Life’s a California Beach!
Introducing the Volkswagen California Beach 6.1
Article originally published in August 2019, but updated in October 2020 to reflect reintroduction to the UK Market
In exciting developments, we are pleased to inform you that the latest incarnation of the Volkswagen California Beach 6.1 will soon be available in the UK in two versions — The ‘Camper’ and The ‘Tour’, both with features never before seen in this vehicle.
Initially Volkswagen withdrew the Beach from the UK market in 2019, much to the dismay of many loyal enthusiasts, but now, in 2020 Volkswagen have reversed this decision and will be returning the Beach to the UK, with orders opening in late October 2020 and prices starting at £52,062.
The ‘Camper’ version will include a small stowaway mini kitchen unit as standard — this is regardless of rear seating options and broadens the vehicle’s versatility in terms of camping with families or groups.
However, if the internal kitchen doesn’t appeal, the ‘Tour’ version will come with twin sliding doors as an alternative, thus making entry to the rear possible from both the left and the right — this could prove a useful addition to UK buyers concerned about leaving the van from the roadside.
Both Beach versions will include a new digital camper control unit in the roof console, and both will come with the option of an electrical operated hydraulic roof. Another addition, also previously only available in the Ocean, is the pull-in blind system that covers the front windscreen, rather than the previous screen which had to be manually removed and stored after use.
The kitchen is lifted up from the side panel between the B- and C-pillar and folded outwards. The stainless steel unit has a single-hob gas cooker on the left and a small hotplate/worktop on the right. Above the gas cooker there is also a cover plate, which when lifted up for cooking serves as a splashback.
If the mini kitchen’s hotplate/worktop is not needed, you simply tip it up and lower it back into the side panel, which is no wider than its counterpart with no kitchen. Beneath the hotplate/worktop, against the side wall, is a wide storage compartment and an enclosure for the 1.8kg gas bottle.
The California 6.1 can be used in everyday life like any normal MPV, often by families who may need to carry more than four or five people. For such situations Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles offers individual seats on the second seating row.
Despite the fitted kitchen, the new California 6.1 Beach provides room to add not just one, but two extra individual seats. With the mini kitchen closed, the bench seat and individual seats can be repositioned without any restrictions. Depending on bench seat version on the third row, the camper thus becomes a six- or seven-seat MPV. The compact design of the variable kitchen emphasises the fact that the California 6.1 is more than ever a true all-rounder in the compact campervan market.
The standard features of the California 6.1 Beach:
• Aluminium pop-up roof with canvas sides in Basalt Grey
• Camper control unit with touchscreen in the roof console
• Roof bed, redesigned with sprung base
• Swivel seats at the front with lumbar support and armrests
• Camper interior lighting concept in the passenger compartment
• Two-seater bench plus fold-out bed extension incl. mattress below and side storage compartments
• Folding table in the sliding door, folding chairs in the tailgate
• ‘Climatic’ air conditioning system
• Awning tracks in black
• Composition Colour radio with 6 loudspeakers
• Sliding window on the left
• Sliding door on the right
• Hideaway mini kitchen (Camper Version)
• Storage compartment drawer
• Fabric blackout screens for the cab
• Illuminated tread plates with ‘California’ inscription
• Double USB socket on the outside of the front passenger seat
• Cab and passenger compartment blackout
• 230V socket with AC converter next to the driver’s seat (300W)
For more information, and to find your nearest Volkswagen Van Centre, please take a look at our interactive Dealership Map.