Following a preview last month, Volkswagen has unveiled the facelifted California 6.1 camper van ahead of its public debut at the Caravan Salon show in Düsseldorf in late August.
As with the 2020 Multivan on which it is based, the California adopts a new front end design characterized by new headlights with LED DRLs flanking a bigger grille and a revised front bumper incorporating redesigned fog lights and a black trim piece that spans the entire width of the bumper.
The vehicle you see in the photos is the range-topping California Ocean 6.1 which offers a two-tone exterior, chrome-plated grille, and a chrome strip on the front bumper. The lineup also includes the Beach and Coast models.
Bigger changes occur inside where the California includes a compact set of kitchen units (for Coast and Ocean models) with new push buttons for opening up the sink, cooker, and fridge, as well as a new double USB socket, new aluminum handles on all doors, and sliding doors replacing the shutters in the rear cupboard. Additionally, all of the cupboards’ wood grains have been redesigned in lighter Bright Oak and darker Graphite Grey. Finally, the seats now feature darker covers in Palladium Grey.
VW also claims the two beds are more comfortable than before, with the double rear bench seat now also configurable as a lounge. The one on top now benefits from increased protection from too much incoming light thanks to darker grey canvas sides of the pop-up roof, while for the people “downstairs” there is also a new sunrise function that uses individually selectable LEDs in the roof and living area to dim up the lights to the desired level of brightness.
The technological update is even more significant and is highlighted by a new multi-function control panel in the overhead console. Replacing the previously used monochrome display, the full color touchscreen offers significantly more functions than before. Finally, the 2020 California can also be ordered with a digital instrument panel as well as MIB3 infotainment systems with up to 9.2-inch screens and integrated online connectivity.
As with the rest of the 2020 VW Transporter lineup, the California switches from hydraulic to electro-mechanical power steering and is therefore compatible with many new driver assistance systems. Those include Lane Assist, Park Assist, a side protection function (warns of obstacles when maneuvering), Trailer Assist, and Cross Wind Assist.
The California 6.1 will launch with “highly efficient” 2.0-liter TDI four-cylinder turbo diesel engines with outputs of up to 199 PS (146 kW / 196 hp) and available all-wheel drive.