New Volkswagen California swaps to car platform, gains PHEV

The California Concept also benefits from its Multivan sibling’s flexibility. This includes the ability to vary the interior layout with easy-to-move lightweight chairs – the T6.1’s rear bench has been replaced by three individual seats – and tables, and there’s a fold-out double bed. Like its predecessor, the California Concept gets rotating front seats and the traditional pop-out rooftop sleeping area, with space for another two to sleep.

The Multivan’s platform means the standard California is the biggest it’s ever been, growing in overall length by 412mm to 5304mm and in width by 40mm to 1941mm.

That extra size offers more living space, comfort, safety and flexibility, its maker says. It is expected to be called the Multivan California, given how closely related the pair will be.

The increased size also opens up new storage possibilities. Much of this is because the Multivan uses an electronic parking brake instead of a manual handbrake, leaving space for drawers and a removable dry-composting toilet in the space left behind.

Production of the next-generation California will begin at Volkswagen’s Hanover plant in Germany next year, the firm confirmed in a statement. When it arrives, prices are expected to open at a significant premium over the T6.1, which starts at £61,322. For reference, the Mercedes-Benz V-Class Marco Polo starts at £83,490, while the Ford Transit Nugget is priced at £76,027.

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