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