The concept of the new Volkswagen California has been revealed, with plans to release a show version in 2024.

Title: Volkswagen Unveils Concept Camper-Van with Pop-Up Roof and Plug-In Hybrid Power

Subtitle: Next-Generation Volkswagen California Midsize Motorhome Teased

Word Count: 1,043

Introduction:
Volkswagen has recently unveiled a concept vehicle that showcases the camper-van variant of the latest VW Multivan people mover. This concept, dubbed the ‘T7’ California, features a pop-up roof and plug-in hybrid power. Although it is yet to hit Australian showrooms, the production version is expected to launch next year. This article will delve into the details of the concept camper-van, its features, and its anticipated availability in Australia.

Body:

1. Concept Vehicle Teasing Next-Generation Volkswagen California:
Volkswagen has released a concept vehicle that offers a glimpse into the next-generation Volkswagen California midsize motorhome. The ‘T7’ California is based on the latest midsize Multivan and is expected to be launched in 2024. Despite being labeled as a concept, the vehicle appears to be production-ready and is likely to undergo minimal changes before its official release. However, Australian customers may have to wait until 2025 for its arrival due to the Multivan on which it is based not yet being approved by local authorities.

2. Volkswagen Australia’s Efforts to Launch:
Volkswagen Australia is actively working towards obtaining approval from its head office to launch the standard T7 Multivan. The company aims to introduce the vehicle, possibly in late 2024, in the Australian market. Currently, the ‘T7’ Multivan and California are built on a car-derived architecture, similar to the Volkswagen Golf hatch and Tiguan SUV, instead of the cargo chassis platform utilized by the previous generation. Furthermore, the upgraded Volkswagen California concept features innovative design elements.

3. Enhanced Features of the California Concept:
The California concept retains its unique pop-up roof, which stands nearly six feet tall. The roof is constructed with a lightweight aluminum frame and features side and front windows, USB-C ports, and LED lights for the interior bed. The regular California model now boasts two sliding doors, including one on the galley side, providing enhanced accessibility. The addition of an extra door facilitates outside access to the kitchen, which houses a sink, a 230-volt induction hob, a gas cooker, a refrigerator, several kitchen drawers, and a compact pull-out grill. Increased storage capacity, under-seat drawers, and larger lockers contribute to the overall convenience and flexibility of the California concept.

4. Enhanced Functionality for Right-Hand Drive Markets:
The second sliding door in the California concept offers a significant advantage in right-hand drive markets like the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. Users now have the option to safely enter and exit the vehicle from the curb side. Volkswagen highlights this feature as a practical enhancement for consumers in these markets.

5. Technological Advancements and Touchscreen Controls:
The California concept incorporates several technological advancements that enhance its functionality. The interior features multi-color ambient lighting, touch-controlled roof mechanisms and interior lighting, a touchscreen tablet that displays various vehicle information, and a rotating screen that can also serve as a television screen. These technological upgrades improve the camping experience and add a touch of modernity to the vehicle.

6. Plug-In Hybrid Powertrain:
Powering the California Concept is a plug-in hybrid system, which is a first for the California model. This powertrain is shared with the Multivan and is expected to be available alongside traditional gasoline and diesel engine options. The plug-in hybrid system combines a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with an 85 kW electric motor, producing a combined output of 160 kW. The vehicle is capable of driving up to 50 km using electric power alone. Additionally, the plug-in hybrid battery can provide a self-contained 12-volt power supply, making the California Concept more versatile.

7. Production and Availability:
The production version of the Volkswagen California Concept is set to arrive in European showrooms next year. It will continue to be manufactured at Volkswagen’s Commercial Vehicles division’s factory in Hannover, Germany. As for availability in Australia, Volkswagen Australia is working diligently to secure approval for the launch of the T7 Multivan, which may potentially occur in late 2024. However, Australian customers might have to wait until 2025 for the California Concept’s arrival due to regulatory processes.

Conclusion:
Volkswagen’s concept camper-van, the ‘T7’ California, has generated significant interest with its combination of a pop-up roof, plug-in hybrid powertrain, and enhanced features. Although it is yet to reach Australian showrooms, Volkswagen Australia is actively working toward securing approval for the launch of the T7 Multivan, with the California Concept likely to follow suit. Customers can look forward to a camper-van that offers improved accessibility, increased storage capacity, and advanced technological features. The anticipated arrival of the Volkswagen California Concept in 2025 will undoubtedly excite camping enthusiasts and adventurers across Australia.