After an eventful 2017 show, the 2018 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon is shaping up to be an equally big deal. Volkswagen will be debuting the production version of the much-hyped California XXL camper van, and a ways upmarket, Germany's Morelo Reisemobile will be adding the new Palace to its luxury motorhome empire. In a preview, Morelo reveals an updated Palace riding on an Iveco or Mercedes chassis and flashing a more seamless exterior design. The upscale model still includes a garage sized for motorcycles or Smart cars and plenty of amenities and luxuries inside and out.
When you're striving to obtain an Empire, first you'll probably want a Palace. Likewise, Morelo's Palace slots just below its flagship Empire Liner. The newly updated model maintains the same base chassis options of the outgoing model, riding atop an Iveco Daily, Iveco Eurocargo or Mercedes Atego. Morelo says that the exterior dimensions vary by floor plan but remain unchanged from the current-gen Palace.
The Palace's aluminum alloy and fiberglass motorhome shell gets some subtle but substantive styling updates. The passenger-side awning has been integrated into the corner of the roof, eliminating the long awning box jutting off the side, and a new rear spoiler lends an updated view from behind while improving driving dynamics. Slim A-pillars lend a light feel up front and work with a new panoramic windshield to improve visibility.
Passengers enter the motorhome cabin through a new XL-width doorway that can be opened via key code or remote control, so there's no need to jingle around with an antiquated keychain. Morelo is holding back the individual floor plan details and spec sheet for now, but it does say that the new Palace will rely on an Alde hot water-based heating system to keep the cabin warm when things get frosty outside. It will carry a 380-L fresh water tank and 250-L waste water tank.
Initial photos show a spacious living/dining area with L-shaped bench just behind the driver cab swivel seats, a bathroom vanity sink, a step-up rear double bed and plenty of overhead storage. Morelo plans to offer an updated list of material and upholstery options.
On the road, the driver will rely on an intelligent ventilation system to keep the large panoramic windshield clear of fog. An available 9-in swivel-screen navigation system can be mounted in the center of the dashboard to help lead the Palace from point to point. Among the powertrains will be a 205-hp engine and eight-speed automatic transmission. An upsized 200-L diesel tank will be available optionally on the Iveco Daily chassis. Depending upon trim, the Palace's rear heated garage will carry anything from bicycles to a Smart car.
Pricing for the new model has yet to be released, but the current-gen 2018 Palace starts just under €200,000 (approx. US$233,000), and the larger "Liner" models start at €255,500 ($US298K). Morelo offers nearly two dozen individual 2018 Palace layouts and trims, with standard equipment like a three-burner stove, 190-L refrigerator, separate shower and toilet areas, and multiple skylights.
We'll look to bring you more on the new Morelo Palace once the Düsseldorf Caravan Salon gets underway next month.
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