In Dublin last week, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Ireland launched the eagerly anticipated new Grand California, a completely new motorhome based on the award-winning Crafter. With the Grand California, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (VWCV) is extending its range of campervans by adding a model in the six-metre class, complete with washroom and toilet. In addition to the large sleeping area in the rear, the Grand California will be available with a high bunk bed for children.
Created by Albert Kirzinger, Head of Design at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, with fresh clarity and cleverly thought-out details, the interior reflects the qualities that made the original California, based on the Transporter series, a best seller. “The cabinet trim in the Grand California is generally white which creates a bright, spacious atmosphere along with 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,” commented Albert.
In addition to the kitchen and spacious washroom (840 x 800 mm), further standard features include 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 at the caravan park sublime. 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 also part of the standard specification. One innovative feature is the option to control the loudspeakers in the living area via Bluetooth making it possible to listen to music independently of the infotainment system using a smartphone, tablet or laptop.
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 the washroom. In addition to a 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 roof-mounted 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 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).
The Grand California will be available with the Crafter’s driver assistance and infotainment systems. VWCV will also be offering the new model with all-wheel drive (4MOTION).
There will be four Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle Centres authorised to sell the new Grand California; Frank Keane Volkswagen, Dublin, Blackwater Volkswagen, Cork and Connollys Volkswagen, Sligo. One further new Commercial and Life vehicle centre will be appointed in the North Dublin region shortly and they will complete the list of authorised Grand California centres in Ireland.
Pricing of the new Grand California 600 177 hp, 8-speed automatic transmission with 4 passenger seats and a 4 berth sleeping configuration will be €77,600 including product design and delivery. The longer Grand California with same engine and transmission in a 2 passenger, 2 berth format will be €76,900, again including product design and delivery. Both products will be available with 3.9% HP and PCP finance solutions.
Commenting on the new model, Alan Bateson, Managing Director at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles said: “We are truly delighted to introduce the Grand California on to the Irish market, a lot of work has gone into this vehicle in the last number of years and we are very proud of the end product and its launch in Ireland. The California brand is key to Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and has been so successful in Ireland over many years, with the new Grand California we aim to extend the appeal of our brand in the lifestyle vehicle segment and we truly believe that you will not get a better lifestyle solution for your money than with the new Grand California.”