Finetza expanding camper van is part beauty, part beast
Looking to capitalize on the upswing in domestic business and leisure travel, India's Pinnacle Specialty Vehicles has created the Finetza, a camper van quite unlike what we're used to seeing from the American and European markets. Outside, it's a fairly rough-looking hunk of van, even within a motorhome segment where homely, boxy eyesores are the norm. But beauty in this case is much more than skin deep, as the chunky bodywork slides away to reveal a motorhome interior designed like a luxury business van. Billed as India's first expanding motorhome, this camper van is truly a story of beauty within the beast.
Pinnacle starts with the Force Motors Traveller, a commercial van and small bus line that looks quite ideal for creating some pretty cool camper vans of various sizes and styles. Pinnacle has chosen the 4,020-mm (158-in) wheelbase Traveller and fully reworked the body.
Pinnacle's dressed-up front-end actually looks okay, the kind of thing you might expect from an aftermarket tuning or armoring shop like Dartz or US Specialty Vehicles. But that face traces back to an awkwardly short hood pushing off a messy, overworked body that seems to want to be part camper van, part Type C motorhome, part bus and part armored SUV.
The Finetza's high roof and drooping lower body surely increase space and practicality, but they certainly don't add anything positive to the aesthetic. The polygonal doors and off-angle windows feel like they belong more on an armored truck than a camper van. Then there are the bulging fenders trying (and failing) to trick our eyes into thinking that huge mass of bodywork wouldn't immediately flip over and ignite into a smoldering pile of twisted metal on the first rock encountered off-road. No amount of window tinting and glossy charcoal paint can make that picture look right.
But camper vans don't have to look good to be good. Saunter through the Finetza's sliding door and the story quickly changes ... quite dramatically. The cabin designs are downright sleek and elegant, looking more private jet than rattling motorhome. The lounge-like atmosphere of the central cabin is enough to make you forget you're aboard a camper van, let alone what might be the world's ugliest camper van. The curved LED smart TVs are set neatly into the walls rather than jutting out off wall mounts, and they benefit from the complement of home theater sound.
One floor plan includes a central lounge area with four chairs set in vis-a-vis fashion. A third two-chair row sits in back of the lounge for added passenger capacity. Another layout shows a vis-a-vis lounge with sofa and love seat benches and a wall-mount TV and low coffee table in between.
The interior also makes clear that there's some reason and rhyme to Pinnacle's bloated exterior. All that bodywork swallows up a slide-out rear expansion module, similar to the DoubleBack VW. The Finetza's pod opens via mobile device app, revealing the master bedroom suite, split from the main cabin by a doorway. Buyers can choose between fixed and convertible sofa-bed options.
While the Finetza has the overnighting capabilities of a proper camper van, its cooking amenities are more on par with the business van it resembles inside. Instead of a typical dual-burner and stainless steel sink kitchen block, the advertised standard is a "pantry" with mini-fridge, hot plate and coffee machine, a kitchenette available optionally. The onboard bathroom is likewise equipped more for the business traveler than the usual motorhome traveler, there's a toilet and sink, but the shower is optional.
The Finetza's options add up quickly, and that's because Pinnacle has really created it as a buyer-led build. Buyers can choose from various lounge layouts and sleeping capacities between two and eight people. Pinnacle also offers a choice of tables, upholstery, moon/skyroofs, ambient lighting and entertainment equipment. The exterior is also customizable, though we don't think there's a "de-fuglify" option.
We've seen an onslaught of multi-personality camper vans designed to double as everyday people haulers and/or work vans, and the Finetza is a different spin on the concept, capable of serving as a combination camper van/luxury travel van/mobile office. The power system includes multiple charging ports to keep devices running during the drive.
The Finetza comes powered by a 3.2-liter four-cylinder common rail diesel with 115 hp and can carry up to eight passengers. It measures 270 in (6,857 mm) long on the road and 333 mm (8,447 mm) when fully expanded at camp. An air suspension cushions the wheels.
The Finetza made its debut at India's Auto Expo in February. Price will of course vary wildly based on options, but the company puts the starting point for the expandable Finetza at 50 lakh, or 5 million rupees, which comes out to roughly US$76,700. That converted price doesn't look half bad considering the luxurious look and feel of the Finetza's interior. We'd definitely want to add the kitchenette and shower options, though.
Source: Pinnacle Specialty Vehicles