Volkswagen California is back with plug-in hybrid drive

Volkswagen has introduced the new T7 generation of its California campervan, based on the latest Multivan. It has grown in size and features several firsts for the model, including dual sliding doors and a plug-in hybrid drivetrain.

Last year, Volkswagen presented a concept version of the new California at the Düsseldorf Caravan Salon, teasing the features that would come with the production version. Now official, the California T7 stays true to the concept with dual sliding doors, a plug-in hybrid drivetrain, and a redesigned interior.

27 cm longer

The California T7 has grown significantly compared to its predecessor, the California 6.1. It is now based on the long-wheelbase version of the Multivan and measures 5,173 mm in length, compared to the 6.1’s 4,904 mm. The height remains unchanged at 1,990 mm, so it will still fit in most multi-story parking lots.

This extra length has created more space on board, which is also more modular. The rear seats are now individually removable, with up to 6 seats in total. With the roof popped up, the interior height reaches 2,108 mm, while the top bed measures 2,054 by 1,137 mm.

The plug-in hybrid California T7 features a “large electric range” and can tow up to 2,000 kg thanks to 4Motion four-wheel-drive / Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles

Kitchen accessible from the outside

From the second equipment level, a second folding bed of 1,980 by 1,330 mm (1,980 mm by 1,060 mm for the versions with a full kitchen) can be created from the rear seats. The kitchen is now situated behind the driver’s seat, with a new layout. Thanks to the two sliding doors, two ‘terraces’ can be created thanks to the optional canopy on each side, with the kitchen and refrigerator now accessible from the outside.

Plug-in hybrid with four-wheel drive

Volkswagen offers three options for powertrains: a 150 hp diesel engine, a 204 hp gasoline engine, and a brand-new 245 eHybrid plug-in hybrid drivetrain. This is based on the newer 1.5 TSI evo2 engine and features “a large electric driving range,” while 4Motion four-wheel-drive is also available for the first time. This allows for a maximum towing weight of 2,000 kg, so the boat or the bikes can come, too.

The Volkswagen California T7 will be available in four equipment levels in Belgium: beach, Beach Camper, Coast, and Ocean. The order books will open in July 2024, but no prices have yet been announced. The first deliveries are expected in the second half of 2024, hopefully before the weather turns cold.

Thanks to the VW California T7’s second sliding door, the kitchen can be accessed from the outside / Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles

ID. Buzz California is not coming soon

As for the all-electric ID. Buzz California, the latest news now indicates that VW is postponing the launch of this model until after 2025 due to weight concerns and low demand for electric campervans, according to VW commercial vehicles marketing and sales boss Lars Krause.


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