READY TO HIT THE TRAIL

Westfalia’s New Off-Road Camper Van Is Perfect, But You Can’t Have It


September 24, 2019 Cars By

Westfalia partnered with Volkswagen to produce the iconic #VanLife camper vans of decades past. While that collaboration for the U.S. market ended long ago, Westfalia is still kicking around — and producing fantastic camper vans using an array of vehicles. The company unveiled its latest series of “James Cook” vans based on the Mercedes Sprinter earlier this month at the 2020 Caravan Salon in Dusseldorf.

The James Cook vans use the standard-wheelbase Mercedes Sprinter van as a base with a 2.2-liter turbodiesel engine producing 141 horsepower. Buyers can stay with the stock Mercedes roof, or upgrade to retractable “pop up” and fixed “high roof” models that add another sleeping compartment. The company can outfit James Cook vans for the trail with an optional Mercedes all-wheel-drive system and an “off-road package” that brings 18-inch off-road rims, BF Goodrich all-terrain tires and a Bull Bar with auxiliary lighting.

The interior features a rear-slide out sleeping compartment with a wet bath, a kitchen offering a dual-burner gas stove and a refrigerator and a four-seater dining compartment. A new MBAC smart home control system can control the heat, lighting, and audio via two touchscreens and a mobile app.

The James Cook camper vans, alas, do not come cheaply. The base James Cook Classic van starts a little above $82,000. Addendums can see the cost rise swiftly from there; the AWD system and off-road package alone cost a little more than $17,000. Expect most rigs to cost well north of $100,000.

Westfalia does not say whether there are plans to bring the new James Cook to the U.S. Their current dealer lineup only lists European showrooms; that said, the Mercedes Sprinter is for sale here, and Winnebago sells a similar off-road camper conversion in the U.S.  For now, though, we’ll just have to lust from afar.

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Tyler Duffy

Tyler Duffy is Gear Patrol's Motoring Staff Writer. He used to write about sports for The Big Lead and The Athletic. He has a black belt in toddler wrangling. He's based outside Detroit.

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