The VW California is dead, long live the VW California: since 2003, the most successful camper van in its class has been manufactured entirely in-house by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles in Hanover. After more than 20 years and two generations, it is now time to completely renew the popular motorhome.

But not without a fitting farewell to the most successful model in the range to date. The last vehicles produced will be honoured with a "Last Edition" sticker. The world premiere of the successor will take place on 7 May 2024. The new California generation will be built at the German VWN plant in Hanover from summer 2024. It was already shown as a near-production study last year:

Gallery: VW T7 California Concept at the Volkswagen Group Night 2023

In the Beach, Coast and Ocean variants, the current edition of the camping bus as the California 6.1 is more popular than ever and is now sold out. Individual ordering at dealers has ended. The last 1,500 California units, which will roll off the production line in Hanover-Limmer until the summer, will be recognisable to fans from afar.

This is because they will be labelled "Last Edition" on the D-pillar, making it unmistakable that they are the last California based on the 6.1 van.

VW California 6.1 (2024) Last Edition

VW California 6.1 (2024) Last Edition

The history of the California begins in 1988 with a special motorhome model based on the T3 Transporter generation. In the late summer of that year, this first California was presented at the Caravan Salon (then still in Essen). It can be ordered in the two colours "pastel white" and "Marsala red". The interior design shows a sense of style with the white-grey and clearly designed kitchen unit.

Clever detailed solutions and the Camper's indestructible technology make the California an instant bestseller - 5,000 units are sold in the first year. In the years that followed, the California developed from a special model into a model series in its own right, becoming increasingly popular and winning over 22,000 motorhome enthusiasts in just three years.

Gallery: VW T3 California

The change from the T3 to the T4 in August 1990 was like a technical revolution. After four decades of rear-wheel drive vans with four-cylinder boxer engines, the commercial vehicle specialists simply turned the tables. They put the engine at the front and drive the front axle from there. This changes everything: the design, the chassis, the engines and the space on offer.

There is now significantly more space, especially in the rear., and the California T4 makes use of it. Slogan of the adverts for the market launch: "Hotel California. Quiet location, comfortable equipment, panorama guaranteed." An allusion to the Eagles' famous song and the hotel in West Hollywood sung about it. The fact is the California T4 is also a hit and sells around 39,000 units by 2003.

Gallery: VW T4 California

With the California, based on the fifth generation of the Transporter, a new comfort dimension of compact motorhomes follows. And yet this California also remains true to the innovative space concept of the original California.

By 2015, around 55,000 mobile people had opted for a T5 California, which has long since become the most successful camper van in its class. Details such as the bed with slatted frame integrated into the pop-up roof, the camping chairs stowed in the tailgate or the camping table clicked into the sliding door make the California the Swiss army knife of campers.

In 2015, the California based on the sixth generation of vans followed; with its numerous assistance systems, it entered new sales dimensions: In 2017, the T6 California set a new annual record for the model series with 15,155 new registrations.

Since 2019, the new California 6.1 has seamlessly continued the success story of its predecessors. One of its new features is a touchscreen in the roof console, which can be used to control all the main camper settings and call up a wide range of information.