Ford launches rival to Volkswagen California camper van

Ford is planning a head-on camper van battle with Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz, with the launch of the Transit Custom Nugget. A direct rival for the California and Marco Polo, the Transit Custom Nugget is on sale now with prices starting from £56,273. 

The Ford Transit Custom Nugget has been developed in partnership with Westfalia and can sleep up to four people, with a double bed in the pop-up roof compartment and a second one in the living area. The camper provides space for up to five adults to socialise with a forward facing bench accommodating three, while the driver and front passenger seats swivel 180 degrees to face the rear.

Preparing food for guests should be simple, thanks to the van's L-shaped kitchenette at the rear. All versions of the Nugget are supplied with a double burner gas cooker and a 40-litre refrigerator. The van also has running water, via a 40 litre tank that supplies the taps that are attached to the chrome-nickel steel sink.

Standard equipment for the van includes privacy glass for the rear flip-open windows and a wood-effect floor. The Nugget also gets an auxiliary diesel-powered heater, while bike racks and an uprated sound system are available as optional extras.

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Onboard wifi will allow the van's occupants to connect up to 10 devices wirelessly with a maximum range of 15 metres. Ford says this will allow children to sit outside, while streaming a movie or TV show to their compatible tablet or smartphone. 

Music and DAB audio will be available on the move, with the van getting Ford's latest Sync 3 infotainment system, which includes touchscreen navigation and voice activation commands for hands free phone calls. 

The Transit Custom Nugget is powered by Ford’s 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine; the 130PS version costs from £56,273 while a more powerful 185PS variant is also available with a choice of manual and automatic transmission, priced from £57,229 and £58,199, respectively. 

The van is offered with a raft of driver assistance systems, which includes blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control. A semi-autonomous parking system that will automatically steer the Transit Custom Nugget into and out of parallel and perpendicular parking space is also available.

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