Following a preview last month, Volkswagen has unveiled the refreshed California 6.1 campervan ahead of its public debut at the Caravan Salon show in Düsseldorf later this month.

T6.1 on the road

As with the 2020 Volkswagen Transporter on which it is based, the California adopts a new front end characterised by new headlights with LED DRLs flanking a bigger grille, a revised front bumper incorporating redesigned fog lights and a black trim piece that spans the width of the bumper.

The vehicle pictured 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 three-model line-up also includes ‘Beach’ and ‘Coast’ models.

T6.1 pop top

The bigger changes are 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 aluminium 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.

T6.1 Interior and living area

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 outside light thanks to darker grey canvas sides of the pop-up roof, while for those bunked below, 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 previous monochrome display, the full colour touchscreen offers significantly more functions than before.

T6.1 Screen

Another new feature of the VW California 6.1 is the use of two navigation systems, Discover Media (8-inch touchscreen) and Discover Pro (9.2-inch), from the third generation of VW’s own Modular Infotainment Matrix (MIB3). The most important new feature of all systems is an integrated eSIM (optional for Composition Audio). It forms the interface to ‘Volkswagen We’ and thus to numerous online functions and services.

In addition, the MIB3 systems provide features such as integration of the Apple Music and TIDAL streaming services, natural voice control and App Connect Wireless. Thanks to this new version of App Connect, iPhone apps such as the Media Library and Google Maps can for the first time be incorporated wirelessly into the infotainment system via Bluetooth.

As with the rest of the 2020 VW Transporter line-up, the California 6.1 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 manoeuvring), Trailer Assist, and Cross Wind Assist.

The California 6.1, which as standard is front- and optionally all-wheel drive, will launch with highly efficient 2.0-litre TDI turbo diesel engines, which all fulfil the Euro 6d Temp Evap emissions standard.


To register your interest in leasing the updated 2020 Volkswagen California 6.1 campervan, please call our friendly and helpful sales team on 0161 826 9716.