It seems like every other automaker is content to sell vans in drab colours while emphasising stolid practicality above all else.
Not so Volkswagen, who sometimes likes to display a little whimsy with its vans. Enter the latest limited edition vans from Volkswagen, the Multivan Cruise and the California Beach Camper Van.
Based on the new T6.1 Multivan, both models feature distinctive two-tone paint treatments.
Priced at $73,990 before on-road costs, the Cruise is available only in Reflex Silver but with a choice of either Fortana Red, Indium Grey or Starlight Blue metallic paint as a second tone.
Other exterior features include LED headlights and daytime running lights, fog lights with a cornering function and 18-inch alloy wheels. A power tailgate is also standard.
Inside, there’s Volkswagen’s digital cockpit, velour seats (heated up front), and a 9.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system with satellite navigation and wireless app connectivity.
With the change to electro-mechanical power steering in the T6.1 range, the Cruise now has lane-keeping assist. The safety equipment roster also includes autonomous emergency braking at city speeds, plus blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.
There’s also cross-wind assist, automated parking assist and adaptive cruise control.
The California Beach Camper Van ups the ante in price – at $94,990 before on-road costs, it’s over $20,000 more than the Cruise. But this California knows how to party, with front swivel seats, a reclining three-seat second row (bringing seating capacity to five), an awning and its signature feature: an electro-hydraulic elevating roof.
Two-tone paint is also standard on the California Beach, with Candy White mandatory as the first tone and a choice of Copper Bronze, Ascot Grey and Bay Leaf Green for the second shade.
The sliding doors are power latching and there’s also a power tailgate. Inside, you’ll find a bed extension with a comfort sleeping mat, plus interior blinds. This camper also features a second battery and a programmable parking heater, while Volkswagen’s also chucked in a camping table and two camping chairs.
The California misses out on a couple of the Cruise’s features, namely its 9.2-inch infotainment system (substituted for an 8.0-inch unit) and its automated parking assist. Instead, there’s just a reversing camera with front and rear parking sensors.
Both the Cruise and California Beach are powered by a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine producing 110kW of power and mated to a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission. The engine is compliant with the latest EU6 emissions regulations in Europe.
Just 30 units of each van will be available to order, with online ordering opening at 10am on June 24. The California Beach will be the only Camper to touch down in Australia this year, though from August 1 you’ll be able to order from the rest of the California range for a 2021 delivery.
The California range will start at $82,990 before on-road costs, though Transporter and Multivan range pricing has yet to be released.
Due to factory closures in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the entire Transporter cargo van and Multivan people carrier ranges have been delayed and won’t reach Australia until November. They were originally supposed to launch in the first half of this year.