2020 Volkswagen Grand California 680

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Image for 2020 Volkswagen Grand California 680 - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2020 Volkswagen Grand California 680 - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2020 Volkswagen Grand California 680 - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2020 Volkswagen Grand California 680 - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2020 Volkswagen Grand California 680 - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2020 Volkswagen Grand California 680 - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2020 Volkswagen Grand California 680 - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2020 Volkswagen Grand California 680 - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2020 Volkswagen Grand California 680 - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2020 Volkswagen Grand California 680 - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2020 Volkswagen Grand California 680 - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2020 Volkswagen Grand California 680 - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2020 Volkswagen Grand California 680 - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2020 Volkswagen Grand California 680 - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2020 Volkswagen Grand California 680 - Exteriors, Interiors and Details

About the Car

2020 Volkswagen Grand California 680

  • Grand California is the ‘big brother’ of the popular T6-based California camper
  • Two versions available – 600 and 680 – with different sleeping configurations
  • Comes complete with wetroom with shower and toilet, kitchen and large sleeping area
  • Pre-sales start in October with first UK deliveries early 2020
  • First concept of ‘California XXL’ debuted at Caravan Salon in August 2017

The Grand California is an all-new motorhome from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, based on the Crafter van, and which takes the manufacturer into a new market segment.

The first concept of the Grand California, the ‘California XXL’, was revealed at the Düsseldorf Caravan Salon in August 2017; a year later the final vehicle debuted at Düsseldorf and was named the Grand California. The motorhome’s UK debut took place at the Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show at NEC in Birmingham in February 2019, followed by order books opening in the first week of October and a right-hand drive public debut at the Motorhome and Caravan Show in Birmingham in October 2019. First customer deliveries are due early in 2020.

The Grand California is available in two different versions: a six-metre version – the 600 – with double bed (transverse sleeping) at the rear and additional optional overcab bed for children in the roof; or a 6.8-metre variant – the 680 – with larger sleeping area (longitudinal) for two adults.

The Grand California comes with one engine, a 2.0-litre TDI 177 PS unit, mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and with front-wheel drive. For more challenging adventures, the Grand California 680 will additionally be available with 4MOTION four-wheel drive.

Being based on the Crafter, the Grand California comes with a raft of driver assistance and comfort features. These include standard Front Assist with City Emergency Braking function, Cross Wind Assist and Hill Start Assist, along with front and rear parking sensors, plus the option to add Lane Assist to help the driver stay in lane, Blind Spot Monitor for changing lane, Rear Traffic Alert for reversing out of parking spaces and Park Assist for steering into them, the sensor-controlled side protection system, Adaptive Cruise Control and a Rear View reversing camera.

An electrically powered step, which moves out in front of the sliding door, makes getting in and out easier, while a two-part mosquito net in the door is likewise part of the standard specification along with a camping table and chairs which can be neatly stowed in the rear wing doors. Also available are options such as an additional roof-mounted air conditioning unit at the back, an awning, satellite dish for TV reception and a rear bicycle rack.

White and grey trim inside the Grand California creates a bright space, boosted by ‘pop-open’ windows at the back and sides, plus skylights above the rear sleeping and living areas. The vehicle has swivel seats at the front and a double bench seat (with ISOFIX fittings and top tether). When the standard table is erected between the swivelled seats and the bench, the Grand California provides a comfortable dining area for four.

The kitchen has a pull-out 70-litre fridge with freezer compartment (accessible from outside as well as via the sliding door), twin-hob gas cooker, sink and various drawers, pull-out storage compartments and shelves. Eleven top cabinets provide ample room for all camping paraphernalia, while extra kitchen prep surface area is cleverly concealed when not in use.

Optional loudspeakers in the living area can be controlled by Bluetooth, making it possible to listen to music independently of the infotainment system using a smartphone, tablet or laptop, while a digital control panel for lights, temperature, water level etc makes camping life easy, while also giving it a modern feel. A large roll out awning is also available, providing a comfortable covered outdoor area.

The key feature distinguishing the Grand from the standard California is a wetroom (840 x 800 mm) with toilet and shower, fold-out wash basin, shelves for toiletries, cupboard with toilet paper holder, towel holders and skylight ventilation. The wetroom lights are automatically switched on via motion sensors when required.

