A name synonymous with all things Veedub and campervans is set to make a comeback sooner than expected this year. As Volkswagen announces plans to roll out an all-new T7 Multivan ‘California’.
The merest mention of the word ‘California’ conjures up visions of the Pacific Highway, Venice Beach and the scenes from countless Hollywood movies. Yet to owners and fans of Volkswagen campers - wherever they may live/roam - the moniker ‘California’ represents so much more.
The open road. Escapism. Surf’s up. The Beach Boys. Woodstock. And unfiltered #vanlife is all within easy reach to anyone who’s ever had the close up and personal experience of a California; in any guise.
Hold Up. Where Does The California Sit Within The Realms Of The Camperverse?
The California is a campervan derived from the mid-sized T4 Transporter panel van, and developed specifically by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, and sold since 2003.
Prior to that, VW collaborated with ‘Westfalia-Werke’ as its preferred bespoke campervan coachbuilder, with the former providing the chassis on which Westfalia exclusively constructed a dedicated leisure vehicle. However, Westfalia was acquired by Daimler Chrysler in 2001, so VW had to act fast.
Based on the Transporter range, Volkswagen concluded that it had to design and build its own bespoke campervan range. Hence the setting up of the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle division (or VWCV), and the inception of the very first Volkswagen Westfalia, which debuted in 2003. So-named, to ensure branding continuity with what had gone before.
But then Westfalia became an autonomous company in its own right once again as of 2005, with VW then rebranding its campervan the Westfalia California. Which it was recognised as right until 2012 when it took on its existing title; the Volkswagen California.
But I Thought The California Was A Blast From The Actual Past? Not The Millenium….
The original ‘Cali’ can be traced back into the annals of Volkswagen campervan history. In fact, it’s possible to rewind right back to 1955, and the dawn of the Transporter. The actual Book of VW Campervan Genesis.
Essentially, the Volkswagen Westfalia camper started life as a Type 2; followed by the T3 conversions. VW sub-contracted the modifications to Westfalia, which were headquartered in Rheda-Wiedenbruck. This partnership ran consecutively from the early 1950’s to 2003. Affectionately known as the ‘Westy’, Westfalia afforded Volkswagen bespoke roofs and interiors; including the iconic ‘pop-top’.
History Lesson Over…
…And here in 2023 Veedub is working on a family-friendly campervan version of the very latest Transporter incarnation.
Namely the T7 Multivan.
Initially mooted when revealing its 2022 financial results, Volkswagen said that it will, “build out the great success of its California model range by adding digital features and services to create a ‘California Universe’”.
A range which as it stands consists of the Grand California and smaller, Caddy California; derivatives of the VW Crafter and Caddy, respectively. That being said, the EV-primed ID. Buzz in full campervan resplendence is imminent, and once more will generate broad interest in the global campervan community.
What Do We Know About The VW T7 Multivan California Already?
Well, we know that it’ll sit on Volkswagen’s MQB platform. Meaning it will be plug-in hybrid-ready from the get-go.
Like the regular T7 Multivan MPV, the California fuses a turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol engine with an electric motor, coupled with a 13-kWh lithium-ion battery pack and a seven-speed DSG transmission.
That aside, the California will comprise all the quintessential kit and caboodle you’d expect to find lurking in a bona fide campervan.
A box-ticking exercise that envelops a pop-up roof tent, a sink and cooker kitchenette and a fold-out bed.
Will We Ever Convert A T7 Multivan?
Never say never.
Should the opportunity present, then why not.
Ditto the VW ID. Buzz.
Whilst our focus is on Volkswagen Transporters, Crafters and Caddy’s right now, it’s a fast-developing scene, the Veedub one. And as ever, our team will entertain ANY campervan conversion. Big, small, Volkswagen or otherwise.
Why not talk to us today, to discover just what we can do for you.