It’s a great first look at what the next installation in Volkswagen’s long-standing California range could look like, as well as the kind of features and technology we could expect.
Volkswagen has already stated that the California Concept is in ‘near-production’ form, so there’s a good chance that most of the Concept’s aspects will make it into the cars that people can drive. So let’s take a look at just what it has to offer.
Doors might not sound like the most interesting feature to check out, but on the California Concept, they’ve made a difference. That’s because, for the first time, the California features sliding doors on both sides - rather than just one.
Volkswagen says that this makes getting in and out of the vehicle much easier, while giving an ‘open air’ feeling to the cabin. Plus, in the UK, it makes exiting the vehicle safer as, on the previous California models, you’d usually have to ask passengers to get out on the opposite side of the kerb.
With that extra door, you might think that the California does without a covering on one side. However, Volkswagen is one step ahead as it has managed to fit a set of awnings to the California, ensuring that there’s protection from the sun and rain on both sides.
Volkswagen calls the one on the left a ‘sun sail’ while the right-hand-side one is a traditional awning. They’re both fully retractable, too, so they can be easily put in place at a moment’s notice.
The kitchen is the heart of the California, but the one on the new Concept has some significant changes. Courtesy of that extra door, it’s the first time that the kitchen has been accessible from the outside, with an integrated gas cooker and induction hob all included.
There’s also a handy power point on the outside, which is ideal for plugging in the kettle for your morning cup of tea.
Inside the California Concept you’ll find a brand-new tablet on the cupboard at the C-pillar. It’s here where you’ll control all of the van’s major functions, from the pop-up roof to the interior temperature and auxiliary heater. You can even see how chilled the refrigerator is.
Plus, because it’s on an extendable arm, it can be moved out and used as a media display so you can recline and watch your favourite films inside the van.
Volkswagen says that it was ‘inconceivable’ that the California could be created without a pop-up roof, which is why this latest one has it present and correct. The ‘windows’ of it are more wraparound in design than before, too, so you’ve got a clearer view out than before.
Plus, it’s been kitted out with LED lights and USB-C charging points to truly make it feel like a home away from home.
So when will it be available?
As we mentioned, Volkswagen has said that this Concept is in ‘near production’ form, so we’d expect to see the vast majority of functions carried over to the real version. The images released also make the California look pretty road-ready.
Volkswagen says that the new California will go into production during 2024 so thankfully, there’s not too long to wait.