110 litres of fresh water can be carried onboard (and a 90 litre waste water tank) which serves the kitchen and wetroom, plus there’s an external shower connection with adjustable water temperature at the rear of the Grand California. Water is heated via gas or electricity through a ‘combi boiler’-style system, allowing cold water to also be accessible when required.  Twin-hob cooker and water and air heating are supplied by up to two 11 kg gas bottles, stored in the back of the vehicle

The Grand California is available at launch in Candy White, Reflex Silver or Indium Grey, plus with two-tone paintwork: Reflex Silver and Indium Grey, Candy White and Cherry Red, Candy White and Deep Ocean Blue or Candy White and Mojave Beige Metallic

Like the California, the Grand California will be sold through Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ 38 specialist Tour franchise sites across the UK, but can be serviced and maintained at all 97 Van Centres and Authorised Repairers.

The Grand California is available in two different versions: a six-metre version – the 600 – with double bed (transverse sleeping) at the rear and additional optional overcab bed for children in the roof; or a 6.8-metre variant – the 680 – with larger sleeping area (longitudinal) for two adults.

This model is equipped with a new camping high roof. The vehicle itself is 5,986 mm long, 2,040 mm wide (excluding wing mirrors / 2,427mm with) and, depending on configuration, between 2,971 and 3,094 mm high. Its wheelbase is 3,640 mm. Inside headroom is a generous 2,180 to 2,200 mm.

The Grand California (600) provides a sleeping area in the back with a transverse integrated double bed (1,930 x 1,360 mm). This version of the camper can optionally be ordered with a high bunk bed above the cab and ‘dining table’ space: the slatted frame is simply pulled out and then measures 1,900 x 1,220 mm (passenger side) and 1,600 x 1,220 mm (driver side). This extra bed’s load-bearing capacity is 150 kg. A skylight with blind is integrated into this area.

The Grand California 680
The Grand California 680 is 6,836 mm long and fitted with a Crafter high roof. On this model the wheelbase between axles measures 4,490 mm. While the width is identical to that of the Grand California 600, the height, depending on configuration, measures from 2,839 to 2,967 mm with corresponding headroom between 1,970 and 2,030 mm.

By virtue of the longer rear section, the Grand California offers more space in the back, with a larger, longitudinal double bed sleeping area which measures 2,000 x 1,670 mm on the right and 1,900 x 1,670 mm on the left. This makes it an especially luxurious camper with lots of room for two people on long journeys.

Rear area with spring plate mattress and lots of storage space
The beds in the rear sleeping area of both models are fitted with an 80 mm thick mattress on a spring plate sub-construction. It can in each instance be folded up to the side and is clipped in place via two straps and buckles on each side.

Underneath it is a large storage space that is secured by a two-piece (removable) partition. The side storage space in the rear of the Grand California measures 180 litres. The Grand California 680 offers more capacity here, as it has an additional floor-level cabinet towards the living area and a roof-level cupboard on the driver’s side.

In total, the Grand California 600 has four floor-level cupboards in the rear. One is pure storage space, two house the gas bottles and the drinking water tank while the fourth is fitted out as an equipment cupboard. Inside it are the FI circuit breaker switch, a battery cut-off switch, the relief valves for the water system and the subwoofers of the optional sound system.

The Grand California 680 is additionally equipped with two further cupboards for storage. Access to the rear cupboards is either via the living area or via the rear wing doors (1,522 x 1,740 mm). Its opening is so big that even sports equipment and bicycles can be loaded with ease. Available as an option is a bicycle rack on the rear wing door for transporting two bicycles (35 kg load capacity). The living space opens out through the large, side sliding door (1,311 x 1,620 mm). An electrically powered step (fitted as standard), which moves out in front of the door, makes getting in and out easier.

White cupboards create a modern ambience in the living area
With the exception of the sleeping and roof areas and the kitchen’s length, the living space of both Grand California versions is set out identically. The cabinets in the Grand California are all finished in white, with matt chrome flush openings. The same applies to the eleven top cabinets, the doors of six of which fold up and five down. Going perfectly with the bright fittings is the durable, elegant floor covering in the style of a yacht’s wooden deck. The combination of highly modern, stylish interior design and bright colour scheme forms a key feature of this new campervan generation.

