This new campervan has been designed for those with a specific need for its vast rear garage. That space allows it to live up to the ‘Sports’ title, while the tonne of payload enables you to use it as intended.
Base vehicle: Fiat Ducato Price from: £61,295 Berths: 4 Travel seats: 4 Length: 6.36m Width: 2.05m Height: 2.68m Gross weight: 4,300kg Payload: 1,050kg
Words and photos: Peter Vaughan
For the 2022 season, Adria has expanded its Twin Sports range to include four pop-top models on the latest Fiat Ducato. One of those, the 640 SG, is a new layout and MMM nabbed the prototype straight from its press launch.
It was a left-hand drive preproduction model, so some small details will change but, of course, the key thing that will differ is the cab. The vehicles that will go on sale will have the new Fiat dashboard and new engines, etc, although 140bhp will remain the standard power output. The sliding door will remain on the offside on right-hand drive ’vans, too.
This Adria featured some of the Fiat Luxury Pack (£2,600), but it’s worth noting that, in addition to the alloy wheels, leather steering wheel, black headlights and skidplate, Traction+ and reversing camera, this will also now encompass the 7in Uconnect display, a wireless charging pod and electric parking brake.
Meanwhile, standard UK spec will include the roll-out awning and carpets (not shown), but crucially it will also feature a Heavy base vehicle rated at 4,300kg. Adria simply didn’t feel it could offer a four-berth vehicle with such generous storage as a viable (and legal) proposition at 3,500kg. For some, that may mean taking an extra test, but for everyone it results in a payload of over a tonne.
The Adria’s graphics are bold but modern and the alloy wheels come as standard, while the habitation windows sit flush with the body sides. The electric step auto-retracts when the engine is started but the flyscreen for the sliding door is one of the few options, along with a solar panel positioned on the pop-top.
White is the standard colour but you can also have silver or four – not 50 – shades of grey. An external shower point is fitted, while the large-bore waste water drain is operated by a lever inside the toilet servicing hatch. That should avoid any potential for freezing, backed up by a heated and insulated underslung grey waste tank as standard.
The garage in the 640 SG must be one of the largest ever seen in a campervan… or sub-Liner-sized motorhome for that matter. It measures 2.08m long, 1.14m wide between the cabinets (including cupboards and drawers, as well as the 100-litre inboard water tank on the offside), and the full interior height of 1.88m. It comes with aluminium chequerplate flooring featuring rails to which you can secure your chattels and a racking system will be available as an option. There’s a mains socket in the rear nearside corner, but the most innovative feature is surely the set of duffel bags clipped to the walls at roof level. These Adria-branded bags – three on each side – simply clip into place and can be taken indoors to load or they can accompany you on your sporting adventures.
However you plan to use this huge space – for electric bikes, a motorbike, kayaks or dog crates – the area can also, quickly and easily, be turned into a bedroom.
Metal-framed bed bases with plastic springs under their mattresses just fold down, first on the nearside, then the offside, and are supported by seatbelt-style straps hung from the ceiling. The beds are very comfortable and generously sized – the nearside berth measuring over 2m long.
Reading lights (with a built-in USB) serve each bed and you might deploy only the nearside berth, in order to maintain the storage alongside. Or you can raise the beds to a higher level via a ratchet system on the walls. In their lowest setting, the beds are around 890mm off the floor but that can be increased by about 400mm, when you’ll need to add a ladder (provided) for access.
The ‘Sports’ suffix on the Twin range means that there’s an elevating roof, which is fitted, of course, to provide the other two berths.
It’s a manually operated roof and it helps if you’re reasonably tall to operate it, and fairly strong to pull it back down. For travel it is double-latched on either side but, once these catches are released, it just needs a good shove to go up. Then unfold the (second) ladder, which you’ll need to store in the garage, and clip it into place to climb aloft.
Anyone with experience of VW camper rising roofs will notice that it seems a rather longer way up but, once you’ve scaled the heights, the bed is both large and luxurious – again, thanks to plastic springs beneath the mattress. Headroom reducing towards the rear of the roof dictates that you shuffle around to get your feet at that end, while reading lights (with USB sockets) are fitted at both sides up front and there’s just enough room to leave a duvet up top when shutting the roof down.
