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Super-sized Volkswagen California XXL campervan revealed in Frankfurt

Auto Express logo Auto Express 12/09/2017 DeanGibson

VW California XXL

VW California XXL
© Auto Express

Volkswagen has super-sized its California campervan by producing the California XXL, a holiday wagon based on the award-winning Crafter van.

It was originally revealed at the Dusseldorf Caravan Salon at the end of August, but it's also taking up space on VW's stand at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

The California XXL takes inspiration from the original Bulli camper, although at nearly six-metres long and close to three metres tall, it dwarfs its 1960s ancestor, and is far bigger than the standard California, which is based on the smaller T6 Transporter van.

Related: Best of the 2017 Frankfurt motor show (Motoring Research)


The XXL is based on the medium wheelbase Crafter, but the raised roof means it's easy to stand upright inside, while there's room for a double bed in the back. Another alcove above the cab makes room for kids to sleep and play, while a full panoramic glass roof creates a bright and airy interior.

But there's far more to the California XXL than just room for a big bed or two. It has under-floor heating, the bed can be heated and cooled, there's a retractable wet room-style shower, chemical toilet, full kitchen with hob, sink and fridges, plus a living and dining area.

Much of the technology on board can be controlled via a special tablet controller or even a dedicated California XXL App. This includes controls for the ambient lighting (seven modes), music and opening and closing of the panoramic roof.

Under the skin, the California XXL features the 2.0 TDI 177PS version of the Crafter's diesel engine, while it also gets 4MOTION 4WD and pneumatic suspension that can be raised or lowered to put the XXL level on a campsite without the need of wedging the wheels into place.

On the outside, the two-tone white and brown paint is a nod to the original Bulli, while twin reversing cameras at different heights boost the driver's view of his surroundings.

The Crafter's suite of cutting-edge safety tech is also present, with adaptive cruise control, lane keeping and blind spot assist all included.

The XXL also has room for picnic chairs located in storage on the outside of the van, while a large Weber barbecue grill can also be fitted in the external storage.

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Related: Frankfurt Motor Show - the best cars (Motoring Research)

Frankfurt Motor Show 2017: Some big name carmakers might be absent from this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, but that doesn’t mean it’s short on big name reveals. Join us as we take you through the best cars of IAA 2017, including new supercars, crossovers and EVs. We’ll keep this gallery updated throughout the day, so keep checking back for the latest news. Frankfurt Motor Show: the best cars
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