A sneak-peek from the 2023 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon
Friday 25 August is the Press Day at the 2023 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon and here is the first official release of one of the new models on display: The Knaus Tourer CUV 500. It's a proper coachbuilt motorhome on a VW Transporter cab-chassis and the sort of compact motorhome solo travellers (and tidy couples!) dream of. It's also another example of how European manufacturers lead the world in innovation and space efficiency. Heck, they've even created a whole new category: The Caravanning Utility Vehicle or CUV!
Will we ever see it in Australia? Probably not, not least because A'van Australia has done an abysmal job of marketing Knaus Downunder; the brand being all-but invisible – if indeed it's even still on sale. Anyway, we can dream on, especially as it might inspire a local manufacturer – imitation being the sincerest form of flattery.
Following is the official press release for your entertainment. Watch for more pics and any extra details from the show, and be sure to let us know what you think
"KNAUS has unveiled the series version of the VW Bulli T6.1-based TOURER CUV 500 LT. Its CUV (Caravanning Utility Vehicle) combines the best of two worlds. With its variable roof, the TOURER CUV offers several advantages: when retracted (lowered) when driving it is manoeuvrable and compact, like an Urban Class vehicle. This means that the new model is pleasingly low and has less wind resistance to reduce fuel consumption and help the environment. This solution also makes it possible to enter some underground car parks. When you arrive at your holiday destination, the Tourer CUV reveals its full standing height of 2.17 m, thanks to a unique lifting roof structure, which is operated electrically at the push of a button on a remote control and offers around 70 cm more headroom. The modern 500 LT layout is a new addition to the Knaus portfolio. Its plus points: The layout is progressive and practical.
With a total length of just under 5.9 m, the touring CUV 500 LT can sleep up to four with the optional slide bed in the front. The TOURER CUV is suitable for city driving, and makes manoeuvring through narrow streets and looking for a parking space easy. With a standard permissible total weight of 3200 kg (or optionally 3500 kg), the TOURER CUV is ideal for category B driving licence holders, and is synonymous with flexibility and full camping suitability. With four seats for when it is being driven, up to four beds and plenty of storage space, it is a perfect family vehicle. There is a comfortable face-to-face seating area at the front, which can be converted into a double bed. No leisure vehicle would be complete without a fully-fledged kitchen – with a two-hob stove, a sink and a 90-litre compressor refrigerator – or a comfortable swivel bathroom. The storage space in the stern is also remarkable. Thanks to the FoldXPand design, this ample area can bear up to 150 kg, and can be easily loaded and unloaded through a large door to the left, measuring 1.48 x 0.43 m. The five-kilo bottle in the gas locker is also easy to fill up. This is only used for the two-hob stove. Heating is provided by a Combi 4 diesel heater, which is installed under the floor in the rear to save space.The Tourer CUV is based on a VW 6.1 chassis, with a 110 hp entry-level engine and standard six-speed manual transmission. More powerful engines and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission are also available as options.
The new Tourer CUV is also available in a KNAUS Tourer CUVISION model – a special edition in Ascot grey with a standard 150 hp drive and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, extensive standard equipment such as 17-inch tyres on alloy wheels, LED headlights, air conditioning in the driver’s cab, heated front seats and a “Discover Media” navigation entertainment system with an inductive charging station for smartphones. The Tourer CUVISION also has a reversing camera. Three generously dimensioned roof hoods let air and light into the vehicle. The CUVISION also includes a side-mounted awning. And that’s not all: the so-called “Bridge Light” between the KNAUS CATEYE evolution rear lights – a continuous light band – is always included. This makes the vehicle even more visible and gives these new CUVs a high recognition value. The CUVISION tourer is also a frontrunner when it comes to safety systems. Its state-of-the art features include emergency brake assistance, adaptive cruise control (ACC), drowsiness detection and multi-collision braking. The start-stop system with brake energy recovery also protects the environment. Compared to the series model with corresponding equipment, the TOURER CUVISION has an enormous price advantage.