La Strada sizes down globetrotting Sprinter 4x4 monocoque motorhome
La Strada started off the young year of 2020 by rounding out its fleet of Mercedes-Benz campers with the Nova EB, a B+ size compact motorhome with a neatly integrated monocoque living module on a Sprinter chassis. It's a nice option for those who want a more van-like look and feel than a larger Class C or A can provide but with a little more space inside the "van." Now La Strada slims the Nova lineup down with the new Nova M, dropping some of the size and weight of the flagship EB floor plan and offering a more maneuverable, off-road-friendly footprint.
After debuting at CMT 2020, the new La Strada Nova EB brought home a 2020 Red Dot Product Design Award, and we can't disagree with the judges' decision. Unlike other B+ motorhomes and their dramatically widened boxes, faux-alcove pinched brows and contrast cab/module colors, the La Strada Nova is a smoothly integrated design that looks like a camper van from many angles.
The Nova gets even more van-like with the addition of the 646-cm (254-in) "M," dropping 53 cm (21 in) of overall length compared to the EB. Like the EB, the Nova M measures 215 cm (85 in) in width, adding an extra 11 cm (4 in) over La Strada's factory Sprinter-based Regent S camper van. The Nova M's 299 cm (118 in) of height rises 16 cm (6 in) higher than a factory Sprinter van with super-high roof. The standard wheelbase measures 366-cm (144-in).
The Nova M's floor plan is quite different from other motorhomes or camper vans, including the Nova EB. Instead of the double/queen bed or dual singles that usually occupy the rear bedroom area of a motorhome, La Strada compacts that space down into a single bed measuring 205 x 97 cm (81 x 38 in). The main sleeping area is a lift-away up front that lowers down into a 205 x 140-cm (81 x 55-in) queen-size bed over top the driver cab and dining lounge.
The three-person sleeping capacity seems a little odd, especially given how common four-sleeper layouts are in even small camper vans, but La Strada positions the M more as a roomy, luxurious motorhome for two. It says the bed can be a daybed for grabbing a quick nap and can also come in handy when the couple brings a guest along. The Nova line is really aimed at couples looking for a roomy but compact motorhome (the larger Nova EB only sleeps two).
We were initially thinking the rear space might be better repurposed for accommodating a larger dry bathroom instead of a wet bathroom, but the Nova M already packs a hybrid wet/dry bathroom. It's not the most spacious dry bath layout out there, nor is it a clever morphing design, but it gets the job done, relying on a fold-away sink basin and a fold-out shower partition to create a dedicated shower area free from hanging sinks or jutting toilets.
Like the Nova EB, the Nova M also comes standard with a spacious dining area comprising an L-shaped corner bench and swivel driver cab seats. The two front-facing bench seats have seat belts so the Nova M can carry a total of four people during the ride (it just can't sleep that last unlucky person upon arrival).
The kitchen area across from the bathroom has a dual-burner gas stove, sink and 80-L absorber refrigerator. Buyers can option up to a 100-L compressor fridge. A slide-out counter creates an L-shaped workspace, and a series of drawers, cupboards and shelves complete the kitchen.
While the shortened Nova M comes with some interior compromises compared to the EB, it gains a more athletic exterior. La Strada emphasizes that athleticism further by highlighting the Sprinter 4x4 model and its raised ride height in the photos, a contrast to the droopy-bodied look of the rear-wheel-drive variant. The treaded sidewalls of the BFGoodrich All Terrain tires further enhance that look.
A highlight of the exterior is the rear through-loading garage with left- and right-side access doors. With up to 920 kg (2,208 lb) of payload on the 4,100-kg (9,039-lb) gross vehicle weight rating, owners enjoy plenty of freedom in loading it up.
La Strada is showing the Nova M at the Düsseldorf Caravan Salon, which officially kicked off on Friday. The model starts at €98,930 (approx. US$117,125) in Germany, equipped with a 161-hp engine, 100-Ah gel battery and 100-L fresh water tank.
La Strada is careful to point out it doesn't consider the M a full-blown off-road expedition vehicle, even with the selectable all-wheel drive, suspension lift and all-terrain tires, but more an option for putting together trips that include some stretches of less intense off-pavement driving. The AWD variant seems an intriguing option for those who want a little more elbow room than a van (or live-in 4x4) but don't want to step up to a larger, truck-like 4x4 motorhome. It's certainly more of a convincing all-terrain plus-sized camper van than other Class B+ constructions out there.
Source: La Strada