Westfalia launch new Mercedes-based campervan
Renowned German campervan brand Westfalia, is re-introducing its James Cook model for 2020, once again based on the Mercedes Sprinter.
The 5.93m-long base vehicle will be rear wheel drive as standard, although 4x4 is an option that is expected to be popular. Also, the new model will feature an integrated control panel, and Westfalia has been working closely with Mercedes to develop this. Basically, the habitation control unit mirrors the one in the cab, and is connected to the cab, so you can monitor your battery and water tanks from the cab. The next step will be to develop Bluetooth control (when in the camper) and apps (when away from the camper)
Other options include the V6 diesel (190) engine and the seven-speed auto (Westfalia expects the auto to be ordered on most production models). The MBUX infotainment system will also be an option.
There will be three variants based on the roof options: the standard Mercedes Sprinter high-top (a two-berth), a pop-up roof on the high-top (Westfalia's own roof, making it a two-plus-two-berth) and the GRP roof (that resembles the original James Cook look). The GRP roof is not full length (making the roof bed within ideal for kids), which allows for a space on the rear for a solar panel or satellite dish.
All models will come with a slide-out at the rear and a boot hatch to access the underbed storage. The reason for the slide-out is simple. Mercedes's Sprinter is slightly too narrow to provide a transverse double bed (other companies add side pop-out hatches or similar), so to get a long bed in this size of vehicle, you sleep lengthways once the slide out is deployed. This gives a bed measuring 2m long and 1.40m wide in the slide-out and 1.70m wide in the main body of the van. This rear area can also be used as a lounge when the slide-out is in.
The interior is unique to this model, too, with more curves than the Fiat-based models. There is also black trim that aims to blend the very black Mercedes cab into the rest of the motorhome, making the cab feel more like part of the rest of the campervan.
Other features include central locking to kitchen cupboard doors, 90-litre fridge and Eberspächer Plugtronic electric heating option.
Westfalia is aiming this new model firmly at retired active people looking to downsize their motorhome, with comfort and design a priority when planning the new model. James Cook will sit firmly at the top of the Westfalia tree and we expect prices to be between £80,000 to £100,000 depending on specification and roof choices.
Prototypes will be on display at the Caravan Salon at Dusseldorf and we hope to see one of these on display at the NEC Motorhome and Caravan Show in October. Westfalia is planning for the first production models to be available from April to July 2020.
Look out for extended news and reports in our Essential Guide to 2020 Motorhomes & Campervans - a supplement FREE with the November 2019 issue of MMM magazine (out in stores from 17 October)