Automotive

Westfalia-built Big Nugget adds size, space and central bathroom to Ford camper van lineup

Westfalia-built Big Nugget add...
The latest Transit will serve as the base of the Big Nugget
The latest Transit will serve as the base of the Big Nugget
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Ford's Nugget camper van family currently includes the high-roof Nugget, pop-top Nugget and high-roof Nugget Plus; the Big Nugget will be the largest member of the family
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Ford's Nugget camper van family currently includes the high-roof Nugget, pop-top Nugget and high-roof Nugget Plus; the Big Nugget will be the largest member of the family
Ford Nugget with high roof
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Ford Nugget with high roof
Ford Nugget with pop-up roof
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Ford Nugget with pop-up roof
The Ford Nugget Plus is based on the longer 5.4-m Transit Connect, providing space for a rear bathroom
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The Ford Nugget Plus is based on the longer 5.4-m Transit Connect, providing space for a rear bathroom
The Ford Nugget Plus pictured has a bathroom squeezed in the rear, but the larger Big Nugget will have a more private center bathroom
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The Ford Nugget Plus pictured has a bathroom squeezed in the rear, but the larger Big Nugget will have a more private center bathroom
The Big Nugget has enough space to eliminate the rear kitchen/bathroom space seen on the pictured Nugget Plus, rearranging things into a more conventional camper van layout
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The Big Nugget has enough space to eliminate the rear kitchen/bathroom space seen on the pictured Nugget Plus, rearranging things into a more conventional camper van layout
Ford introduced an updated Transit at last year's IAA Commercial Vehicle Show
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Ford introduced an updated Transit at last year's IAA Commercial Vehicle Show
The latest Transit will serve as the base of the Big Nugget
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The latest Transit will serve as the base of the Big Nugget
The Transit has a SYNC 3 infotainment system and some of the latest driver-assistance tech
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The Transit has a SYNC 3 infotainment system and some of the latest driver-assistance tech
Westfalia is turning the Transit into the Big Nugget concept camper van
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Westfalia is turning the Transit into the Big Nugget concept camper van
The current Nuggets are based on the Transit Connect, while the new Big Nugget will be based on the Transit
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The current Nuggets are based on the Transit Connect, while the new Big Nugget will be based on the Transit
Ford shows the floor plan of the all-new Big Nugget, which will debut at the 2019 Caravan Salon in late August/September
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Ford shows the floor plan of the all-new Big Nugget, which will debut at the 2019 Caravan Salon in late August/September
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Automaker-badged and sold camper vans are big business in Europe, and business appears to be booming. Last year, Volkswagen expanded its iconic California camper van lineup with the Grand California, and this year Ford is following suit in growing its Nugget lineup with a larger Big Nugget. The new 19.7-ft (6-m) concept camper van converted by Westfalia previews a forthcoming production van that will give road-trippers more room to stretch out.

Ford Germany teased the Big Nugget concept today, ahead of an official world premiere later this month at the 2019 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon. Unlike the other camper vans in the Nugget lineup, which are based on Ford's smaller Transit Custom, the Big Nugget is based on the latest full-size Transit van.

Ford updated the Transit at last year's IAA Commercial Vehicle show in Hannover, Germany, cutting weight and boosting payload, adding efficiency with an upgraded 2.0-liter EcoBlue diesel engine lineup, and carving out a more car-like cockpit with driver-assistance technologies like active-park assist and lane-keeping aid.

As it does with the Transit Custom-based Nuggets, Ford turns to legendary German conversion shop Westfalia to transform the new Transit into a proper camper van. The Big Nugget being revealed this month is a near-production concept previewing a camper van slated to launch next year. It is based on the long-wheelbase high-roof Transit van (L3 H3) with front-wheel drive, measuring 19.7 ft (6 m) long and offering 6.7 ft (2.05 m) of interior standing height.

Ford shows the floor plan of the all-new Big Nugget, which will debut at the 2019 Caravan Salon in late August/September
Ford shows the floor plan of the all-new Big Nugget, which will debut at the 2019 Caravan Salon in late August/September

So far, Ford has only released a few basic details, most revealing of which is the Big Nugget floor plan. With the extra space available in the full-size Transit, Westfalia is able to pull the bathroom out of the back of the van (where it's shoehorned in the 17.7-ft/5.4-m Nugget Plus) and slide it in the middle for a classic European camper layout. A kitchen with dual-burner stove, sink and fridge stands across from the bathroom, just inside the sliding door. In back, a transverse double bed offers 79 x 51 in (200 x 130 cm) of sleeping space, and up front, a four-seat dinette with removable tabletop and swivel driver cab seats provides space for dining and relaxing.

The Big Nugget comes hot on the heels of Ford's launch of Nugget camper vans through select dealerships earlier this year. It will be the fourth model in Ford's Nugget lineup when it launches in the first half of 2020, joining the pop-top Nugget, high-roof Nugget and high-roof Nugget Plus. It isn't a completely new nameplate, as Westfalia previously built Big Nugget camper vans on the third-generation Ford Transit.

Ford's Nugget camper van family currently includes the high-roof Nugget, pop-top Nugget and high-roof Nugget Plus; the Big Nugget will be the largest member of the family
Ford's Nugget camper van family currently includes the high-roof Nugget, pop-top Nugget and high-roof Nugget Plus; the Big Nugget will be the largest member of the family

New Atlas will be attending this year's Düsseldorf Caravan Salon, where we'll get a closer look at the Big Nugget concept and Westfalia's other big debut: the new James Cook expanding camper van. As for Volkswagen, it'll have its latest California handiwork on show.

Source: Ford Germany (German)

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