The counterculture icon of the ‘60s and ‘70s was the Volkswagen Type 2, also known as Westfalia in its campervan configuration. Today it has a successor in the form of the T6.1 model. So, just how much is a new California VW Camper going to cost you?
California VW Camper comes in several different trims that vary from market to market, with a starting point of just under $75,000 pre-tax, and going up over $100,000 when loaded with optional equipment. But, you can’t buy it in the United States.
The price of a California VW Camper differs from market to market for various reasons, but the first reason is the selection of trims and optional equipment. Unfortunately, it is not available in North American markets, which makes its name a bit ironic.
Cost Breakdown for California VW Campers
The base version of the California VW Camper is around $72 thousand with VAT in the UK, but with 25% duty and before tax that amounts to $75 thousand, and while this number may sound like a lot, it is actually very affordable. If you think of it as a van or a passenger vehicle, you might say that this is too much money for too little of a car.
But California VW Camper is actually a Class B motorhome in everything but name. And Class Bs start at $74 grand, how much cost RAM ProMaster-converted Pleasure-Way’s Tofino. In its base configuration, California is all that more expensive than its most affordable competitor. When loaded with all optional equipment, it can cost more than $83 thousand.
Trims and engines
California VW Camper comes in three base trims:
All three trims come with the automated 7-speed dual-clutch DSG transmission, that in their base versions sends 150 horse powers from the 2-liter turbo I4 turbo-charged diesel 2.0TDI 150PS engine to the front wheels. This DSG and transmission and 2.0TDI engine produce 250 pound-feet of torque. For the Beach Camper and Tour trims, this is the only available option.
But, California Ocean trim has two more variants. First is the more powerful 2.0BiTDI 204PS engine, which can put out 201 horse powers from its four cylinders, thanks to the biturbo charger that provides a higher boost level. But, California Ocean is also available in the variant with the 4MOTION 4-wheel drive system.
The list of the standard equipment on these trims is quite long because VW, like all European car makers, includes on it some ridiculous things like “Radiator grille”. But let’s mention some of the more important features these campervans come with. Starting with the base version of the California Beach Camper:
- 17-inch alloy wheels,
- 2 12-volt sockets on the dashboard,
- 2-seats middle bench, movable,
- adaptive cruise control, with follow-to-stop functionality, forward collision warning, and emergency braking,
- 180A alternator,
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality over USB,
- automatically dimming interior rearview mirror,
- 230V socket,
- dual-zone automatic AC system,
- Hill-start assist,
- Interior lighting,
- LED rear lights,
- manually operated pop-up roof,
- 6.5-inch touch screen infotainment system,
- 2 75Ah batteries,
- Servotronic variable steering assist,
- table with folding chairs,
- electronic stability control program with crosswind assist,
On the California Beach Tour, a 2-seater bench is swapped for a 3-seater bench with a storage compartment, and the awning has a tent adapter. While California Ocean lacks support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto over USB, it has some additional equipment:
- 3-zone Climatronic AC system with controls in the passenger compartment,
- auxiliary battery,
- digital driver’s display,
- automatically adjusting headlights,
- front fog lights with cornering function,
- heated front seats,
- blind-spot monitor for lane changing,
- LED headlights,
- parking sensors with the Park Assist, a semi-autonomous parallel parking system,
- backing camera,
- refrigerator with a detachable basket,
- daytime running lights with Coming Home function,
- Bluetooth Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support,
- infotainment system with GPS navigation and voice controls.
When it comes to the optional equipment, all of the standard equipment that is available on the higher trims on lower trims is available as optional packages. But besides these, there is some more optional equipment:
- 18-inch alloy wheels,
- two-tone paint,
- Discover Media Pro infotainment system,
- traffic sign recognition,
- Trailer Assist,
- tow-bar with trailer stabilization,
- bed extension with a comfort sleeping mat for four people.
Besides these optional items, there are some more bits and pieces, like mudflaps, that are not really worth mentioning.
Why you can’t buy a VW California in the U.S.
With the roaring growth of the camper and RV markets in the past couple of years, you would expect that Volkswagen would come to America with the spiritual successor of the original Hippie Van. Now, already in its 6th generation, with the 7th just around the corner, while wearing the name of the most populous US state, VW California will not come to North America.
According to the report by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the cost of bringing a European model to the US is between $14.8 and $19.8 million. Various differences in safety standards and safety testing demand different designs of various parts of the vehicles, which adds to the costs.
In other words, Volkswagen’s management does not believe that the current surge in demand for RVs will last much longer. And that it will not be profitable for them to make a $15-$20 million investment in sales of California Camper. The same is the reason why we will only get the ID.Buzz Cargo, but only its people carrier version.
The T7, the 7th generation of VW Campers will be available for the model year 2023, but just like the other five generations after the Type 2, it will also not be available on the US market.
How much is a California VW Camper is the question many people want to be answered. First and foremost in hope that they will be able to buy one. Its starting price for the base model and lowest trim is $75 thousand with a 25% Chicken-tax included but without the sales tax. But the price can go north of the $100 thousand mark in the highest trim with optional equipment.
Unfortunately, it is not available in North American markets and it will not be in the foreseeable future.
(featured image: www.volkswagen-vans.co.uk)