New Volkswagen California campervan teased with plug-in hybrid power

New Volkswagen California campervan teased with plug-in hybrid power
New Volkswagen California campervan teased with plug-in hybrid power

Volkswagen has teased a concept previewing the next-generation California – the camper-van version of the Multivan people mover – which is set to offer hybrid power for the first time.

Volkswagen is preparing to launch a new generation of the California camper – based on the latest VW Multivan people mover on sale in Europe – with the option of plug-in hybrid power for the first time.

The German car giant has announced plans to unveil a concept version of the new California later this month ahead of the production version’s launch in Europe next year.

However an Australian launch is expected to be at least 18 months away, as the new Volkswagen Multivan ‘T7’ on which the new California is yet to arrive in Australia.

Volkswagen Australia told media last year it was targeting a late-2024 launch for the new Multivan – as well as the next Transporter van – but finalised arrival plans are yet to be announced.

The latest Multivan – introduced in Europe in 2021 – differs from its predecessor in riding on the same platform beneath the VW Golf hatch and Tiguan SUV, rather than the heavier-duty chassis of the Transporter van, which in its next generation will be twinned with the new Ford Transit Custom as part of a partnership between the car giants.

The concept Multivan will be showcased a caravan trade show in Düsseldorf, Germany in late August – marking the 20th anniversary of the first California built in-house by Volkswagen (though camper versions of VW vans date back to the original Kombi in the 1950s).

The production version of the T7 Volkswagen California will continue to be produced in its long-time factory in Hannover, Germany.

It is due to be followed by a California version of the new ID. Buzz – the electric revival of the iconic Kombi – in 2025.

Volkswagen says the new T7 California will offer a pop-up roof, double-awning, dual slide-opening doors, and an integrated pop-out tablet for controlling air-conditioning and lighting settings.

The vehicle is said to incorporate smart technology and use a new interactive “Cali on Tour” app, which is claimed to provide additional functions including the ability to control off-grid power from the plug-in hybrid system’s lithium-ion battery pack.

The next-generation T7 California is likely to adopt the same plug-in hybrid system found in the Multivan.

This combines a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine and an 85kW electric motor, delivering a combined output of 160kW. In the Multivan, up to 50km of electric driving range is claimed.

It is yet to be confirmed if traditional petrol and diesel power – without hybrid assistance – will also be available, as per the regular T7 Multivan.

Prices for the new California are yet to be confirmed. In Australia, the current T6.1 California – based on the nine-year-old T6 Transporter van platform – is priced from $93,790 to $103,790 plus on-road costs.

The post New Volkswagen California campervan teased with plug-in hybrid power appeared first on Drive.

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