit has an integrated removable table light to create a cosy feel around the camping table. If more light is needed, the LED lights on the awning arms bathe the vehicle’s “terrace” in pleasant light.

Pop-up roof and high-quality roof bed

A VW bus as California without a classic pop-up roof is inconceivable. So the California concept is no different. It comprises a lightweight aluminium roof shell and triple-layered bellows with a large panorama opening at the front. Large windows at the sides provide incredible panoramic views. Like in all California models, the highest position for the pop-up roof is at the front. USB-C sockets and LED lights provide power and light in the pop-up roof. A high-quality roof bed with spring plates also guarantees a good night’s sleep beneath the stars.

Controlled by a camper van control unit, smartphone or the infotainment system

The roof’s pop-up mechanism is controlled using a vertical, multifunctional tablet on the cupboard at the C-pillar. All of the features relevant to camping can be controlled on the touch display. In addition to the pop-up roof, this includes information on the fresh and waste water levels, the interior lighting functions including background lighting, power supply status, refrigerator and auxiliary heater. All of these functions can also be controlled on a smartphone using the “Cali on Tour” app or in the infotainment system. The infotainment system can also be used to access an inclination display that enables the camper van to be levelled.

However, the tablet does not just provide information about the vehicle, but can also provide good entertainment. For instance, it can be swivelled out on an articulated arm and positioned so that it is easily visible from every position in the passenger compartment. It can also be rotated by 90 degrees, meaning there is nothing in the way of an entertaining evening watching your favourite TV series.

We will keep you updated will all the new California news!

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