Now, Europeans can call a Volkswagen home because the brand is taking an even bigger step into the camper market with the launch of the nearly 20-foot-long (6-meter-long) Grand California. Based on the Crafter, this motorhome is a step up from the standard, Transporter-based California by having space for a larger, onboard bathroom, including a shower with a 110-litre water reserve.
Compared to the standard Crafter, the Grand California gains a higher, camper roof that includes skylights in the rear living area over the double bed, and in the bathroom. VW shaped it to mitigate the taller design's negative effect on fuel consumption. Buyers can also spec optional extras to the exterior, like a roof-mounted air conditioner, extending awning, solar panel, and bicycle rack.
Inside, the Grand California looks like a very comfy place to take a journey. The company specifically uses white finishes to keep the cabin bright and appear more spacious. The windows on the back and side pop open, in addition to featuring blinds and screens to keep bugs out. The doors feature deployable mosquito nets, too.
The interior comes standard with a double bed, but there's an optional roof-mounted sleeping area for kids (pictured above). When it's time to eat, the gas stove has two cooktops, and there's a 70-litre refrigerator. The dining table has room for four. If you want to shower au naturel in the wilderness, the shower has an external connection, including temperature controls. For entertainment, an optional Bluetooth system functions separately from the vehicle's infotainment, so folks in the back can listen to their own music.
VW doesn't offer any powertrain details, other than that the Grand California is available with optional all-wheel drive. It likely shares the Crafter's 2.0-litre turbodiesel four-cylinder that's available in multiple tunes between 108 bhp to 161 bhp. For easier driving, the van is available with a suite of assistance systems, including city emergency braking, lane assist, blind spot monitoring, rear traffic alert, park assist, and adaptive cruise control.
Deliveries of the Grand California will start in early 2019, and VW will announce pricing details soon.
Gallery: VW Grand California 2018
Grand California: Beginning of a new dimension
• Premiere at the Caravan-Salon
• Campervan based on the Crafter
• New model in six-metre class with bathroom and sleeping
area in the rear
Hannover, 7 August 2018 – Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is
giving a world premiere at the Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf (24
August to 2 September) to the Grand California. The completely new
motorhome is based on the ultra-modern Crafter. With the Grand
California Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is extending its range of
campervans by adding a model in the six-metre class, complete with
bathroom. In addition to the large sleeping area in the rear, the
Grand California will be available with a high bunk bed for children.
The launch of the new campervan will be in early 2019.
First unveiled in 1988, the Bulli-based California is the world's most successful
campervan, with sales of over 160,000. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has
utilised the experience gained from this iconic camper to create the new Grand
California on the Crafter's technical platform. Both California product lines will
from now on be offered in parallel.
With its fresh clarity and cleverly thought-out details, the interior reflects the
qualities that made the California a best seller. The cabinet trim in the Grand
California is generally in white. This colour scheme creates a bright, spacious
atmosphere, as do the pop-open camper windows both at the back and on the
sides and the large skylights above the double bed in the rear and the living area.
All camper windows are fitted with cassette blinds and flyscreens. For the
driver's cab there is a new blackout concept.
Further standard features include, in addition to the kitchen and spacious
bathroom (840 x 800 mm), details such as external lighting above the sliding
door. Fitted (as standard) with a connection at the back for an external shower
(with adjustable water temperature) makes life on the campsite just perfect. An
electrically powered step, which moves out in front of the sliding door, makes
getting in and out easier, while a two-part mosquito net in the door is likewise
part of the standard specification. One innovative feature is the option to control
the loudspeakers in the living area via Bluetooth. This makes it possible to listen
to music independently of the infotainment system using a smartphone, tablet
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 room for four people to sit down to eat together. The
kitchen fittings include a pull-out 70-litre fridge with freezer compartment
(accessible from outside as well as via the sliding door), a twin-hob gas cooker, a
sink and diverse drawers, pull-out storage compartments and tip-up shelves.
A key feature of the Grand California that differentiates it from the California 'T6'
is its bathroom. In addition to toilet and shower its fittings include a fold-out
wash basin, shelves with holders for toiletries, a cupboard with integrated toilet
paper holder (protects it from getting damp), towel holders and a skylight for
ventilation. The Grand California can carry 110 litres of water. There are no light
switches to be found in the bathroom – the lights come on automatically via
motion detectors – as standard.
Optionally available is a high bunk bed for kids complete with integrated
panoramic skylight above it. Also available are details such as an additional roofmounted
air-conditioning unit at the back, an awning, a rear bicycle rack and a
camping table and chairs (which can be stowed in the wing doors). The standard
gas heating can optionally also be expanded as a heating system run on gas- or
diesel-generated electric power. There will also be a solar panel system mounted
on the roof, a satellite dish (for TV reception) and an LTE/WiFi hotspot (router).
In addition, the Grand California will be available with the Crafter's driver
assistance and infotainment systems. The driver assistance systems include the
Front Assist surroundings monitoring system with City Emergency Braking
function, Lane Assist to help the driver stay in lane, Blind Spot Monitor for
changing lane, Rear Traffic Alert for reversing out of parking spaces and Park
Assist for steering into them, the sensor-controlled side protection system,
Adaptive Cruise Control and the Rear View reversing camera.
Campervans like the Grand California travel all over the world. Volkswagen
Commercial Vehicles will therefore also be offering the new model with allwheel
drive (4MOTION). The newly developed camper high roof has been
aerodynamically shaped in order to avoid any negative effects on fuel
The two-colour paintwork concept is adapted from the California 'T6'. The single
colour paintwork options are Candy White, Reflex Silver or Indium Grey. Available
as two-colour paintwork are combinations of Reflex Silver and Indium Gray,
Candy White and Cherry Red, Candy White and Deep Ocean Blue or Candy White
and Mojave Beige Metallic.
In the course of the Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf Volkswagen Commercial
Vehicles will announce further details about the Grand California, the launch
dates and initial prices.