Vanderer Electric Mini-Camper Blends the Retro Look of the Citroën 2CV With Modern Comfort

2 months, 4 weeks ago - 27. January 2024, autoevolution
Vanderer Electric Mini-Camper Blends the Retro Look of the Citroën 2CV With Modern Comfort
The recreational vehicle market is currently flooded with increasingly modern motorhomes and campers, but there are outdoor enthusiasts out there who find campers with retro aesthetics more attractive.

For them, German camper van dealership Caravan Grebner has introduced the Citroën Berlingo Elektro mini camper van that combines the timeless aesthetic of the classic Citroën 2CV Fourgonnette with modern electromobility and sustainable innovation.

The electric mini camper van was designed and crafted in collaboration with Stuttgart-based conversion shop Vanderer and Italian body kit maker Caselani, and it offers multifunctionality and flexibility for cozy, stress-free getaways.

Apart from an electric powertrain for a more efficient and eco-friendly driving experience, the e-Berlingo mini-camper comes with a smart interior layout that includes a compact kitchenette, a comfy sleeping space, and cleverly integrated storage solutions, catering to the increasing demand for versatile, small-scale camping rigs that can be used to navigate both urban areas and natural landscapes.

The iconic Citroën 2CV exudes a timeless appeal to classic car lovers, but the model was often mocked for its quirky looks and modest on-road performance. Nonetheless, the four-door hatchback with a retractable roof has stood the test of time. Launched in 1948, the car stayed in production for more than four decades. The first "AU" delivery van body type was introduced in 1951 as Citroen's first van to feature front-wheel drive and boasted a distinctive look that mixed the round front-end design of the 2CV with the corrugated van box of the Type H panel van, though a significantly smaller one.

The Berlingo vans, produced since 1996, as well as the more recent electric version, come with a more streamlined design but are technically modern reinterpretations of the 2CV AU. For the e-Berlingo XL-based Vanderer camper van here, the designers used Caselani's most recent retro-inspired body kit meant to bring back some of the charm of the original 2CV AU.

The Lombardy-based company, which has been tapping into the power of nostalgia to revamp contemporary Citroën utility vehicles since 2017, has achieved the retro look provided by the 2CV Berlingo package with a rounded front-end panel, a set of round headlamps, an imposing flared M-shaped grille with Citroën's chevrons, a stylized hood, and corrugated side and rear door panels.

For the interior, the e-Berlingo XL camper uses one of Vanderer's most popular floor plans for minivans, enhancing its utility and bringing maximum suitability for use on the road. Simple called Vanderer One, the modular package fits neatly behind the e-Berlingo XL's second row and comes with a convertible dining/living room area that turns into a sleeping space in just a few steps, a decently-equipped slide-out indoor/outdoor kitchen, and a pop-up roof that doubles the sleeping capacity of the van.

The so-called lounge area comprises an L-shaped corner bench that offers plenty of seating space. Though this is a very compact camper by all standards (it measures 187 inches/475 cm in length, 72.4 inches/184 cm in width, and 71 inches/181 cm in height), there is room to stand upright with the pop-up roof open.

At night, the seating area unites with the height-adjustable kitchen unit to create an extra wide bed for two people. The pop-up roof with a comfortable mattress offers overnight accommodation for two more individuals, as well as beautiful views.

The fold-out kitchen unit is electrically adjustable and doubles as a coffee and dining table. It offers plenty of functionality as well, coming accoutered with an inside induction cooktop, a sink, a refrigerator, and a fold-out table. A secondary gas stove is integrated into a slide-out section with a generous prep area for use outside. The kitchen module also includes various storage options, such as a cutlery drawer and several cabinets for pots, pans, and food.

One of the greatest things about the modular design is that the two-piece living space can be easily removed without tools when you need to use the interior space for hauling cargo or if you want to add another set of seats in the third row. This allows owners to easily switch from campervan to everyday car and continue to use it as a practical utility vehicle.

The Vanderer Citroën Berlingo Elektro mini camper van made its world debut at the 2024 CMT caravan and tourism show in Stuttgart last week. Caravan Grebner has announced plans to offer the charming mobile habitat in a limited edition run of 200 models as part of its Retro Camper series, which are manufactured under license from Citroen. Details on price and final specs are still kept under wraps for now.

With its distinctive, retro-inspired exterior design and the blend of vintage aesthetics and modern comfort and functionality on the inside, this mini camper van represents a charming homage to the past while also demonstrating the great potential for innovation in the evolving realm of camper vans. 

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