Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles presents the world premiere of the new California, perhaps the most iconic camper van, which has always been synonymous with freedom and the desire to explore the world. The seventh generation is built on the Multivan's MQB platform and is also the first to offer plug-in hybrid drive combined with all-wheel drive and two sliding doors on the sides.

In addition, all functions related to use as a motorhome can be controlled via a display in the living area, the car infotainment app or the California app on a smartphone as well as the availability of a two-tone paint finish. Five versions will be on sale from June 2024: Beach, Beach Tour, Beach Camper, Coast and Ocean.

Full of novelties

So, after having built over 280,000 units of this vehicle, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles presents a new generation of the California, redesigning every area of it, making it more spacious, 'smarter', more sophisticated, more versatile and naturally more sustainable. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has, however, retained the key details that have made the California a true open-air touring icon: the folding roof and meticulously detailed interior as well as the versatility that also allows almost daily use thanks to the two sliding doors on the sides as standard on all versions.

New Volkswagen California T7 2024

New Volkswagen California T7 2024

For the first time, plug-in hybrid drive makes its appearance which also means the possibility of moving for some stretches in electric only. In certain markets it is offered as standard with an awning that can be fitted on the left or right side to increase roominess and protect the entrance from rain or sun. Also as a highlight are the individual seats in place of the rear bench seat so even bicycles can travel inside and the seats can be individually positioned according to personal preference.

Nuovo Volkswagen California T7 2024 Ocean

Nuovo Volkswagen California T7 2024 Ocean

Finally, as mentioned on the New California from the Beach Tour version there is a brand new camper van control unit in the passenger-side C-pillar from which all functions can be managed and controlled via the display as well as from an in-car app on the infotainment system and the California app on a smartphone. Finally, all LED and background lighting in the passenger compartment can be switched off simultaneously with a brief double tap on one of the numerous light switches.

Spacious inside, compact outside

In technical terms, all versions of the New California are based on the current long-wheelbase version of the Multivan. The New California for this is 5,173 mm long, 1,941 mm wide and 1,990 mm high, including the lowered folding roof. This means it can fit into most multi-storey car parks. The wheelbase lengthened to 3.124 m also increases its roominess. When the roof is closed, the interior height is 1,297 mm; when the folding roof is open, this rises to 2,108 mm.

Nuovo Volkswagen California T7 2024 Ocean

Nuovo Volkswagen California T7 2024 Ocean

Not to be underestimated is the fact that thanks to the MQB platform, a wide range of driver assistance systems are available on the new Volkswagen California, ranging from vehicle braking when turning in the event of another vehicle approaching, to Travel Assist offering semi-automatic driving assistance.

Nuovo Volkswagen California T7 2024 Ocean

Nuovo Volkswagen California T7 2024 Ocean

The New California is powered by three different propulsion systems that can be combined with all versions and are all paired with an automatic transmission. The base is the 150 PS TDI. There is also the 204 PS TSI (turbo petrol), but the real highlight for the California is the new plug-in hybrid engine (eHybrid) with a combined output of 245 PS that can also be combined with 4Motion all-wheel drive. The combustion part of the eHybrid is handled by the 1.5-litre TSI Evo2. The power of this solution also allows a towing capacity of up to 2 tonnes.

5 versions for different styles of touring

All 5 New California versions have been designed to cover as many different lifestyles and travel scenarios as possible. Compared to the previous model, the new models feature removable individual rear seats in place of the rear bench, all equipped with drawers as well as driver and front passenger seats. Also indispensable are the 45W USB-C ports scattered throughout the camper van.

Here are the three versions in detail:

New Volkswagen California T7 2024 Beach

New Volkswagen California T7 2024 Beach

California Beach

The passenger car-approved California Beach is the entry-level model. It is essentially a Multivan with a manual folding roof. It offers six seats (2+2 individual seats in the second and third row) and space for two people to sleep under the folding roof, which can be opened and closed manually using a new mechanism. The bed in the folding roof measures 2,054 x 1,137 mm in all versions of the New California and is equipped with a high-quality mattress and curved springs.

New Volkswagen California T7 2024 Beach

New Volkswagen California T7 2024 Beach

California Beach Camper

The type approval of the California Beach Camper is that of a traditional motorhome. It is a five-seater vehicle, but is also equipped with an extremely compact mini-kitchen and a 230V socket connection. The kitchen with single burner gas cooker, cutlery drawer and additional storage space are located in a permanently installed module in the load compartment. For use, the kitchen unit is pulled out at the rear when the boot lid is open (which also provides protection from the rain).

Nuovo Volkswagen California T7 2024 Ocean

Nuovo Volkswagen California T7 2024 Ocean

California Ocean

The California Ocean was already the top model in the previous product line, and this also applies without reservation to the New California Ocean. Compared to the Coast version, the four-seater Ocean comes with numerous additional standard details, a complete kitchenette on the driver's side and a second motorhome battery (a total of 2 LiFePo x 40 Ah).

Nuovo Volkswagen California T7 2024 Ocean

Nuovo Volkswagen California T7 2024 Ocean

The kitchenette has been completely redesigned and leaves space to enter and exit through the sliding door on the left. The height-adjustable driver's seat can now be rotated a full 180 degrees; and space is created for the refrigerator which opens forward as a drawer so that it can also be reached from outside the vehicle.

Nuovo Volkswagen California T7 2024 Ocean

Nuovo Volkswagen California T7 2024 Ocean

The folding bed in the living area measures 1,980 x 1,060 mm. When folded, it is placed on one of the folding seats on the right and on a step integrated into the kitchenette on the left. The fresh water tank has a capacity of 28 litres. Also available is the external folding table (which can also be used inside and as an extension of the worktop) and an additional 230-volt socket with dock socket outside for an electric cooker.

Gallery: New Volkswagen California 2024