Outside lighting and connection for outside shower come as standard
In addition to the kitchen and wetroom, further standard features include details such as outside lighting above the sliding door and a connection for an outside shower (with adjustable water temperature), including hose and shower head in the rear of the vehicle. Both are features that add a useful touch to campsite life. A two-piece mosquito net in the sliding door is likewise part of the standard specification of the Grand California, and there are nets and blackout blinds on all rear and side windows. For privacy at bedtime, the driver and front passenger windows can be covered using bespoke material blinds with magnetic fittings on the sides, while the front windscreen has a material blind which is given its rigid shape using tent-style poles and attaches to the car’s pull-down sun visors.

New era interfaces and sound system
A total of six USB interfaces in the living and sleeping area and on the outside (accessible with the sliding door open) ensure that smartphones and tablets are always supplied with sufficient power. Up to four 230 V sockets – in the rear storage space (1), in the kitchen (2) and in the living area (1) – provide power for electrical appliances of every kind.

A further innovative feature is the Bluetooth sound system with subwoofer for the living area. It is made up of the speakers in the front, centre and rear of the vehicle, a subwoofer (in the equipment cupboard) and an amplifier (underneath the front passenger seat). Regardless of the infotainment system fitted, users can pair the loudspeakers with their smartphone, tablet or laptop to listen to songs from their library or via streaming. In addition, the Bluetooth speakers can also be used via the infotainment system. In ‘Camping’ mode all loudspeakers are operated at the same volume level, while when the vehicle is being driven the volume of the rear speakers is lowered and of the front ones slightly increased.

Digital operating panel makes camp site life easier

All key campervan functions can be controlled from the living space via a central operating touchscreen panel, mounted on the wall to the right of the wetroom door.

On the home screen, there are six key elements:

– The ‘Light’ menu

– The ‘Temperature’ menu

– The ‘Settings’ menu

– A field for activating the ‘Camping’ mode for the sound system and step

– The ‘Water Level’ indicator

– The indicator for the ‘Additional Battery Charge Status’

Whenever one of the menu items is touched the associated sub-items open up, such as, for instance, the complete heating and air conditioning control system on the ‘Temperature’ menu, including items such as choice of power supply for these items.

Also displayed on the main screen are the date and day of the week, time, outside and inside temperature and Wi-Fi activity. On the very right of the operating panel there are also three further touch-sensitive fields:

– The ‘Main Menu’ (this Home button makes using the system easier)

– Access to the ‘Infotainment’ menu

– A ‘Stand-by’ switch (for deactivating the indicators)

Seating for four and a large dining table

The Grand California is equipped with swivel seats at the front, and an innovative handbrake lever solution ensures it’s easy to turn the seats 180 degrees to look into the living space.

There is also a double bench seat (840 mm wide) in the living area; and families with small children will appreciate the ISOFIX anchor points in the rear bench seat. A large dining table provides ample room for four people to sit down to eat together, while above the removable table are several practical storage compartments. While on the move, the table can be stowed in the rear of the vehicle.

Easy-to-use kitchen with practical details
The row of kitchen units in both models is identically equipped, but different in size. While width (400 mm) and height (880 mm) are the same, the length of the work surface measures 980 mm (Grand California 600) and 1, 400 mm (Grand California 680) respectively. On both models the work surface in the kitchen can also be extended towards the front of the vehicle via a pull-out panel. The working surface in the Grand California 600 can also be extended to the rear using a pull-out panel. By virtue of its even greater interior length, in the Grand California 680 the right-hand extension of the work surface is fixed.

The kitchen fittings include a pull-out, internally lit 70-litre fridge (which can be reached from outside too via the sliding door), including a freezer compartment at the very top. The settings for the fridge are made via a control panel inside it (they include cooling level, boost mode, night mode and lighting). Similar to in the California T6, there is also a twin-hob gas cooker and a sink with fold-out tap fitting. In addition, the kitchen is equipped with diverse drawers, pull-out storage compartments and tip-up shelves. Gas cooker and sink are in each case separately covered by a pivoting glass plate. When folded down, these too serve as work surfaces. In addition to various floor-level cabinets, the Grand California is, as mentioned above, also equipped, unlike the T6-based camper, with high-level cabinets in the roof space. Above the kitchen the individual cabinet elements are each 652 mm wide. The high-level cabinets provide storage capacity of 42 litres.

