Versatile Nissan Michelangelo camper van plugs and plays
Westfalia is world-famous for its classic (and modern) Volkswagen camper vans, but the German manufacturer also builds some compelling camper vans for major automakers like Mercedes-Benz and Ford. It's now focusing some attention on Nissan, turning the NV300 van into the new Michelangelo, a versatile camper van with flexible seating that makes for easy switch-ups between multi-week camping excursions, daily passenger hauling and gear-heavy day trips.
Debuted at the CMT show that wrapped up on Sunday in Stuttgart, Germany, the Michelangelo strikes a design balance between modular camper vans/everyday drivers like the ModVans CV1 and full-time camper vans with permanently installed camping hardware. The rails in the Michelangelo's oak-look floor allow owners to mount up to four rear seats next to the permanent kitchen and wardrobe.
Because the rear seats are mounted individually, the owner can mix and match them to create just the right layout of seats and cargo space. For instance, in addition to a passenger-hauling six-seater, the Michelangelo can become a two-seater with empty cargo area, a four-seater with smaller cargo area, and a four-seater with two rear seats mounted on one side to clear space for long items like surfboards.
At camp, the front seats swivel around and the removable table secures to the kitchen unit to create a dining area. The stove lid flips up to reveal two burners and a separate lid swings back to uncover the sink. The kitchen block also has a 31-liter compressor fridge and storage for pots, pans and other cookware. The wardrobe behind the kitchen block stores clothes and other essentials.
The Michelangelo sleeps four people with a combination of pop-up roof bed and elevated cabin bed that sets up over top the rear seats. The removable cabin mattress measures 6.6 x 4.1 feet (2 x 1.25 m), the roof mattress slightly wider at 6.6 x 4.4 feet (2 x 1.35 m). An Eberspächer heater warms the cabin when temperatures take a turn south of comfy.
The Michelangelo's plumbing system includes a 27-liter fresh water tank, 25-liter waste water tank and 12V pump. A 95-Ah battery powers electrical equipment.
The NV300 lurking below the Michelangelo package is driven by a 143-hp 1.6-liter twin-turbo diesel engine. It includes a 7-in touchscreen infotainment navigation system, air conditioning and 17-in wheels.
Nissan NV-based campers seem to be a much rarer sight than camper vans built on staples like the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Fiat Ducato, though we did check out the compact NV200 Recon camper van at last year's SEMA Show and have seen one or two all-electric camper vans built on the e-NV200, like the Dalbury E mentioned here. Westfalia really seems to have made the most of the NV300, creating a versatile solution for folks who enjoy a wealth of outdoor activities that entail different cargo requirements. The ability to double as an everyday driver if and when needed is a another bonus in the Michelangelo's favor.
The all-new Michelangelo will be available in Germany at select Nissan dealerships starting in Spring 2018. Neither Westfalia nor Nissan include an official base price in their announcements, but the van was wearing a special show price sticker of €48,790 (approx. US$60,500) at CMT. The van itself will come with a five-year warranty from Nissan, and Westfalia will match those five years for the camper conversion warranty.