Versatile, Innovative, Eco-friendly, Comfortable, Functional
Oh, the open road. The thrill of the journey, a never-ending dance with the horizon, a melody of asphalt, rubber and the low hum of an engine. That is the romance of the Volkswagen Multivan California Concept. It whispers in the ear of the wanderlust-plagued and tells them of a reality where their home is wherever they park it.
With the soul of an adventurer, the Multivan California Concept was born from a lineage of vans that have spent over 35 years on the world’s highways, boulevards, and backstreets. Today, it stands ready to redefine the family road trip once more, fueled by the wisdom of three and a half decades of freedom-seeking road trippers.
This is more than a camper van. It’s a smart RV for the modern-day nomad. Taking a step into the future, Volkswagen incorporates a plug-in hybrid drive into its new design, delivering cleaner, zero-emissions commutes. The eHybrid powertrain offers an all-electric range of up to 31 miles on a single charge of its 13-kWh battery. Yet, for those extended explorations, a 1.4-liter engine stands ready to take over, promising the flexibility and range required for those extended journeys away from charging infrastructure.
Clever design makes the Multivan California as functional as a daily driver as it is a holiday camper van. The pop-up roof layout is a testament to innovation, promising to sleep a family of four comfortably. A bed sets up over the folded rear seats, making this a cozy nest for road warriors after a day of discovery. And then there’s the connected control, provided via a removable tablet command center. Imagine being able to manage your lighting, refrigeration, and track onboard battery power and tank levels, all from a sleek touchscreen tablet. Modernity at its finest.
Look outside, and the Multivan California Concept boasts a pair of side awnings, an uncommon feature that accentuates the dual sliding doors. It’s like having a front yard and a back yard on either side of your mobile home. I like the idea. It says, “Welcome, come sit under my awning and tell me stories of your travels.”
This new design is an evolution, building on the beloved features of the older California campers like the T6.1 and T6, such as the singular sliding door and the dedicated kitchen block on the driver side. The extra door on the new model opens up possibilities for greater flexibility in getting in and out, although it may lead to some changes in the kitchen layout. But, isn't it all about embracing the unknown?
The Volkswagen Multivan California Concept is not just a vehicle; it's a way of life. A rolling proclamation of freedom, an ode to the open road. In every sense of the word, it's an ambassador of freedom, a veritable passport to anywhere. For those with a penchant for wanderlust, this is a chariot that promises adventure, comfort, and a lifetime of stories.
I say, fasten your seat belts, my friends. This is more than just a camper van. This is a stage where your road trip dreams become reality. And the beauty of it? The premiere is just around the corner at the Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf. So, ready yourself for a new chapter in the saga of freedom on wheels. The open road awaits.
- Versatility: This new concept continues to be as functional as an everyday MPV as well as a holiday camper van. It's perfect for those who need a vehicle for daily commutes, but also crave adventurous road trips or camping getaways.
- Sleeping Arrangement: With a pop-up roof layout and a lower bed that sets up over the folded rear seats, this camper van can comfortably sleep a family of four.
- Plug-in Hybrid Drive: The 215-hp eHybrid offers up to 31 miles (50 km) of all-electric driving per charge of its 13-kWh battery. This means clean, zero-emissions commuting in town and around the campground. Plus, the 1.4-liter engine provides a greater all-out range for long-distance journeys.
- Innovative Control: The vehicle offers connected control via a removable tablet command center. This feature will help keep track of onboard battery power, tank levels, and offer control of features such as lighting and refrigeration.
- Dual Awnings: This design offers extra shade and outdoor space, enhancing the camper van experience.
- Flexible Interior Layout: The van comes complete with five rear seats, each individually mounted to the floor rails for flexibility and easy removal. There's also a multipurpose storage console that features cupholders, integrated storage space, and dual wings that serve as a table.
- Limited All-Electric Range: The plug-in hybrid model only offers 31 miles of all-electic range. While it is a great step towards environmentally-friendly camping trips, it might not satisfy those looking for a completely electric camping experience.
- Dual Sliding Doors vs. Kitchen Space: While two doors can offer greater flexibility in getting in and out of the van, it could potentially lead to a smaller kitchen or demand a new kitchen layout or removable kitchen modules.
- Availability: As of now, the VW Multivan California is only a concept and is not yet available for purchase. The production is scheduled to start in 2024 in Hanover.
- Smart Controls: Although the removable tablet command center sounds futuristic, there might be concerns over its practicality. It is still unclear how effective this control center will be and whether it will be easy to use for all kinds of users.
- Price: Given the advanced technology and versatility the new Multivan promises, it might come with a higher price tag. This could be a disadvantage for potential buyers on a budget.