The California XXL concept now has its official name – and is about to make its public debut. The Grand California will go on display at the Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf, Germany, from 24 August to 2 September. This will be the first time the new motorhome model has been seen by the public and it’s sure to cause a stir. The completely new motorhome is based on the Crafter. It comes complete with a bathroom and large sleeping area in the rear, and will be available with a high bunk bed for children. The new model will be launched internationally early in 2019; exact dates, specification and volumes for the UK are not yet confirmed.
With a bright, airy and innovative interior, the cabinet trim in the Grand California is white, creating a spacious atmosphere. There are pop-open camper windows at the back and on the sides, and large skylights above the double bed in the rear and the living area. All camper windows are fitted with cassette blinds and fly screens, and there’s a new blackout concept for the driver’s cab. Further standard features could include external lighting above the sliding door. An electrically powered step, which moves out in front of the sliding door, makes getting in and out easy, while a two-part mosquito net in the door is also set to be part of the standard specification. One innovative feature is the option to control the loudspeakers in the living area using Bluetooth; this makes it possible to listen to music independently of the infotainment system using a smartphone, tablet or laptop. The Grand California is fitted with swivel seats at the front and a double bench seat in the living area. Families with small children will appreciate the Isofix anchor points complete with top tether in the rear bench seat. A large dining table provides ample space for four people to sit down to eat together. The kitchen fittings include a pull-out 70-litre fridge with freezer compartment, a twin-hob gas cooker, a sink, pull-out storage compartments and tip-up shelves.
One feature that sets the Grand California apart from the T6 California is its bathroom. In addition to a toilet and shower, it has a fold-out wash basin, shelves with holders for toiletries, towel holders, a skylight for ventilation and a cupboard with integrated toilet paper holder to make sure the paper remains dry. There are no light switches in the bathroom – the lights come on automatically via motion detectors.
The standard gas heating can be expanded as a heating system to run on gas- or diesel-generated electric power. There will also be a solar panel system mounted on the roof, a satellite TV dish and a wi-fi router. In addition, the Grand California will be available with the Crafter's driver assistance and infotainment systems. The driver assistance systems include front assist with city emergency braking, lane assist, blind spot monitor for changing lane, rear traffic alert for reversing out of parking spaces and park assist for steering into them.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles will offer the new model with front-wheel drive as standard and 4MOTION all-wheel drive as an option, and a newly developed camper high roof has been aerodynamically shaped to avoid any negative effects on fuel consumption. More details about launch dates and prices, engines and specification will be announced at the Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf.
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