Automotive

Volkswagen upsizes California camper van with XXL concept

Volkswagen upsizes California ...
Volkswagen previews the all-new California XXL concept
Volkswagen previews the all-new California XXL concept
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Volkswagen says the California XXL concept is based on a medium-wheelbase Crafter, and the van's height of 2.9 m indicates the highest Crafter roof option
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Volkswagen says the California XXL concept is based on a medium-wheelbase Crafter, and the van's height of 2.9 m indicates the highest Crafter roof option
Volkswagen has slid a compact wet bath into its new Crafter California concept
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Volkswagen has slid a compact wet bath into its new Crafter California concept
The California has long been based on the Transporter, but a Crafter version might be on the way
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The California has long been based on the Transporter, but a Crafter version might be on the way
Volkswagen will debut its Crafter California XXL concept at this year's Düsseldorf Caravan Salon later this month
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Volkswagen will debut its Crafter California XXL concept at this year's Düsseldorf Caravan Salon later this month
Volkswagen previews the all-new California XXL concept
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Volkswagen previews the all-new California XXL concept
At the 2014 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon, Volkswagen celebrated 10 years of its factory-built California (T5 Transporter base) with the 50,000th model
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At the 2014 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon, Volkswagen celebrated 10 years of its factory-built California (T5 Transporter base) with the 50,000th model
At the 2014 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon, Volkswagen celebrated 10 years of its factory-built California (T5 Transporter base) with the 50,000th model
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At the 2014 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon, Volkswagen celebrated 10 years of its factory-built California (T5 Transporter base) with the 50,000th model
The California XXL has a generously sized kitchen area
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The California XXL has a generously sized kitchen area
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"Westfalia" is undoubtedly the most famous name in Volkswagen camper van lore, but "California" has also claimed its place in the VW camper van lexicon. Launched as a Westfalia model in 1988, the California eventually became Volkswagen's own in house-built camper when the California T5 went into production in 2004. Now the good Volks from Wolfsburg are exploring an XXL-sized California based on the second-generation Crafter van. The extra size paves the way for a wet bath and roomy kitchen.

Two years after the launch of the California T6, Volkswagen plays with the idea of a Crafter-based "California XXL." The Crafter doesn't have the history of the Transporter, and frankly we find it rather ugly, but it does have one major advantage: size, something that's always invaluable when trying to shove an efficiency apartment into a motor vehicle.

Volkswagen has put that extra size to work with a wet bath with shower, fold-up sink and toilet, an amenity not found in the Transporter-based California. It has also built out a kitchen with plenty of countertop and cabinetry around the dual-burner stove, refrigerator and sink.

The California XXL has a generously sized kitchen area
The California XXL has a generously sized kitchen area

The California XXL floor plan also includes a two-person bed, roughly 6.6 feet (2 m) in length, and a central living area with the rear bench and swivel front driver and passenger seats.

The concept camper is based on the medium-wheelbase Crafter with super-high fixed roof, and Volkswagen mentions some driver-assistance technologies. It doesn't get into any specifics, but we know the Crafter offers a large pool of standard and available assistance features, including front assist with emergency city braking, crosswind stabilization, parking assist, lane keeping assist, and trailer assist.

The California has long been based on the Transporter, but a Crafter version might be on the way
The California has long been based on the Transporter, but a Crafter version might be on the way

Volkswagen has also left the powertrain box blank for now, leaving us to guess which of the 2.0-liter TDI options, between 101 hp to 175 hp, is powering things. It's also unclear if the California XXL is a front-, rear- or all-wheel drive, as the Crafter is available in all three configurations. Given that Volkswagen calls the electric Crafter the e-Crafter, we feel fairly confident that the California XXL won't follow the 2017 I.D. Buzz as an all-electric van concept.

Volkswagen will reveal all the California XXL details at this year's Düsseldorf Caravan Salon, which kicks off on August 26.

Source: VW Commercial Vehicles

View gallery - 8 images
3 comments
jamie66
While in europe recently i saw full size vans by VW. I was wishing these were available in USA. I can not think of an industry as out of touch with consumer demand than the auto industry.
EcoLogical
Powered by TDI diesel ? ... NOT !!!
brenda31
You're going to need that interior storage if you can't put anything on the roof. Forget solar panels unless they are imbedded in the glass like the Prius. Are there shades? Yikes if not. Lumpy looking. Nice features that should go in a different van!