Westfalia might very well be the most well-known camper van converter on the planet, but its reputation lies primarily in highway-touring VW buses and not so much in dirt and rock-conquering camper van off-roaders. For that, you'd usually be shopping brands like Sportsmobile or Trakka. But with the off-road adventure van segment heating up, and brands as unlikely as Winnebago jumping in, Westfalia is releasing a rugged off-road camper van of its own, the Amundsen 540D Offroad. This is the Westy you want for leveling any and all on- and off-road obstacles standing between you and your destination (or lack thereof).
Westfalia has really been putting it in overdrive in 2018. Somewhere after launching the all-new Nissan Michelangelo and stretched Ford Nugget, it found time to create an off-road package around its popular Fiat Ducato-based Amundsen camper van. The company admits that, while it has 4WD camper vans on offer, it has not traditionally played the role of off-road camper van specialist. But it has been keeping its eye on the dirty corner of the market, attending Germany's Abenteuer und Allrad (Adventure and All Wheel) show each year, where some of the world's most extreme off-road motorhomes come to relax and play.
Westfalia dips its toes in the off-road camper van market with the Amundsen 540D Offroad, providing a well-rounded off-road package without going extreme or getting too niche. It starts off with a 4WD system from Dangel (the French company that has also been busy of late, what with projects like the Peugeot Rifter 4x4 concept camper van). The 540D Offroad also benefits from a rear differential lock and raised chassis.
While those upgrades remain rather covert, there's plenty over and under the bodywork to advertise this as an off-road van. The all-terrain tires from BFGoodrich, auxiliary lighting and Thule roof basket provide a sportier, all-road look while adding capability and versatility. There's also a rear bike carrier and a ladder for easier roof access. Buyers can top things off with the likes of a ski rack mounted to the rooftop crossbars and have an all-season, all-terrain adventure van.
Much like the Winnebago Rebel, the Amundsen Offroad looks like a choice for active adventurers who want to haul bikes, kayaks, climbing gear or other sports equipment to and from the wilderness without having to worry about how rough the approach is. And they can spend a night or more in comfort once they get there.
The Offroad interior is identical to the existing Amundsen 540D, sporting cozy living quarters inside the 213-in (5,413-mm) long Ducato. The package includes a rear transverse bed, a central wet bath with shower, sink and toilet, and a kitchen just inside the sliding door with dual-burner stove, 65-liter compressor fridge and sink. The dinette up front can convert to a third sleeping berth.
The conversion includes a 95-Ah battery, LED lighting, a Truma Combi heater/hot water boiler, and 100-liter fresh and waste water tanks. The flexible cargo area in back can carry gear like bikes during the ride.
Westfalia announced the Amundsen 540D Offroad last month and is offering the off-road bits as an add-on package priced at €23,150 (approx. US$28,500). The full 2018 Amundsen 540D van starts at €41,990 with 113-hp 2.0-liter MultiJet engine, so you'd be looking at just over €65,000 (approx. US$80K) for the complete off-road van, assuming no further options or discounts factored in.
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