As much as American wanderers lust over the VW California, many European camper van models are even more impressive. The Westfalia-converted Ford Nugget family resides at the top of our list, especially when we’re talking about the “Plus” model with bathroom. The lineup gets even better as Ford previews a Nugget Plus in ruggedized Trail guise, bringing extra traction, dual sliding doors and Raptor-like looks that promise to carry the adventure deeper into the great outdoors.
Ford added the Trail package to full-size Transit and mid-size Transit Custom vans last year, bringing sporty, Raptor-inspired looks and upgraded mechanical equipment to its European van line. The intelligent all-wheel drive option was limited to the full-size Transit Trail, leaving the Transit Custom Trail with a front-wheel drive with mechanical limited-slip differential developed by Quaife.
Nugget camper vans are based on the Transit Custom, so the new Nugget Plus Trail debuting in pre-production form at this week’s Düsseldorf Caravan Salon packs the limited-slip differential.
The Trail variant of the Nugget Plus comes exclusively with a pop-up roof (no high roof) and gets an extra sliding door for dual-sided entry and exit, standard heated seats up front, and leather “Trail” front and rear seating. It also benefits from the new, improved high-resolution touchscreen command center that will be added across the entire Nugget family in October 2021.
The 210-in (534-cm) Nugget Plus includes a unique floor plan with a toilet room just inside the tailgate, closed off from the rest of the van via a pull-out privacy screen. With no shower pan in the floor, campers get their daily scrubbing via an outdoor shower.
Pop the divider wall open and one immediately enters an L-shaped kitchen before stepping farther forward into a dining area with a rear bench and swivel cab seats arranged around a table. At night, the dinette converts over into a bed, joining the bed in the roof to sleep a total of four people.
Back outside, Ford does a little extra decorating, giving the Nugget Plus Trail a distinctive Raptor-style FORD-badged grille, 16-in black alloy wheels and darkened contrast bumpers. The Düsseldorf show van comes powered by a 182-hp EcoBlue diesel engine and includes a reverse camera and blind spot assist.
Ford has not released pricing information or photos of the Nugget Plus Trail, but we’ll look to get more information once the Caravan Salon opens on Friday. The standard, non-Trail Nugget Plus with pop-up roof starts at €58,134 (approx. US$68,400).
The new Nugget Plus Trail will be displayed alongside a pre-production pop-top Nugget Plus Active that’s similar to the Trail but with more focus on aesthetics. The limited-slip differential is optional for the Active, which Ford likens to a van in SUV clothing. A highlight of the Active show model will be its yacht-inspired wood-look floor.
While a shorter 196-in (497-cm) Nugget Trail (no bathroom) will not make it to the Caravan Salon, Ford confirms that it’s in the works. It, too, will come exclusively with a pop-up roof.
Source: Ford Germany