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Volkswagen’s New California Camper Van Gets More Space and Hybrid Power

Volkswagen has redesigned its California camper van for the European market. The mini motorhome, positioned between the Caddy California and the Grand California, is available with a new hybrid powertrain and is larger than its predecessor, creating a roomier cabin.

The new camper van will be available in five trims: Beach, Beach Tour, Beach Camper, Coast, and Ocean. Every model has a rooftop tent and two sliding doors with mosquito nets. Volkswagen will offer a new awning that’s optional in some markets and standard in others for both sides of the vehicle.

Inside, Volkswagen has replaced the rear bench with two individual seats. Thankfully they can still transform into a bed. It means people can still put bikes in the back without losing a sleeping space.

Engineers also redesigned the full kitchenette available on the Coast and Ocean, pushing it rearward so passengers can still exit both sides of the vehicle. Accessible from the outside, it contains a sink, a single-burner gas stove, and cabinets. Step up to the Beach Camper trim and you get a permanent rear, slide-out mini kitchen with a gas stove, two drawers, and storage.

Each of the 53-pound rear seats are removable, and each comes equipped with a drawer for additional storage. VW has placed several 45-watt USB-C charging ports throughout the cabin. Occupants even have the ability to double-tap any light switch and turn off all interior LED and background lights simultaneously.

New Volkswagen California Camper Van
New Volkswagen California Camper Van

The Beach Tour trim and higher come with VW’s new camper control unit in the passenger-side C-pillar. It’s one way to control the various vehicle functions, which are accessible through the infotainment system and a smartphone app.

The Ocean is the flagship model, and comes complete with two camper batteries, two 230-volt outlets (one inside and one out), heated front seats, supplemental air heating, a roof storage compartment, a folding table, and a 7.4-gallon freshwater tank.

The new camper will go on sale with three powertrain choices, shared with the Multivan. The four-cylinder, 150-horsepower turbodiesel and the 204-hp gas engines power the front wheels. The new plug-in hybrid option comes with 4Motion all-wheel drive and 245 hp. It can also tow up to 4,409 pounds.

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