I like The Gadget Show, Jason Bradbury makes me feel comfortable being over 40 & still stupidly excited about new gadgets, mountain bikes & cars. It was a combination of these loves that brought the new Volkswagen DoubleBack to my attention – first on The Gadget Show World Tour, and then on a mountain bike forum.
A bit like the cool brother of the VW T5 Transporter, which it is based on, the DoubleBack does exactly what it says on the tin, at the the press of a button located just inside the sliding side door, the rear pod electronically extends out to almost double the length of the vehicle with the added joy of self-levelling legs that drop down rather like the pod is a plane coming in to land. In fact, almost 2 extra metres are gained with the extendable pod. All within around 40 seconds, VW claim. In normal use, the rear door operates normally for the practicalities of day to day use.
Aimed at the amateur & professional sportsman, the DoubleBack’s extendable pod is designed for the user to keep expensive equipment, like mountain bikes (there is an optional ramp too) or surfboards safe while you rest over night or are away from the vehicle. In fact, the extended pod creates enough room for a full longboard without a problem. It effectively leaves the traditional part of the campervan free as a comfortable living area.
But this isn’t all, the roof also extends upwards to allow a double bed ‘upstairs’ while a fold out bed in the back gives enough space to sleep four. VW reckon this innovative introduction to the Campervan legacy is now approaching the comfort levels of a full motorhome.
I think they might be right, for with the rear pod extended, & the roof raised, the living area is completely freed up with a decent sized table that can seat up to six, while the compact kitchen features a 2-burner hob/sink combination & a fridge.
This VW isn’t just for show though, it’s a functional piece of kit with the capacity to carry up to 400kg in the extended pod and it also comes with adjustable torque settings for loads at the heavier end of the scale.
But what of the vehicle itself? No worries here either, with the spec’ based on the tried & tested VW Transporter Panel Van, the DoubleBack shouldn’t have too many issues to worry about. The DoubleBack comes with alloy wheels, colour-coded bumpers & metallic paint as standard.
Optional extras include remote key control for the extendable pod & self-levelling legs & – I like this – a glass roof for the pod so that you can effectively sleep under the stars in the UK without getting wet & cold.
VW Company Director, Craig McCormack, says this is the first real innovation in the long history of the Camper since the introduction of the elevated roof, which you may be familiar with or have possibly seen at campsites in Devon or Cornwall. The 1979 Devon Moonraker is a pretty good example of a classic Campervan with an extendable roof.
While I will always find it hard to get away from the romanticism of owning a classic vintage Campervan, I must say that if I was handed the keys to a Volkswagen DoubleBack, I would be more than happy & make full use of it. This vehicle has a well thought out design concept & appears to be more than practical too. But concept vehicle this isn’t, because you can get your hands on a DoubleBack at VW Sinclair in Cardiff for the on-the-road price of £54,995. Should you find that to be a little steep, then you can also rent a DoubleBack from motorhome-city.co.uk.
Surely if anything is going to inspire you to get back to nature & visit The Great Outdoors in this damp & pretty awful summer, it just might be the Volkswagen DoubleBack.
Pictures from thefabweb.com