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California: The sun rises in the camper sky

California: The sun rises in the camper sky
VW offers five variants of the New California, which is 27 centimeters longer than its predecessor.

The California is the ultimate in camper terrain. Lots of space, practically furnished, suitable for long distances. The Lower Saxony company has built 280,000 units since the motorhome was launched in 1988. The new generation is coming in the summer: Built on the new T7 (identical to the Ford Transit Custom), the Wolfsburg-based company is taking care of the interior design. And it is more generous, as the New California, as VW calls it, is 27 centimeters longer than its predecessor – a total of 5.17 meters. The width is also not too narrow at 1.94 meters, and the height at 1.99 meters including the lowered pop-up roof is suitable for underground parking.

VW delivers the California with two sliding doors and a pop-up roof as standard. Good: The classic awning can now be ordered for either the left or right side. Also new: individual seats instead of a back seat in the rear. In other words: expensive bikes can now also travel inside.

VW offers five variants: Multivan California, Beach, Beach Camper, Coast and Ocean.

The equipment is clearly structured: The Beach is practically a multivan with a pop-top roof, but without a kitchenette. The Coast has this same kitchenette including a refrigerator and 28 liter fresh water tank. The Ocean is supplemented with an auxiliary heater and a roof storage box.

The Beach has six seats, the Beach Camper five. The driver and front passenger seats can be rotated 180 degrees, and a second battery provides power for the interior. The beach camper can be connected to a 230-volt power supply and there is a small, pull-out kitchen in the rear.

Control via touchscreen

From the Beach version onwards, all completely newly developed camper functions can be controlled via a five-inch touchscreen on the C-pillar – or via the in-car app. For example, all LED lights and the ambient lighting can be switched off with a double tap.

The New California can be ordered from summer, the first examples will arrive in Austria at the end of the year.

The drives

VW is sticking to diesel technology for the California. The TDI delivers 110 kW (150 hp). The petrol engine (TSI) produces 150 kW (204 hp), both variants are front-wheel drive. The new plug-in hybrid develops a system output of 180 kW (245 hp) and comes as an all-wheel drive (4Motion). With this drive, the California can tow 2000 kilograms.

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