Ford’s campervan antidote to the VW California just got more practical and more efficient
Ford revealed the new Nugget campervan, based on the new generation of the Transit / Tourneo Custom. The model features a multi-zone cabin layout developed in collaboration with campervan specialist Westfalia that can sleep up to four individuals and has all the amenities for camping. Ford promises improved driving dynamics compared to its predecessor, while the powertrain lineup now includes a plug-in hybrid option next to the diesel.
From the outside, the Nugget looks like any other Transit / Tourneo Custom with the exception of the roof that incorporates the pop-up mechanism and the Westfalia-branded extendable awning positioned on the right-hand side. The previous Nugget was also available with a fixed high-roof option which doesn’t appear to be the case with the new generation – at least for the time being.
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As with most campervans, the highlight is the interior which has been converted into a living space. The conversion was undertaken by Westfalia, bringing a new “multi-zone” layout with separate spaces for cooking, living, and sleeping. This means that campers can move around the cabin, cook, enter, and exit the vehicle, even when the two double beds are set up.
The electronically-operated tilt-roof that houses the upper bed is easier to operate thanks to the new self-folding fabric, and comes with optional solar panels on top for charging the leisure battery. The front heated seats can rotate by 180 degrees, creating a living, dining, or working area in combination with the fold-out table and the optionally heated rear bench.
More: Ford Tourneo Custom Debuts With Diesel, PHEV, And Full Electric Options
The kitchenette is mounted at the rear section of the van and has an L-shaped layout. It houses a new drawer fridge, gas stove, and sink with hot water as standard while offering 20% more worktop space compared to the previous generation. Next to the kitchen, there is a hot/cold shower outlet that can be combined with the optional tailgate privacy tent.
Material quality is said to be improved, as with the tech equipment. The latter includes a 7-inch touchscreen giving access to the climate controls, customizable LED interior lighting, inclinometer, water, and battery levels. Furthermore, users can use their smartphones as a remote control for the aforementioned features. The campervan is equipped with a 13-inch infotainment touchscreen, a digital instrument cluster, plenty of ADAS, USB-C ports for the front and rear passengers, a wireless charging pad, 5G model connectivity, and a new audio system. The outdoor table and chairs are standard and can be stored in a special compartment inside the vehicle, while the tinted windows have roller blackout blinds instead of curtains.
Improved Driving Dynamics And PHEV Option
Ford says that the new campervan benefits from improved handling and refinement thanks to the new platform and the independent rear suspension. The highlight of the range is the PHEV option with the 2.5-liter petrol engine and a single electric motor producing a combined 229 hp (171 kW / 232 PS). The 11.8 kWh battery is good for 50 km (31 miles) of zero-emission range in the regular Transit/Tourneo Custom, but the heavier Nugget will most likely have less than that.
The ICE-powered Nugget comes fitted with the most powerful 2.0-liter EcoBlue diesel producing 168 hp (125 kW / 170 PS) which is exclusively mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox. The company confirmed there will be all-wheel-drive variants of the campervan for those who often travel off the beaten track. It is not clear if there will be a Nugget version of the fully electric Ford e-Transit Custom but that sounds like a possibility for the future.
The Ford Transit Custom Nugget was unveiled at the Caravan Salon in Dusseldorf, Germany. Interestingly, Volkswagen chose the same place to preview the similarly-sized Multivan T7-based California which will also arrive in 2024 with a PHEV powertrain as the Nugget’s main rival in Europe’s growing one-tonne campervan market.
The Ford Transit Custom Nugget is already available to order from Ford dealers. Autocar reports that pricing will start from €76,500 ($83,102) in Germany. Deliveries will commence with the diesel-powered Titanium trim in spring 2024. Other variants including the plug-in hybrid will follow sometime in the next 12 months.