Volkswagen California is one of the most popular campervans by the German automaker for more than 5 decades. And now, VW is set to bring the amazing features of the campervan to its 2023 VW Multivan California. Through its commercial division on 23rd March, the company announced the exciting news to campervan lovers confirming the introduction of the Multivan-based California model to the public.
What We Know So Far About the New California Campervan
The Multivan California was first confirmed during Volkswagen’s 2022 financial results statement announcement. The automaker projects a great deal of success with the California range through the addition of more digital services and features. This is expected to create what the company termed as “California Universe.”
The digital services could only mean that these will be on-demand premium features that owners will pay for only when needed.
VW expects the California Universe to set the building blocks for a much wider range of California-branded Multivan in the future. At the moment, Volkswagen currently has the Caddy California only in its ranks, but later on, the electric range, especially the ID.Buzz is expected to join the bandwagon.
Borrowing from the Multivan, the new exciting campervan will accommodate a load of features to boost camping enthusiasts’ outdoor experience. The automaker announced its plans to begin production with the California variant, which will feature the latest technologies in the automotive industry suited for camping.
The Multivan is the 7th generation of Volkswagen’s line of transporter vans, which has seen tremendous upgrades over the years. The notable change was the upgrade from its van-based chassis to Modularer Querbaukasten (MQB) architecture. This change will open the doors to a whole new generation of campervans aimed at enhancing the driving experience.
VW is yet to reveal more concrete information on the new Multivan California but gave an assurance of more to come in the year.
More exciting feature upgrades
Through its VW Commercial Vehicles CEO, Carsten Intra, the automaker announced that it has plans to improve its digital services on the new campervan. These services are expected to complement every purchase of the California campervan.
Even though VW Transporter makes a good reference for the new campervan, VW chose the Volkswagen Multivan for its more comforting feel and also because the former is an outgoing model. The Multivan will account for a greater percentage of the features of the California campervan.
The Multivan was developed in partnership with the American automaker, Ford, which means that the VW California will also borrow from Ford Transit Custom.
Features to Look forward to on the 2023 VW Multivan California
The Multivan already presents plenty of features that suit camping enthusiasts. Although VW has not disclosed any more details about the California camper, we can estimate what the new exciting people carrier is likely to feature.
VW California campervan will offer a spacious and more flexible interior that can be configured in different ways to suit camping needs. Like the parent Multivan, this campervan will accommodate 7 people with foldable rear seats to pave way for a spacious sleeping area.
The Multivan California will also improve the pop-out cupholders present in the current Multivan to provide better ergonomics for users. The double-decker storage pockets are likely to be retained or improved altogether. But VW will without a doubt add more stylish under-the-seat slide-out drawers to allow users to store their valuables.
Being a campervan, we expect the Multivan California to harbour plenty of features to boost camping experiences. These include a pop-up roof with a double bed, a foldable table, and chairs. The Multivan California is also expected to come with a rear attached tent, cooker kitchenette, and sink.
The campervan is expected to harbour a similar tailgate as that on Caddy California, which is a versatile pull-out kitchenette. The gas stove has a one-burner with lots of storage space, including a cutlery drawer.
Another camping feature worth looking forward to is the windows with blinds to add more privacy while out in the wild. Like the Caddy California, the VW Multivan California is expected to add a higher level of privacy with the blinds and support a good night’s sleep.
We expect Multivan California to adopt high-end technologies to make camping outdoors more exciting. One of the features includes a digital cockpit to enhance safe commutes and enhanced vehicle performance monitoring.
The current Multivan has a 10-inch touchscreen and 10.25-inch digital cockpit instruments, but is somewhat laggy, especially when booting up. We expect the new Multivan California to improve on these with a bigger, 12-inch touchscreen and 12.5 digital instruments with better performance.
We expect VW to retain the minimalist dashboard of Multivan but incorporate additional wireless charging pads.
As already highlighted, we expect the Multivan California to be available in a plug-in hybrid powertrain. VW already confirmed it will be based on the MQB platform, but on top of this, we expect it to have a turbocharged 1.4-liter petrol engine and an electric motor. The motor is to be powered by a 13 kWh Li-ion battery pack and a 7-speed DSG.
The current Multivan has 1.5 TSI and 2.0 TSI engine variants and 2.0 TDI, so it won’t be a surprise if the Multivan California adopts the same.
Suspension and driving comfort
Just like the VW Multivan, the California campervan is primarily an on-road van and cannot handle rugged off-road terrains. However, it is expected to have a better steering system and suspension and to enhance comfortable driving on different road surfaces.
Another sure fact is that the campervan will retain the same ground clearance as the Multivan, therefore won’t be ideal for off-road driving. However, it is expected to handle lightweight off-road driving on flat surfaces. It will also be able to cruise through dirt tracks, gravel roads, and other less muddy surfaces.
These are just a few of the features that Volkswagen Multivan California 2023 will build as well as add new ones. But we will have to wait for VW to release official information to know for sure if these features will be present.
Key Features of Multivan That California Campervan Will Adopt
Since Multivan California campervans will be based on the MQB platform, there’s a higher possibility that it will also have other variants apart from diesel. As we already know, the Multivan has a plug-in hybrid variant that has an 85kW electric motor paired with a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine. If VW adopts the same for the campervan, it will give the vehicle up to 48.3 km (30 miles) extra mileage. A combination of the two can produce up to 215 hp.
That means that the VW Multivan California campervan will also gain an upper hand in the market against similar models from other automakers. Some of the existing competitors of California include the Ford Transit Custom Nugget and the Mercedes Benz V-Class Marco Polo. These models are diesel-only, so California will most likely have a more competitive advantage.
The Multivan California campervan also can have an all-electric version like the Long-wheelbase (LWB) VW ID Buzz set for release later in the year. The market currently has very few fully electric campervans, but there exist campervan conversions that borrow from Toyota Proace City Electric and Nissan NV200.
How Much Will The 2023 VW Multivan California Cost?
Not much is known about the model, leave alone the price. The Multivan California campervan will be a replacement for California 6.1, which borrows a lot from the Transport 6.1 currently being phased out. The California 6.1 has not yet left the market and is being sold with a starting price of £60,398.
Projecting the price of the new Multivan California from the current price of California 6.1, we expect an increment to hike the price to £67,000. At this price, it means that the new VW California is expected to give its competitors a strong rivalry.
The Transit Nugget price is more aligned with the expected price tag of the new California campervan. However, the Mercedes Benz Marco Polo costs much higher than this, so buyers will have to compare features before settling for their preferred campervan.
When is the 2023 VW Multivan California Set to Make Entry?
The VW Multivan California campervan is most likely to make entry into the market in 2023 although there are claims that it may be released later on in 2024. After the release, VW won’t stop at that. The automaker announced plans to expand its campervan line-up with more features in 2025. This includes the launch of its fully electric ID Buzz California model.
The Volkswagen ID Buzz California is set for release in 2025, after the LWB ID Buzz later on in 2023. The former will have lots of features including improved seat flexibility. The seating capacity will be seven, featuring three rows, which can be pulled back to create more space for sleeping. The driver’s seat will have 360 degrees of rotatability for more flexibility.
Another possible variant set for release this year is the Volkswagen ID Buzz GTX, which is a more performance-oriented campervan with 335bhp and a custom-designed interior.