Automotive

Vauxhall Elite camper van to roam roads as both an electric and diesel

Vauxhall Elite camper van to r...
The pop-up roof increases interior headroom and ventilation and serves as home for the optional second bed
The pop-up roof increases interior headroom and ventilation and serves as home for the optional second bed
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The Vauxhall Vivaro Elite Campervan will eventually be available with option of 2.0-liter diesel engine or electric drive
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The Vauxhall Vivaro Elite Campervan will eventually be available with option of 2.0-liter diesel engine or electric drive
Wellhouse Leisure provides the Vauxhall Elite Campervan conversion based directly on its own Blighty camper van
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Wellhouse Leisure provides the Vauxhall Elite Campervan conversion based directly on its own Blighty camper van
Heading for camp in the all-new Vauxhall Vivaro Elite Campervan
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Heading for camp in the all-new Vauxhall Vivaro Elite Campervan
Vauxhall doesn't specify a van size, but Wellhouse builds its Blighty on both 495-cm (195-in) medium-wheelbase and 530-cm (209-in) long-wheelbase Vivaro vans
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Vauxhall doesn't specify a van size, but Wellhouse builds its Blighty on both 495-cm (195-in) medium-wheelbase and 530-cm (209-in) long-wheelbase Vivaro vans
The Vivaro E that will underpin the electric offers up to 205 miles of driving range per charge and can charge to 80 percent in 45 minutes with 100-kW fast charging
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The Vivaro E that will underpin the electric Elite Campervan offers up to 205 miles of driving range per charge and can charge to 80 percent in 45 minutes with 100-kW fast charging
Wellhouse Leisure introduced its Blighty camper van earlier this year and now provides the same conversion for Vauxhall's camper van line
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Wellhouse Leisure introduced its Blighty camper van earlier this year and now provides the same conversion for Vauxhall's camper van line
The pop-up roof increases interior headroom and ventilation and serves as home for the optional second bed
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The pop-up roof increases interior headroom and ventilation and serves as home for the optional second bed
The Vivaro Elite Campervan will start at £46,000 when it goes on sale next year
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The Vivaro Elite Campervan will start at £46,000 when it goes on sale next year
The Vivaro Elite Campervan creates a dining area out of the swivel cab seats, removable table and sliding two-seat rear bench
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The Vivaro Elite Campervan creates a dining area out of the swivel cab seats, removable table and sliding two-seat rear bench
Swivel front seats in "camp" mode
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Swivel front seats in "camp" mode
Driver-side kitchenette
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Driver-side kitchenette
The Blighty/Vivaro Elite Campervan includes a full electrical system with standard 100-W solar panel
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The Blighty/Vivaro Elite Campervan includes a full electrical system with standard 100-W solar panel
A small fridge comes standard
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A small fridge comes standard
The rear bench folds into the main bed
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The rear bench folds into the main bed
Inside the rear of the Vauxhall Elite Campervan load area
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Inside the rear of the Vauxhall Elite Campervan load area
Those looking for a small family van can add the optional bed in the pop-top to sleep a total of four
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Those looking for a small family van can add the optional bed in the pop-top to sleep a total of four
By basing the camper van on the Vivaro Elite trim, Vauxhall/Wellhouse ensure it has many of the latest technologies and features
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By basing the camper van on the Vivaro Elite trim, Vauxhall/Wellhouse ensure it has many of the latest technologies and features
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We thought we were done rounding up electric campers for the year, but Vauxhall has squeezed in one more. The British marque has partnered up with British converter Wellhouse Leisure to create a camper van as British as the Union Jack itself. The Vauxhall Vivaro Elite Campervan will launch next year, first as a 2.0-liter turbo-diesel and later as an all-electric Vivaro-e camper. And like that, we'll kick off an era in which automakers sell their own camper vans in buyer's choice of combustion engine or electric drive.

Vauxhall announced the Vivaro Elite Campervan this week, outlining plans to get it to market in early 2021. After rolling off Vauxhall's production lines in Luton, UK, the high-spec Vauxhall Elite van will go on to get converted into the pop-up Campervan at Wellhouse Leisure's Barnsley, South Yorkshire factory, where its undiluted Britishness is recognized by the name "Vivaro Blighty."

The Vauxhall Vivaro Elite Campervan will eventually be available with option of 2.0-liter diesel engine or electric drive
The Vauxhall Vivaro Elite Campervan will eventually be available with option of 2.0-liter diesel engine or electric drive

The Blighty serves as the base for the Vivaro Elite Campervan and is essentially its identical twin, albeit available directly from Wellhouse Leisure. The camper van looks much the same as it did when we checked it out earlier this year, minus the optional Irmscher sports kit it was wearing at the time.

The Blighty/Elite Campervan conversion continues forward as a two- or four-sleeper with pop-up roof (roof bed optional) and two-seat rear bench that folds into a 188 x 117-cm (74 x 46-in) bed. The driver-side kitchen block comes topped with a combo dual-burner gas stove/sink unit, with a 25-L compressor fridge keeping things chilled below the countertop. The two-seat rear bench, swivel front seats and removable dining table create the dining lounge. Standard features include a 2.2-kW heater, interior lighting package, and 100-W solar panel wired to the onboard leisure battery.

A small fridge comes standard
A small fridge comes standard

The Elite base van spec brings with it a host of top-tier equipment, including a 7-in touchscreen Multimedia Navi Pro infotainment system with satellite navigation, semi-adaptive cruise control, rear-view camera, head-up display, front and rear parking sensors, and speed sign recognition with intelligent speed adaptation.

The Vivaro Elite Campervan will be available directly from Vauxhall, competing in that way with other automaker-badged British-market offerings like the Volkswagen California and Ford Nugget series. Pricing will start at £46,000 (approx. US$62,450).

The Vivaro E that will underpin the electric offers up to 205 miles of driving range per charge and can charge to 80 percent in 45 minutes with 100-kW fast charging
The Vivaro E that will underpin the electric Elite Campervan offers up to 205 miles of driving range per charge and can charge to 80 percent in 45 minutes with 100-kW fast charging

The even more intriguing news in Vauxhall's announcement is confirmation that an all-electric version of the Vivaro camper van is also in development for 2021. Conversion shops from the UK and mainland Europe have long been leaders in creating small, efficient electric camper vans, so it's not surprising to see Wellhouse, which introduced a Ford Transit Custom PHEV camper van earlier this year, jumping in and converting the all-new Vivaro-e.

The all-electric Elite camper van will come with the larger 75-kWh lithium battery pack that gives the Vivaro-e up to 205 miles (330 km) of range. Wellhouse's preliminary spec sheet calls for the Vivaro-e camper van to have the same layout as the diesel Blighty, including the single bench/bed and optional second bed in the standard pop-up roof. Vauxhall didn't announce a price, but Wellhouse lists estimated base pricing for its "Blighty E" camper van at £59,995 ($81,400).

We look forward to taking a closer look at the Vivaro-e camper van once it's complete and ready for launch. We also look forward to seeing what other electric camper vans 2021 brings – the Fiat Ducato Electric and Mercedes-Benz EQV top our list of electric vans begging to be converted into camper vans.

Sources: Vauxhall, Wellhouse Leisure

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