Volkswagen Grand California camper arriving in 2019
Larger version of popular VW camper van announced
The Volkswagen Grand California is set to arrive in early 2019, confirming the official name and production details for the California XXL concept unveiled last year.
At around six metres long, the Grand California will sit above the Volkswagen California Beach and Volkswagen California Ocean models and takes inspiration from the popular Bulli camper first unveiled in 1988. It promises more space and luxury than any VW camper before, dwarfing the brand's classic campers from the 1960s.
Unlike the Volkswagen Transporter-based California, the Grand California shares its chassis with the larger Volkswagen Crafter van, with a raised roof that's nearly three metres tall. Adults can stand upright inside and there's room for a double bed in the back. The cabinets are finished in white for a lighter, brighter feel and the windows are fitted with cassette blinds and flyscreens. Large skylights let light flood in above the double bed and living area.
Airline-style lockers provide storage, and another novel feature is the ability to pair the speakers in the living area with a portable device using Bluetooth, independently of the infotainment system. There's a kitchen with a 70-litre fridge freezer, a twin-hob gas cooker and sink, and the bathroom measures 840x800mm and has a shower with adjustable water temperature, toilet and fold-out sink.
Families should appreciate the rear bench with ISOFIX child-seat mounting points and top tether, while the front seats swivel when parked up. The dining table has space for four people and it's also possible to specify bunk beds in the roof, a panoramic skylight, roof-mounted air-conditioning, an awning, a rear bicycle rack and a camping table and chairs that can be stowed inside the doors. Other accessories include gas or diesel-powered heating and electric generation, roof-mounted solar panels, a satellite dish and wi-fi hotspot.
On the move, the Grand California benefits from the Crafter's latest driving-assistance features, with autonomous emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alerts. Self-parking, adaptive cruise control and a rear-view camera are also offered.
While the engine and performance details are still under wraps, it's likely the Grand California will come with the same 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine with around 175bhp used in the California XXL concept. VW has confirmed its largest camper will be available with 4MOTION four-wheel drive, because "camper vans like the Grand California travel all over the world".
Candy White, Reflex Silver and Indium Grey paint colours will be offered, along with two-tone finishes featuring combinations of Reflex Silver and Indium Grey, Candy White and Cherry Red, Candy White and Deep Ocean Blue or Candy White and Mojave Beige Metallic.
Prospective customers will be able to get a first look at the new camper at the Caravan Salon in Dusseldorf, Germany, from 24 August to 3 September, where more details will also be announced.