The pop-top version of the Volkswagen T6 van is being evaluated by the German company's local arm, with a Facebook post by the brand's Australian branch stating: "We are currently collating customer feedback regarding the Volkswagen California for future product consideration".
If VW were to launch its new-generation Kombi (kinda) camper, it would likely square-up against the Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo, which will launch here locally in the coming months, and the existing Trakka Trakkadu, which is converted locally. That vehicle sells about 10 units per months, with prices ranging from $85,000.
In Europe there is a basic Beach model that goes without some of the comfort items you might want in a campervan, but the Ocean version features a two-burner cooktop and stainless steel sink, as well as low-energy LED lighting and a cool/warm box.
Depending on the specification the Volkswagen California can offer seating for up to seven people and beds for four people - the beds measure 2.0 metres long by 1.5m wide in the Beach version, while the Ocean model - because of the kitchenette - has a slightly smaller bed, at 2.0m long and 1.2m wide. The front seats with arm-rests that swivel 180 degrees, and there are storage cupboards and drawers at the rear, as well as a pull-out dining table. For an al fresco meal, there's an optional roof awning.
There are blinds available for the windows, while the manually operated pop-top roof (electrically operated in higher-spec models) is said to hark back to Volkswagen campers of days gone by - it also makes it easier to stand up inside the 'living area' and houses the second berth.
There are three engine options in Europe, all diesel: a 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder with 75kW and 250Nm and a five-speed manual gearbox; a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo with 110kW/350Nm and the choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG (dual-clutch automatic), the latter available with optional 4Motion all-wheel-drive; and a 2.0-litre bi-turbo four-cylinder with 150kW/450Nm, again with a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG auto with the option of AWD.
We await further information from Volkswagen Australia in regards a potential launch of the California in Australia. Stay tuned.