The new Volkswagen California will end an era of Volkswagen vans

The Volkswagen California 6.1 may never take the title of most attractive California ever, but it did bring its fair share of innovations. Its retirement is already being prepared, after announcing the production of the “Last Edition” of 1,500 units, before welcoming the new and innovative California T7, which will debut on May 7.

Volkswagen presented the Transporter T6.1 van in 2019. On its basis came the California 6.1 and a host of accessories intended to improve it. It did not represent any innovative leap, as it was a mid-life update, but it brought interesting elements such as the reclining living room-bed, smart home control or the first kitchen in California Beach, which folds into the door panel… in addition to all the components created by the many motorhome specialists:

We remember it fondly because we carried out an in-depth test (and the video that you can see above) and because the move from the T 6.1 to the T7 is going to be the biggest generational change in the history of the Volkswagen motorhome. Since its introduction in 1988, the California has been built on the Transporter van platform, from the unmistakable T3 with square eighties shapes with a rear engine without a hood, the last of its kind.

In a few months, the Transporter will move to a Ford platform, becoming a sort of Volkswagen-badged Transit Custom. The California will say goodbye to be manufactured based on the Multivan T7 minivan. If it follows the image of the prototype that the brand showed last year, the leap forward will be enormous, with a sliding door on the driver's side and a new interior/exterior kitchen design to gain flexibility.

Beyond the design, the biggest novelty of the California Concept was the list of available propulsion systems. Volkswagen said at the premiere in Düsseldorf last year that the production California T7 would be available with all existing Multivan powertrains, with the eHybrid version 215 HP that offers 50 km of autonomy with a 13 kWh battery that we tested:

And Volkswagen is not in favor of a 100% electric California. Speaking to Autocar, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles sales and marketing head Lars Krause said last month that Volkswagen is planning an ID. Buzz camper Van… but it won't arrive until the end of this decade. Not because of weight issues (as previous reports indicated), but because of the lack of demand for fully electric caravans. After our ID Buzz test, we understand.

He California T7 PHEV will serve as a starting point towards electrified Volkswagen recreational vehicles. First we will have to meet the Volkswagen California T.61 Last Edition… which we imagine will not have many changes beyond some insignia on the B pillars. It will be the appetizer of that vaunted Multivan T7, which has been long awaited since the launch of the Multivan T7 due to the restructuring of Volkswagen's commercial vehicle line following the partnership with Ford.

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