Wetroom with shower, basin and toilet
A key feature of the Grand California that differentiates it from the California T6 is the wetroom, which measures 820 mm wide and long and 1,850 mm high. Every element is thought through down to the tiniest detail.

In addition to toilet and shower, the wetroom is equipped with a fold-away wash basin, a fold-away mirror that can be fixed in place, shelves with fixings for toiletries, a cabinet with integrated toilet roll holder (protecting it from getting damp), a towel holder for 4 towels, a skylight for ventilation and a mushroom vent. The main and mirror lighting systems in the wetroom are automatically switched on by a standard motion detector. The three drains in the shower tray (2) and wash basin (1) are also fitted with odour traps. The WC cassette is easily serviced from outside. Also accessible from outside is the filler neck for the water tank.

Large windows and skylights provide lots of light
A light and airy atmosphere is created on board the Grand California by the prop-open camper windows (two in the 600 and up to six in the 680) and thanks to the 700 x 600mm skylights above the living space and the double bed at the back. All camper windows are fitted with two-piece pleated blinds (mosquito net and black-out fabric). Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has also developed a new black-out concept with magnetic curtains for the driver’s cab.

Ambience, work and reading lights for evenings in the campervan
In the evening, a matrix of diverse indirect and direct light sources ensures a pleasant level of brightness. The lights are controlled via buttons and the central operating panel next to the wetroom door. In the living area and the kitchen there is indirect lighting running all around the top cabinets. This can optionally be supplemented by indirect ambient lighting running all around inside the cabinets. Work lights fitted as standard under the top cabinet units create bright light in the kitchen area. Also fitted to the bottom of the top cabinets are reading lights in the sleeping and living areas. If the Grand California is equipped with a panoramic tilting sunroof and overcab bed, there are reading lights there too. In the wetroom there is main and mirror lighting. The cargo space also has a light.

110 litres of water for the washroom and kitchen
Integrated within the Grand California are a water cassette with a capacity of 110 litres and a waste water tank that holds 90 litres.

The twin-hob gas cooker and the water and air heating system are supplied by up to two 11-kilogram gas bottles. As mentioned above, the water and gas supply and the toilet tank are accessible from the outside.

The options for custom configuration of the Grand California are extensive, as a motorhome’s purpose and areas of use also cover a wide spectrum.

A typical feature of the California is paintwork in two colours
The Grand California’s two-tone paintwork options have been adapted from the California T6. The single colour paintwork options are Candy White, Reflex Silver or Indium Grey. Available as two-colour paintwork are combinations of Reflex Silver Metallic and Indium Grey Metallic, Candy White and Cherry Red, Candy White and Deep Ocean Blue or Candy White and Mojave Beige Metallic. All Grand California models in the UK will come as standard with 17” alloy wheels.

Roof with high bed and panoramic sunroof
Customers opting for the Grand California 600 have the choice of a large storage space above the cab, or an integrated pull-out child’s high overcab bed, complete with a built-in panoramic tilting sunroof (700 x 850mm – ie larger than when no overcab bed is fitted) which, when the blind is open, gives a clear view of the night sky. Children climb up to the bed via a solid ladder which attaches to the bed’s frame. A USB interface next to the reading light ensures power for playing on a smart phone or console. To make sure that nothing and nobody falls out, there is also a child safety net which attaches to the roof of the Grand California.

Separate air-conditioning system for the Grand California when stationary
Travels in southern climes can lead to very high temperatures inside the campervan when parked up on camp sites. In order to help rectify this, the Grand California is equipped with prop-open windows and two skylights, which are larger but lower in profile (less wind resistance) than those of many competitors. In addition, the camper can be fitted at the rear with a roof-mounted air conditioning unit, that replaces the rear skylight. The very light (32 kg), compact unit develops a cooling output of 2,200 W and is powered via the external 230 V electrical supply. Its functions are controlled either directly from the unit, via remote control or via the central operating panel.

Camping table and chairs for breakfast in the open air
All UK models are available with a large roll-out awning on the driver’s side, plus two standard folding camp chairs and a camping table for outdoor use. The chairs and table are housed while on the move in retaining brackets on the inside of the back doors. The Grand California 600’s awning is 2,500 x 3,000 mm in size, while that of the Grand California 680 measures 2,500 x 3,500 mm. The awning’s crank handle is always close at hand, kept in the roof storage space behind the wing doors. On the outside of the back door it is possible to fit a bikerack for two bicycles with a load capacity of 35 kg.