The whole roof canvas can be unzipped for cleaning or repair and a padded/insulated liner is provided for the less balmy months of the year. However, in the sunny summer weather of our test, the best feature was being able to unzip a huge section of the front of the roof to reveal a vast mosquito net.
Down below, all the windows – including the cab – come with the upmarket concertina-type blinds. The roof has also been designed to look sleek when lowered and a pair of ‘fins’ at the back of the lid give the impression of a full-length rising roof, avoiding an unfortunate stepped roofline. The design also allows a roof vent to be incorporated above the rear bedroom or, at extra cost, a habitation air-con unit.
Certainly, this latest Twin is a good-looking beast, which drew plenty of positive comment from other motorhomers at the Camping and Caravanning Club’s Polstead site in rural Suffolk.
There’s no point in going into detail about how this Twin Sports performed on the road because production models – on the new Series 8 Ducato – will be different. Suffice to say, though, that I loved the extra light and feeling of space provided by the overcab sunroof, while the only rattle as I sailed down Suffolk B roads was an annoying chatter from the cooker lid. Everything else spoke of Adria’s usual high standards of build, especially as this was a prototype.
Equally, the Twin Sports has a very contemporary feel inside, with a predominantly white/grey colour scheme and a splash of colour introduced by the scatter cushions (which come in a variety of hues).
I’d expect an Adria to look like this and, equally, I’d expect a continental campervan to have a half-dinette lounge, a galley running partway across the sliding door opening and a washroom opposite that. Don’t anticipate any further surprises here, for that’s exactly the format adopted, although everything seemed to have given up a little space in order to accommodate that vast garage in the stern – that was clearly the priority in this design.
The overcab sunroof (double-glazed and fixed but one of the biggest on a van conversion) makes a huge difference to the feeling of space up front, added to which even more daylight floods in if you have the flyscreened section of the pop-top open. But what you gain on one hand, you lose on the other.
The half-dinette here does feel a bit compact, with just 350mm or so between the bench’s backrest and the table. You have to thread your feet around the table leg when sitting down, too.
The rear seat also has two Isofix points for child seats, as standard, but you’d probably need to stow the table in the garage (no set storage position is provided) in order to give littlies (or their bulky car seats) enough room.
For meals, the table should just cope with four diners, thanks to the usual swing-out extension leaf. It also incorporates a recess with cup holders. Above, there’s plenty of artificial lighting in dimmable LED strips, while swivel reading lamps are fitted for each cab seat. USB sockets are mounted above the half-dinette, along with 12V and 230V power points for the adjacent TV bracket. The push-to-open top lockers above the lounge stretch right into the cab, with no useless open sections that other makers seem obsessed with.
Other models in the Twin range get an oven/grill as standard to please UK buyers, but there simply isn’t room to include one in the 640 SG’s condensed galley. So, cooking is just on a Can two-burner hob with spark ignition.
That’s not unlike many of the rival rear bedroom van conversions produced by European brands, though, and this Twin Sports has some good features, too.
For a start, there’s a useful area of worktop at the forward end of the kitchen unit (without having to deploy a folding flap).
Then there’s a fridge (84-litre compressor type) that can easily be accessed from outside, via the sliding door, despite not having one of those fancy doors that hinges either way. Best feature of all, perhaps, is this kitchen’s trio of large soft-closing drawers, all with modern-looking positive-locking handles.
Alongside the galley is a small wardrobe – tall enough for shirts to hang neatly but only 280mm wide. Then above that is a useful locker that’s plenty high enough to house family-sized cereal packets, etc. A small shelf can house washing up liquid, etc, but the position of the sole 230V socket in the kitchen (high above the sink) seems ill-advised.
Adria’s clever Duplex washroom, with swing-wall to create a shower compartment (as seen in other Twins), is another casualty of this model’s priorities elsewhere.
First the downsides, then. Well, the mirror is placed to suit those who are no more than about 5ft tall. Secondly, the pop-top roof above precludes a vent being fitted here and there’s no opening window, either, so ventilation is lacking.
However, although you’ll need to hold the showerhead, there’s plenty of room to hose yourself down – and all without a clingy curtain to stick to you. With twin drains to let the suds escape, it’s just mopping everything down afterwards that might gripe.
There’s generous space on and around the usual Thetford swivel cassette toilet, while the basin is a stylish new design and the top locker should hold a reasonable quantity of toiletries, with a lip to keep them all in place.
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Motorhome supplied by Adria Concessionaires
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