Volkswagen Unveils the California Beach Camper--For Europe Only

Get ready to live out your Beach Boys-addled fantasies, Europe: Volkswagen’s newest camper van is called the California Beach.

The van is essentially a cross between the current VW California and Caravelle vans: the California is VW’s camper van, which comes with an extendable roof and a kitchenette, while the Caravelle is VW’s six-seat people carrier – previously sold here in past generations under the Eurovan banner. The California Beach preserves the seating from the Caravelle while also getting the extendable roof from the California, although it loses the sink and stove.

The California Beach gets three rows of seating for up to seven people. The middle row of seats can recline 180 degrees, creating a bed that spans the width of the car. Pop the roof and there’s an another double bed for sleeping, and the front two buckets can swivel around when the car is parked and act as lounge chairs. Especially trick is the California Beach’s portable furniture set: the sliding door holds a portable table while the liftgate holds two folding chairs.

The California Beach has two powertrain options, both of them 2.0-liter turbodiesels: the base engine is mated to a five-speed manual transmission and offers 114 horsepower and a combined 33.6 mpg, while the upgraded motor produces 140 hp and returns 30.6 mpg with a six-speed manual transmission.

Good fuel economy and fold-flat seats are nice, but VW makes the van truly worthy of a name like California Beach with a number of visual upgrades, including available Sunny Yellow paint and Takato color-striped upholstery, as well as available Miyato alloy wheels.

The California Beach starts at £34,970 ($53,980) and is available for order now at VW Van dealers in the United Kingdom, but it raises the question: should VW bring a California van to the states? Is there a market for driving California Beach vans to California beaches? We’ll leave that answer up to you--let us know in the comments below.

Source: VW

SDS
Owned a 1979 VW Westfalia Campmobile and loved it!!! The California Beach is like the old weekender and would be loved in America!!!
SDS
Please!!! Volkswagen bring the California Beach to America!!!! The older camper vans and weekenders are selling for more then when they were new! Absolutely there is a market for them. No other van sold now in America (including the vw) seats that many adults and can be taken on camping trips.
BMF
Bring it stateside! No shortage of enthusiasm for the Eurovan / Transporter / Vanagon / Bus! How is VW going to come out with a model named "California" and at least not sell it in the same state as it's namesake?!
Gerald
I have had four VW vans, including a full camper, the last being a Eurovan MV. I wish I still had it. If the price were right, I would by a California model. I have viewed the English brochure for the California, and it looks better than my last VW.
Paul Zwicker
I would love to see these in the U.S. I agree that it's a bit pricey.
Shawn
I have had 3 VW vans. I have a 2001 VW Eurovan GL right now and I love it. There is NOTHING as cool or as practical on the market right now and it is driving me crazy. I would buy a California in a SECOND. GET THEM OVER HERE PLEASE!
RentalCarGuy
See, that's the problem - cars like this are expensive, because it takes a lot of money to develop and build them, especially if they are this specialized. So: No, you aren't getting one, and even less an affordable one.
Henko
Living on the beach in California I can see where the name comes from: I spot 10 of the previous generations of this lifestyle enabling super van every time I go to the grocery store. And the reason is obvious: no other vehicle on the road offers the same versatility for the kind of lifestyle we live here. Hauling kids, going surfing, roadtripping with a couple of nights at a state park, it's all offered in a decently economical package (compare to a converted Chevy Van or a full RV). For some reason our European siblings across the board has sold out to the masses and decided that the niches that so perfectly defined them are too small and too restrictive for the brand. So Volvo is now trying to do what Saab failed at: compete with the big 3 Germans for a spot in the luxury market. Stop the nonsense and focus on bringing us cars that made you what you are.
tt618
I wish we had a VW van available here in the states. Let me amend that and put an "affordable" in there. The last eurovan was so expensive! I would totally buy a VW van like the Caravelle in a heartbeat!
Eboy
I want one!! But can they cut the price by, say half??

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