In recent months companies seem to be pushing the boundaries of what a camper van is and what it can do, and this year’s Düsseldorf Caravan Salon was prime territory to showcase the weird, the wonderful and the downright wacky. Well-known German camper van manufacturer Knauss Tabbert were also ones to get in on this, pulling not one but two new camper van concepts out of their sleeves. Knauss had been busy revamping the exterior of their MAN TGE-based camper van models, giving them an ostentatious and ferociously sporty makeover- think box van wearing a Jaguar suit.
2017 saw the release of Knauss’s new genre of vehicle, the CUV, or Caravanning Utility Vehicle. Dress it up however you want, it’s essentially just a fancy marketing term for a motorhome, but that got the employees of Knauss Tabbert thinking outside the box. One year later, we meet the brain-children of this ingenuity: the CUVision, and the CUVolution, two distinctly Fast And Furious-reminiscent camper van designs, brought to life by Knauss to be unveiled at the Düsseldorf Caravan Salon where they used the addition of body kits and sporty rims to seriously pimp these rides.
The Weinsberg CUVolution is the most striking of the two, bearing bright orange “liquid chrome” paint accented by pieces of matte anthracite made to resemble carbon fiber and embellished with Weinsberg badges and decals. To give it a meatier appearance they’ve added a flamboyant rear diffuser, enormous side skirts and a large roof spoiler which might pose a few problems when squeezing under height barriers. Knauss has added enlarged intakes at the front and a twin exhaust at the rear, but this is a bit like adding Go Faster stripes to a car. Still, it’s great to see a fresh take on what a camper van can look like, ditching the bland white paint and side decals in favor of something a little bit more exotic.
The CUVision is the more reserved of the two, less flamboyant and more quietly refined. It’s based on a MAN TGE van but with low-set bodywork, a meaty front spoiler and chrome side accenting for added flair. Its grey and blue color scheme is much more toned down than the CUVolution, but it makes up for this with suped-up 22” Borbet rims and Xenon headlights.
While the pair of vans do look the part, it doesn’t seem that they’ll be running any races, as Knauss did not announce any plans to increase the engine size or horsepower to go along with their vans’ new racy looks. Spectators at the Caravan Salon weren’t even permitted a glance inside the vans, which, despite being billed as Caravanning Utility Vehicles, appeared to be completely empty inside. The company says both vehicles represent the “visual future of the CUV”, which means they are essentially prototypes of what we can expect from the future of Knauss. However, they did announce that their 2019 production models the Boxdrive and Boxstar, along with the Weinsberg CaraTour and CaraBus, will feature a new sandwich construction to improve interior standing height and insulation, as well as sidewall-integrated 105-liter water tanks for extra space-saving ability.
We’re not sure we could picture anyone rolling up to a campsite in one of these concept vans, but they certainly wouldn’t look out of place on the race track. As they are just concepts it’s unlikely either one of them will be driving soon in any case, or what kind of price tag these sporty models could carry, but it’s exciting to get a look into the future of camper van design.
Source: Knauss Tabbert