New Volkswagen Multivan California campervan previewed

New Volkswagen Multivan California campervan will offer plug-in hybrid power and on-demand services – here's everything we know so far...

Volkswagen Multivan front

On sale: late 2023 | Price from: £67,000 (est)

If you plan to head out and enjoy the great British countryside this summer, news that a new campervan based on the VW Multivan will likely be of interest to you.

Confirmed during Volkswagen’s annual press conference, the Multivan camper – expected to be named the California – will go on sale later this year, and will face rivals including the Ford Transit Nugget and Mercedes V-Class Marco Polo. The new model replaces the current VW California which we like for its well thought out interior and strong diesel engine.

The latest California will be available with a 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel, and that's expected to be the most popular engine option, but there will also be a 215bhp petrol plug-in hybrid (PHEV). The PHEV could find favour with buyers wanting to match power with green credentials.

Volkswagen Multivan dashboard

Indeed, at launch, the California is likely to be the only campervan available with plug-in hybrid power (the Transit Nugget and V-Class Marco Polo are not available with PHEV engines).

While many details about what features will be on offer in the Multivan California remain under wraps, Volkswagen has confirmed that it will offer the car with so-called ‘digital services’, which could mean on-demand features that can be paid for only when they’re needed.

No prices have been revealed yet, but the new Multivan California is expected to have a price tag of at least £67,000 – a little more than the current model, and a significant premium on top of the current Multivan, which costs from £43,720.

Volkswagen Multivan 2022 interior rear seats

It’s worth noting that at that price, the California would be closely aligned with the Transit Nugget, while the V-Class Marco Polo costs considerably more. The Marco Polo is our reigning champion in the campervan market, having won its category at the What Car? Van Awards.

Volkswagen is expected to add to its California campervan line-up with an electric model based on What Car?'s Car of the Year – the VW ID Buzz. The ID Buzz California would be based on the upcoming long-wheelbase version of the electric car

There are very few fully electric campers on sale at the moment, but campervan conversions based on the electric Nissan NV200 and Toyota Proace City Electric are available. Ford is expected to offer a conversion for the upcoming Ford E-Transit Custom when that model arrives later this year.

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