The standard gas and electric heating, meanwhile, can as an option be replaced by a heating system run on diesel and generated electric power. With the diesel-generated electric heating option a 2.8 kg gas bottle is sufficient for cooking.

Solar panel makes vehicle self-sufficient
When desired, a solar energy unit on the roof feeds power to the Grand California’s battery system. On the Grand California 600 the solar cells are integrated in the camper roof at the front, where they develop power output of up to 104 watts. On the Grand California 680 the unit is located in the rear section of the roof. It develops a power output of up to 174 watts. Linked to that it is also possible as an option to use the 230 V connections via a DC/AC converter and battery, thus making the Grand California completely self-sufficient when out and about.

Top level info- and entertainment
It is also possible to factory order a satellite dish (for TV reception) and Wi-Fi (LTE hotspot router) to extend the entertainment and infotainment functions. Also as an optional extra, the entire vehicle can be protected by an anti-theft alarm system.

All Grand California models in the UK come equipped with a Climatronic air conditioning system as well as the Discover Media navigation system with 8-inch touchscreen. This includes a USB interface (Apple-compatible), voice control, App-Connect and Car Net.

Via App-Connect, the Grand California is able to connect to all current Apple and Android smart phones in order to utilise apps, including navigation and phone apps, the media library and apps like Spotify and WhatsApp via the infotainment system. ‘MirrorLink™’ (Android), ‘Apple CarPlay™’ and ‘Android Auto™’ (Google) serve as the digital interfaces for this. In addition, the Discover Media infotainment system offers the navigation function and Volkswagen Media Control. Media Control makes it possible to access the infotainment system from a tablet as well. Using Media Control it is possible, for instance, to feed address book and calendar entries into the navigation system as destinations.

The mobile online services of Car-Net ‘Guide & Inform’, Car-Net ‘Security & Service’ and the online fleet management system Connect Fleet connect the camper perfectly with the transport infrastructure. Via ‘Security & Service’ the driver can access assistance in a wide range of situations. The functions include ‘Service scheduling’ (scheduling a service with the garage). It is also possible to check whether the Grand California has been locked or if the lights have been turned off. ‘Guide & Inform’ allow use of a wide range of online services. These include ‘Online POI Search’, ‘Online Destination Import’, ‘Route Import’, ‘Fuel Info’ and ‘Parking Info’ (location and price), ‘News’, ‘Weather’ and ‘Online Traffic Information’.

Cutting edge driver assistance systems provide added safety
The Grand California is being offered with the most modern driver assistance systems. Included as standard: Hill Start Assist, Cross Wind Assist, Front Assist with City Emergency Braking function and front and rear parking sensors. Also available as options are Lane Assist, Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Traffic Alert, sensor-activated side protection, Park Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Rear View reversing camera and Trailer Assist.

All these systems significantly increase safety and/or make driving much easier. The Blind Spot Sensor makes overtaking on motorways safer; Rear Traffic Alert recognises any vehicles approaching the back of the Grand California from the side; Park Assist makes getting in and out of parking spaces child’s play and can prevent expensive insurance claims; while Trailer Assist makes manoeuvring with a trailer easier. The Grand California is also one of the first campers of this class with electromechanical power steering. Without this, systems such as Lane Assist and Trailer Assist would simply not be possible.

The Grand California comes as standard with front-wheel drive, or with the 680, the option of 4MOTION four-wheel drive. One engine is available: a highly modern, high torque four-cylinder turbodiesel direct-injection (TDI) optimised for low emissions and delivering maximum power of 177 PS and torque of 410 Nm. An eight-speed automatic gearbox is standard. A combination of SCR catalytic converter, particulate filter and oxidising catalytic converter ensures that the Grand California fulfils the latest emissions standards.

With 4MOTION four-wheel drive, the Grand California can take on the grandest of adventures in different weather conditions and on challenging terrains. In this case, a multi-plate clutch seamlessly distributes drive system power between front and rear axle. In normal situations power is delivered primarily to the front axle to save energy. However, as soon as there is a risk of losing traction, the rear axle is smoothly engaged in a fraction of a second. In addition to this it is also possible to have the new campervan supplied with a differential lock.


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