New California cool

for VW

Volkswagen California, 2024, front
Volkswagen California, 2024, rear
Volkswagen California, 2024, interior space
Volkswagen California, 2024, seats
Volkswagen California, 2024, interior
Volkswagen California, 2024, rear sliding tray

TWIN sliding side doors, a plug-in hybrid option and all-wheel drive are key features of the next generation of the Volkswagen California camper van.

Due for release in the second half of 2024, the new model is based on the VW Multivan MQB platform and is no longer a converted version of the Transporter van.

Powered by a choice of engines as well as the plug-in it will be available with a 204ps turbo petrol and a 150ps diesel while the PHEV uses a 1.5-litre petrol engine as well as its electric motor.

Five versions will be available in Beach, Beach Tour, Beach Camper, Coast and top-grade Ocean specifications.

Prices have still to be announced but are likely to start from more than the £61,462 current model.

All Californias will have a pop-up roof as well as a new i-Pad style control unit in the back door pillar on all but the entry-level model.

All camper van functions can be controlled and checked via the display and functions can also be operated via a corresponding in-car app on the infotainment system and a California app on a smartphone.

The new California is 5,173mm long compared to 4,904 mm previously. It is also wider but the same height as before allowing access to multi-storey car parks.

Using the MQB platform has allowed it to be fitted with a range of driver assist systems including oncoming vehicle braking when turning function to Travel Assist, which offers semi-automated driving assistance which VW says increases long-distance driving comfort.

In Beach specification the California has six seats in a 2+2+2 format and a manually operated roof while the Beach Tour is a five-seater.

The Beach Camper is also a five-seater and is fitted with a mini-kitchen with a single-ring gas cooker, cutlery drawer and additional storage space in a permanently installed module in the load compartment. For use, the kitchen unit is pulled out to the rear when the boot lid is open which also provides protection against the rain.

Higher specification Coast and Ocean versions are four seaters and are fitted with a full kitchenette as well as a 28-litre freshwater container and exterior folding table (which can also be used inside and as an extension to the worktop) and an additional 230-volt socket with shore power on the outside for an electric hob.

Volkswagen says pre-sales of the new California will start in June ahead of the first deliveries later in the year.

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